23 August, 2011

A Lavender Patch follows the Lavender Border

In August 2010 we planted a Lavender Border with outstanding success -so far.
Growing together into a good row.
  Look at this link to see how it is doing.
  Link to "Border of Lavender" post  or read on about the patch.

Following establishment of the border, a fine patch of lavender near the back door then seemed a good idea. 

 We wanted, a closely planted set of rows something like this.
What we would love to have. (Not my photo)
The patch we decided on was a sort of triangle, with 5 rows of plants.  Planted in rows 900mm apart and 800mm between the rows.  I have found it wise to put a lot of effort into marking out the pattern using wooden stakes.
Planted in rows, total cover of weed suppressing mat, and an irrigation system.
It's mark out, plant out, lay out weed mat and set up the irrigation lines.  The weed mat is essential.  It gives the lavender protection from the strong competition in the early phases. The "Vipers Bugloss" can smother the ground and grow a meter or more in a single season.
Vipers Bugloss a wonderful plant.  Aaah - in a way, but really it would destroy the lavender.
Link to Vipers Bugloss Post.

When the lavender is established in a couple of years, the weedmat can be pulled out.  In the meantime it is there and the only problem is that weedmat is really really ugly
30 plants  in five rows.  Planted March 2011.  Just before the southern winter.
Lavender is a dry country plant.  But with only stones to grow in here and our desert like conditions irrigation is still required at least at the start.  Drippers are best.  Lavenders would not do well with overhead sprinklers.
In this climate every plant needs a water dripper
Update:  November 27th 2011.  After only 7 months in the ground there has been a surge of spring growth.  In only a few weeks the plants have sprouted lots of green new growth and flower stalks.  This variety will flower at Christmas.
27th November 2011.  A surge of growth
These 'super' plants grow really big.  I am really looking forward to seeing this group of 30 plants form into a single visual mass.  It will be amazing.

31st December 2011.  Great Progress..
It came on very well in the next year.

January 2013
If you look you might just be able to make out the rows.  Maybe I should have planted them the rows further apart and the plants closer within the row.  to achieve the rows effect.  But really I am very happy.  It's a wonderful patch to have next to the back door.  That's a large glossy blue urn in the middle, you can just see it.  Stands at least 800mm high.  I think I will have to block it up higher or the lavender will submerge it.

The yellow foliage is a Gleditsia Sunburst.   They change all the time, but do a reliable brilliant yellow.  Eventually it will tower over the whole patch.  Great contrasts.

-  End  -- for now.


  1. I love lavender, not only is it beautiful but it brings in some beautiful insects. Diane

  2. Your Paterson's Curse must be on steroids. We have it here. I see abandoned fields covered in a shoulder high unbroken mass of it. But in our garden, there is the odd plant, that I pull as soon as I notice it.

  3. I have tried to grow lavender here in Italy, it survives but sadly does not thrive, a shame as I love it. I had enough to pick two bunches this year, which are hanging in our bathrooms.

  4. A very good idea.
    You do know that lavender is notorious for dropping dead at the drop of a hat. So it might be an idea to buy an extra ten or so and plunge them in pots into the soil elsewhere. This way you'll always have replacements for the variety you've got in the border and near enough the same size as well. Also, it's hens teeth rare that a nursery will have the same variety of shrub two years running. And there is nothing quite as annoying as thirty plants and an odd one. Still you'll have to replace one way or another for as bad as is an odd plant the empty gap like a kids missing front tooth is far worse.

    Are those olive trees in the background.

  5. Vince. I have great confidence that I will be able to get more of these 'super' lavender. Karen who supplies them grows all her own stock. She is not a retailer. At worst I can do some by cuttings.
    Yep. Those are olives. About 100 on the property.
    Lindylou. These grow well here. Another advantage of getting things locally from a non retailer is that you can see the parent plants right there in your local environment. And see how well they grow - or not.

  6. I've only seen Viper's Bugloss in Italy, where I thought it was beautiful. (It certainly doesn't grow in my climate.) Is it possible to use it as a groundcover plant in a naturalistic garden with other highly competitive plants, perhaps grasses? Or is it too aggressive? It seems an experiment would be worth the time.

  7. Oh, you're going to enjoy so much the lavender 'field, you're starting. I have about the same number of plants and I guess it's been three years or so. I have drip on each one just like you, but only have set it for the hottest part of summer now. I only wish I could see the field from the windows.
    Before we moved here permanently, I planted lavender along a retaining wall and only gave it cups of water each month when we visited. The rosemary and Iris did as well without much water. All survivors, I've found. It will be fun to see the progress.

  8. Good luck with the new plantings. Will lavender seed where you are? I remember in England we had a small hedge of l. angustifolia in dry gravel, and hundreds of seedlings would appear every year in the gravel, and were something of a nuisance. But it is such a beautiful plant, we always forgave its fecund tendencies.

  9. Way cool! What cultivar are you using?

    Most of the folks in my area lost their lavender in last summer's scorch & drought. I'd like to try again but with something hardier.

  10. Thanks Kathleen.
    Cultivar is called 'super' Karen Rhind of our local very special nursery calls them that. And she propagates and grows them there at 'Briar Dell' That is only about 5 kilometers from here so you do get a great assurance that the stock is good for the local area. I am aware that lots of plant suppliers just put their own names on things. So if 'Super is available in Texas - it may be under another name. You could ask Karen - try googling her website under Briar Dell or karen Rhind or Central Otago. It's registered as a 'Garden of National Significance'
    As for your drought situation and growing. All of our plants are drip irrigated. It's desert here but we have huge rivers thundering through so no water shortage. See my post "Living in the rainshadow".

  11. Wonderful progress! Have you found that some put out volunteer seedlings? The Spanish lavender does here to my surprise and I've been able to transplant it.


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