Plants that have become garden icons risk going out of fashion. However, when they have gained that iconic status because of their inherent genius, that risk disappears. Lavender is as much at home alongside the polished concrete of a modernist landscape as it is edging the borders of a cottage-style garden.
Few plants are so adaptable and so welcome in so many styles of garden. Plant, say, a row of Lavender Dwarf Blue in silver metal containers and you are as contemporary as you could want – choose terracotta instead and you evoke centuries of English gardening tradition.
Even Lavender’s unique scent transcends both time and preconceptions. Lavender bath cubes may be associated with one’s more elderly and matronly relatives but Lavender shower gel is popular with all ages. Lavender has an innate ability to adapt and be adapted – helped, no doubt, by the breeders who provide a constant flow of distinctive Lavender hybrids and cultivars.
As mentioned in previous posts, Lavender is an interesting culinary alternative to Rosemary and avid viewers of cookery programmes on the telly will notice that such culinary possibilities are mentioned with increasing frequency. The BBC Recipe website lists 31 with ‘Lavender’ in their title.
Lavender’s position in the garden is unassailable. Since we started many years ago, the longest car journey a customer has made to collect his plants is from Cornwall. And the plant he collected – Lavender x chaytoriae Richard Gray. As the Michelin guides have it – a Lavender vaut le detour.
Lavender is a special plant whose future is in the hands of specialist growers and the gardens of everyone. To start or extend your love affair with fashionable Lavender.