An Extract from our Scented Plants Book
Everyone loves lavender. As a garden plant, it’s reliable, hardy and attractive, with a profuse display of soft-coloured flower spikes for months on end. As a perfume, it has a fresh, spicy and irresistible scent. As a healing adjunct, it soothes aches and pains, and relieves nervous tension.
Lavender has been a popular cultivated plant for many centuries and is perhaps the most common, and certainly one of the most versatile herbs you could ever consider growing. It can be grown as a shrub, a tub plant or a hedge; you can keep it cut low or let it grow to over a metre tall, depending on the species. The flowers and leaves can be used for medicinal, craft, cosmetic and even culinary purposes.
Just about everyone knows the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) with its soft grey-green leaves and strongly scented mauve flowers, but there are numerous other species and varieties with a range of flower colours and leaf shapes. They are excellent as cottage garden plants, as semi-formal hedges, and as feature plants in Mediterranean-style courtyards.