From early summer Lavender comes into its own and is often the star of Jekka's Herbetum. From the family Lamiaceae, it is a wonderful perennial herb that is both culinary and medicinal as well as being a joy to a miriade of pollinators, such as bees. There are a number of species of Lavender from the big and bold Lavandula x intermedia to the attractive Lavendula stoechas with their beautiful flowers. Jekka's blog outlines her 5 favourites and is linked below.
Lavender is Jekka's herb of the month for July and follows on from talking all about Bay, Rosemary, Salad Burnet, Tarragon, Angelica, and, last month, Alliums. Visit Jekka's Blog "All About Herbs" to read about them.
Many people find that Lavender lose their shape and attractiveness through the years. Jekka's tip is to always prune Lavender back after flowering is complete and as far as you can but not into the wood. Jekka's saying for pruning Lavender is:
“cut back one 8th in the 8th month"
This translates to prune in August to an 8th of the green (non-woody) stem. Regular pruning keeps lavender plants looking neat, helps maintain a protective shape for downpours or heavy snow fall and encourages new growth. Low-growing varieties can be cut back to the new growth while larger types can be cut back to an 8th of their green (non-woody) stem.
The other rule for pruning is to make sure your secateurs are sharp and clean before starting. This is for two reasons; firstly it stops the spread of any potential disease from other plants in the garden and secondly, it makes sure the cut is clean and the wood does not split, which could damage the plant. Check out our gardening sharpeners and cleaners through the link below.
Each year at Jekka's we have two charity open days. For the last few years our Charity Open Days have been for the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) and the National Garden Scheme (NGS) with money going to:
The RHS apprenticeship scheme that supports a two year training programme in one of the RHS gardens. We strongly advocate schemes that educate, develop and inspire the next generation of horticulturists.
The NGS and their range of beneficiaries including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute. The NGS open beautiful gardens for charity and we are proud to be able to contribute.