Lavandula Angustifolia Munstead and other Lavenders
The Lavender Angustifolia in our front raised border reached the end of its lifespan. This plant had edged the rose bed for four years.
We will start of with the common form of Lavender, Angustifolia often referred to as English Lavender.
The very robust angustifolia, in spite of being pruned each year started to look very woody and also had much less living shoots. Of course the very severe Winter of 2010 did not help. This deterioration is not unusual with Lavender, although I thought that I might just get another year out of the plants
Since planting this hedge of angustifolia the amount of butterflies that came to the garden increased dramatically. As well as the more common species of butterfly which we would normally get, we more regularly got visited by the Peacock, and Painted lady which previously we seldom would see in the garden.
Angustifolia is very much the common form of English Lavender which can grow to a height of 4ft. In our garden it hung over the wall of the raised border looking quite impressive but kind of overwhelmed the bed of the HT Rose Laura Anne.
Plant your Angustifolia in a position which gets full sun. Help to prevent your plants from getting woody by pruning back after flowers have gone over.
Lavender will find its way back in our garden soon, the one below we spotted in Raemoir garden centre in the Summer last year really caught our eye, (lavender angustifolia blue cushion) what a beauty it is.
This compact free flowering form is said to be fully hardy and would be expected to flourish in the Aberdeen area. The flowers start off a deeper shade of blue lightening as they age but still a clear blue and not peely wally like some of the varieties, height is about 45cm/18 inches. this is one which at some time I will find room for.
This set up gives the Roses a little more breathing space. We did miss the Lavender and decided to plant three of the dependable variety Lavendula Angustifolia Munstead, they are placed at the very bottom of this raised border and I wouldn’t be surprised if at some time we replant the Lavender hedge in full again this time using the variety Munstead.
Munstead is very much shorter than the standard form of Angustifolia and our plants in their second year have clumped up nicely reaching a height of about 18 inches.
The purple/blue flowers are extremely attractive, a little paler in colour than the more often seen variety Hidcote. We have had Hidcote in the garden in the past but it is not as hardy as Munstead which is the one which I would recommend for the Aberdeen area.
As you can see above the variety Munstead is really more suited for this raised border than was the form of Angustifolia which you see at the top of this page. Well I am saying its more suited, perhaps you may not agree.
At one time we had great difficulty getting Lavender to come through the Winter. The main problem was planting in an area that did not have the very good draining ability that is absolutely essential for Lavender. This position where they now are, just hard up against the wall of the raised border is just ideal. To make sure drainage was sufficient I added a fair amount of grit to the soil when planting and I top dressed with the grit also.
Another important issue with Lavender is the pruning. The flowers of Munstead first open in early July and go on until September. I don’t like to be too severe with the pruning as an early Winter may cause a fair amount of damage. I cut back the faded bloom stems in September then in mid April I trim the plants back further taking care not to go too far into the old wood.
Last year, around mid August along with my young grandson Curtis we went off to visit Balmedie Beach. Its about seven miles north of Aberdeen and I honestly think it must be one of the most outstanding beaches in the UK Donald Trump also seems to think so also, considering the money he has spent developing a golf course within the area.
When I was young in the 60s Balmedie beach was a favourite place where we would picnic. You may think with our cool weather, that visits were infrequent. However large sand dunes are plentiful and provide marvellous shelter making temperatures between 65 and 70f feel comfortably warm.
This year also in mid August when our eldest daughter was visiting with her family she decided that we should head off to Balmedie, it was 7pm a bit on the late side but off we went anyway. They live in Cheshire and I think she wanted to impress my son in law, plus she has difficulty sitting still for more than fifteen minutes. We arrived at our destination about thirty minutes later, here is a few pictures of our early evening trip.
Not much further
The Gulls seem quite content.
On our way back to the car we came across this. A second world war beach look out (Pillbox)
Time to go home.
We only have four Daylilies in the garden, some years they are late in coming into bloom. Two of them didnt stand a chance as they were completely crowded out with our habit of over planting an area, I will pot them up and see if I can find better positions for them next year. Two of them did manage to start blooming in mid August. I don’t know the names of them though.
Looks like we will have some Tomatoes from the greenhouse
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