Lavender!

Lavender is a durable, resilient plant which requires remarkably little attention. Once planted, it becomes a pollinator(!) which creates purple flowers and strong fragrances, making it an exceptionally elegant decoration in any terrace, balcony or garden.

This is a post about lavender, because when should I write about it if not now when it’s most beautiful and in bloom?

To grow lavender, you don’t need to be an experienced gardener or a professional. Of course, there are some things which you always need to look out for; lavender:

  • Likes warmth
  • Hates water (in the air or in the ground)
  • When planted, needs room and air (ventilation)
  • Needs to be pruned yearly (to avoid lignification)
  • Likes permeable soil (because, of course, it doesn’t like moisture) Since lavender is originally from hot, arid regions similar to Italy, France and Spain, it is understandably not suited for cold and humid conditions.

If you plant it in southern regions where summers are long and warm, you need to make sure that it has a bit of shade and good(!) air circulation. So, when you plant it, be generous and don’t place the plants too close to each other.  Keep in mind that ‘happy’ lavender can grow into a 1.5 m tall bush, which is considerable. So, it is very important to leave enough room for it to ‘grow, but also to breathe’!

If you live in northern regions, with colder winters and more frequent precipitation – no problem. You’ll just need a bit more love and patience. 🙂

Of course, you can always plant lavender in a flowerpot. It will look impressive, but it will also be easier to put away to ‘a safe place’ during the winter. You still need to make sure that it gets enough light (cellars are out of the question!).

However, if you decided to plant it in the open, like me, and the winters are cold, there are a few tricks which you can use to naturally increase the temperature around your plants. Planting near stone walls facing south or near the walls of a building will naturally give off heat from the Sun and keep your plants warm. Adding stone mulch will increase the amount of warmth, which your plant needs because, as I’ve written – lavender likes warmth.

Dried branches can be collected and used as a nice addition to the bouquet. Essential oils from these plants have various medicinal properties, and they are often used as antiseptics, sleeping aids and stress relief. Lavender is ideal for creating home-made soap, all sorts of cleaning agents, shampoos, lotions and much more.

If you’ve made it this far, because this is, after all, an interior design blog, and I am an architect(!), not a gardener (deep down, I am), now comes the reward for your patience! 🙂

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Enjoy!

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