It’s yet another lovely warm summer evening of gentle breezes that holds the promise of yet another hot night to come. To stop the house from overheating, the windows will have to remain open, increasing the chances of some stupid bird ending up inside the house as it takes off from the bird bath, flies over the patio and up the slope of the roof, only to be batted into the bedroom by the horizontal velux.
But I’m digressing, it is a lovely evening and so I took the opportunity to look over the lavender that is now in full flower. Lavender is such an easy plant; you buy it, put it in the ground, cut it hard back once around winter and otherwise forget about it. It gets complicated if you have a few different types of lavender, have taken several cuttings, now all at various stages and you can’t remember which was which.
I’ve got a few established lavender shrubs that are about one foot across when cut back in the winter, but balloon out to a purple hemisphere five feet in diameter at the height of flowering. At the opposite end of the scale, I’ve got eight small plants that I struck from cuttings (there’s nothing quite like getting plants for free) currently sitting in white plastic disposable drinks cups. On a mathematical angle, eight small lavenders that need to be planted at least two feet apart is much greater than the free space remaining in the garden equals a problem to be tackled at a later date with diplomacy and a lawn edger.
Mid-way between the shrub and the cuttings, I have a young Mediterranean hedge with lavenders and the odd rosemary all taken from cuttings. There’s also iris and Gaura (Whirling butterflies) from seed but we’ll ignore those for the moment. This hedge has been planted alongside the fence between us and the neighbour’s and runs along the driveway. It was one of the latest areas of the garden to be “recovered” from neglect. When the wire fence was redone, I took the opportunity to put a thin border running along under it for just something like this. This year, the young plants have flowered and just like all the other lavender, it’s covered with bees.
The beat up car comes in when we return to the mathematical angle again and note that established lavender can be five feet across and will gradually become wider over time. Noting the available space and proximity of the car we conclude that a mature lavender hedge in high summer will out-compete the beat up car currently parked next to it. Once again, this is a problem to be tackled at a later date. Each time I accidentally think about it, I just put my fingers in my ears and sing, “la, la, la!”