Lavender as a bed edging: What to consider

lavender as bed edging
lavender as bed edging © Achim Scholty / Pixabay

Lavender is an extremely popular garden plant and is often planted to accompany roses. However, the Mediterranean semi-shrub also cuts a very good figure as a bed border.

When it comes to edging beds with plants, every amateur gardener probably immediately thinks of boxwood. The true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), however, few have in mind, although the Mediterranean semi-shrub also has its qualities in this discipline. In addition, it is quite robust and is hardly affected by diseases and pests.

Bed edging with lavender: when is the time for planting?

Since lavender is generally somewhat sensitive to frost, you should refrain from planting it in the fall. The half-shrub needs a few months until it is well rooted and ready for its first winter outdoors. Therefore, the ideal time for planting is spring. Also important is choosing a compact-growing variety. For bed borders, the lavender ‘Blue Cushion’ is especially recommended. This is one of the lowest varieties around, it grows to just under 40 centimeters (16 in) tall and has a nice closed growth habit.

If you want to create a border of lavender, you must first deeply loosen the soil. However, do not work in humus-rich planting soil, but better sand or chippings, so that the soil becomes well-drained and does not become soggy in winter. This is crucial for the winter hardiness of the plants. You should also refrain from fertilizing the lavender with compost or other organic products.

First, place the lavender young plants along with the pot at the correct distance. 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 in) from each other is ideal. Then, plant out all the plants one at a time, using a planting shovel to set them in the loosened soil and press the root balls down well. Be careful not to “sink” the root balls. The surface should be about level with the soil in the bed. Finally, water thoroughly.

How to cut a lavender edging?

Pruning lavender edging is basically no different than classic lavender pruning. As soon as the lavender has faded, you make a post-flowering cut in the summer. This involves trimming the long flower shoots that protrude from the leaf bushes with hedge clippers. Then, in the spring before new shoots emerge, another light topiary is done. Trim the sides as well to give the bed border an even semi-circular shape. It is important to prune every year. Once a lavender edging is out of shape, it becomes problematic because the semi-shrubs do not tolerate the rejuvenation pruning that is then necessary, down to the perennial non-leafy wood

Which lavender should I plant as a border?

Use primarily hardy cultivars of lavender, as bed borders if you are in a more rugged area. French lavender or white flowering varieties are usually not as frost tolerant and could come to harm in the winter without protection. They are better suited as a container plant or annual bedding.

What are the benefits of lavender?

Lavender gives your garden a Mediterranean flair during its blooming period and thus provides a little atmosphere of vacation. Depending on the variety chosen, it gives off a sometimes quite intense scent. While the French lavender has a particularly pleasant scent, the spike or Portuguese lavender is said to be able to keep aphids away from your beds with its camphor-like smell.

Where does lavender grow and bloom best?

As a Mediterranean herb, lavender prefers a sunny location, it loves light and warmth. Persistent moisture is not good for it, so the soil should be rather sandy and dry. Lavender does not require a lot of nutrients, so it can be planted in lean soil.

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