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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Lovely Lavender

Lavenders can make great plants for window boxes and tubs but too often you seem them all bare at the base and flopped out of shape. A lot has to with the variety you use. The dwarf varieties like ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ are tried and tested favourites. Look at the labels carefully. Don’t buy plants simply called ‘lavender’ as they are quite likely to disappoint.

French lavenders (Lavendula stoechas), with their curious ‘buterflesque’ flowers have become very fashionable in recent years. They can do very well in containers but be aware they are a lot more tender than the other types. Young plants sold in flower are often raised in greenhouses and can sometimes become very droopy when you put them in the window box. If they droop badly, it can take a whole year for them to recover.

Pruning is essential for neat plants but never cut them back below the level of the first leaves or they will die. Wait until the new growth is well established and give them a hard trim sometime in April or early May. Once the blooms start to fade, follow this up with a light haircut before the flower stems start to turn woody.

Written By Alistair Ayres

(The Little Green Space Ladybird would like to remind tell everyone about the fabulous ready planted 'Lavender Box' window box available through Little Green Space urban gardening website!)

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