Garden Blog - Blog Post

A Beat up Car and a Young Lavender Hedge


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.

Driveway Lavender Hedge

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!”

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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Lynn Hunt 24/07/2013 - 11:03 pm

Sunil, love your lavender! (The pollinators seem to love it too!) This year I planted a pink lavender and a Spanish one. Neither of these will make it through winter but I love seeing them and of course, I adore the fragrance.

Sunil 26/07/2013 - 6:35 pm

Hi Lynn, they really do go for it, including butterflies. Every time we come home from work we see the larger lavenders covered in loads of buzzing insects. I’ll have to look up pink and Spanish lavender as I haven’t heard of them before.

susan maclean 25/07/2013 - 6:52 am

Laughing at you going La La La! But if it gets too wide, you can always trim the car side whilst still in flower, giving armfuls away to grateful friends (or strike a deal with local florist, thus allowing you to spend the cash on yet more garden stuff!!)

Sunil 26/07/2013 - 6:37 pm

Hi Mrs Mac, that’s a good idea, it’s already getting to be a bit of a problem now as it’s easy to shut the flowering stems in the car door. Reversing out the next morning might end up uprooting the shrub and driving off with it attached to the car.

gardeninacity 25/07/2013 - 9:24 pm

Or you can take the car to a really good body shop and have them make it narrower.

Sunil 26/07/2013 - 6:38 pm

Hi Jason, I could do that but the car is old a beat up so it wouldn’t be worth the cost to get the work done!

Casa Mariposa 27/07/2013 - 5:15 am

I just pulled out a bunch of miserable lavender that were being crushed by other plants. I need to find a spot for new plants but don’t think I have a spot available, which is depressing. I may just have to stick them in pots. As for the car, when the lavender eats your driveway, just have limo’s pick you up and take you everywhere. :o)

Sunil Patel 28/07/2013 - 7:53 pm

Hi Tammy, I would have thought that lavender would do pretty well in your garden. If you don’t have a spot then you can always make one – that short green stuff you have you keep mowing comes up very easily to create new/more border space.

Emily @ gardening through a lens 29/07/2013 - 7:48 pm

I’m definitely a “la la la” gardener. And I think the car could make a fabulous planter. Garden art?

Sunil 29/07/2013 - 8:44 pm

Hi Emily, that’s a great idea! As it is I might be able to get away with putting a window box on the boot, but that might become a problem any time we want to open it.


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