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Lavender – more info

The nostalgic scent of lavender plants is a welcome addition to any cottage garden planting. Plant into patio pots if you’d like to enjoy the scent closer to home whilst reclining with a book. With a mix of pinks, whites and the traditional blue flowers to choose from and even variegated foliage, growing lavender has never been more exciting.

French lavender is the best choice for showier flowers, the long purple bracts of the popular variety ‘Flaming Purple’ make a spectacular sight, while English lavender typically has a stronger scent. Cut and dried, lavender flowers make beautiful scented posies and gifts for loved ones. If you think your garden is too damp for lavender, try ‘Havana’. This variety is bred to tolerate wetter conditions.

Which lavender variety has the strongest scent?

English lavender varieties typically have the strongest scent. English lavender is a cottage garden classic with ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’ displaying the type perfectly with a compact bushy habit and highly scented stems and flowers. Another safe bet for scent is Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’, especially if you live in a cooler climate. This variety is bred for robust resilience in cold weather and for its rich scent.

Which lavender variety blooms the longest?

French lavender ‘Papillon’ blooms from May until August with showy mauve blooms and an unusual, slightly ‘spicy’ scent. Use this lavender to form a low growing hedge or plant in patio pots to enjoy the long flowering period. Another long blooming favourite is lavender 'Devonshire Compact'. This neat cultivar sends large blue flower spikes from June through to September.

Which lavender is best for bees?

The best thing about lavender, apart from the sensational scent, is that it’s a magnet for bees! Bees flock to all types of lavender in flower to feed from their rich nectar, filling the summer air with a friendly buzzing. You can even attract bees to a small balcony by planting the compact lavender ‘Dwarf Blue’. With a max height of 30cm, this neat little plant produces its marvellous blooms in July and August.

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