I spotted this planting scheme at Stourhead the other day. Lavender is interplanted with Verbena bonariensis and alliums, extending the season of interest. I might well nick this idea for my front garden, which looks lovely when the lavender is in flower, but a bit boring the rest of the time.
This is my front garden, a couple of metres square and planted by the previous owners. For a few weeks in July it looks like a pint-sized patch of Provence and is much remarked-upon. I love it.
Compared to this time last year, it has attracted very few bees – last year, dozens and dozens of them were buzzing all over it; this year, I’ve only spotted two or three at a time. I hope they’re simply getting a ready supply of nectar elsewhere, and it’s not a sign of bee decline.
At some point the lavender will have to go, as it’s getting a bit leggy in places. But I might just plant more – it’s incredibly wind tolerant (the wind howls up from the valley sometimes), and is neatly evergreen when it’s not in flower. It even manages to obscure my recycling crate.
This garden is tiny – no more than a couple of metres square – but it’s managed to squeeze in a silver birch, some evergreen shrubs (lavender and rosemary) and a wisteria. The colour palette is greens, whites, purple and greys (the white bark is going to look great in winter) and it’s low maintenance and drought tolerant too. Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best.