There’s a new scent-sational lavender that has recently been released to brighten up your winter days.
Lavandula pedunculata with Love packs a pretty big punch for a compact plant. Growing to only 60cm high and wide, the pink/mauve flowers stand high above the foliage and give the bees a little something to look forward to over the winter months.
This particular lavender has been bred in Australia and is very adapted to long, dry spells.
All lavenders need to be grown in full sun in free-draining soils. Over the winter months they can survive on rainfall but in summer you will need to deep-water them once a week if they are established, twice if they are newly planted. Rather than let your lavender plants get woody and leggy, prune them after each flowering flush to encourage new growth. A pair of hedging shears is ideal.
Lavenders are an essential part of any food-production garden to keep the bees around for pollination when not much else is in flower. They are also a great plant if you have kids; they love picking the flowers and making little posies. You can make sleep pillows from the leaves and decorate cakes with the flowers.
Other plants to plant now:
• Plant out lilium bulbs for spring flowers and you will have them for years. Put them in with autumn leaves, compost and cow manure.
• Add a splash of colour to the native garden with Chorizema cordatum, the brilliant orange, pink and yellow flowers that I put in my “blow your eyeballs out” category. They brighten up any winter’s day. Make sure the soil is improved with small amounts of clay and compost. They prefer to be grown in dappled light or shade.
© The West Australian
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First published in The West Australian June 20, 2014.