For a garden plant with a fragrant appeal, English Lavender is an excellent choice. Scientifically known as Lavandula Angustifolia, English Lavender emits a pleasant aroma from both its lavender-coloured flowers which appear in July and its attractive grey-green foliage.
Lavender reaches a maximum of four feet in height and width though it generally grows to about two feet high and slightly wider. It can be used in an herb garden, mixed shrub planting, or in a perennial border. Its pleasant grey foliage is semi-evergreen. It needs well-drained, almost dry soil with a neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Full sun with wind protection will allow this plant to achieve its best appearance.
Caring for lavender is quite simple. If the soil is even slightly fertile, additional fertilization is not required. This plant thrives in dry soil, making watering unnecessary, and ideal in times of drought. Few pests or diseases trouble this hardy plant. The only care required is to cut back the previous year’s shoots in April to encourage vigorous growth and maximum flowering. Prune again in mid to late summer to remove faded flower stalks.
The flowers of English Lavender make an excellent choice for dried arrangements since the fragrance will linger for months. Simply cut the flowers when in full bloom and hang in a cool, dark place until dry. The dried blooms are favourite ingredients for sachets and potpourri.