Lavender blue (dilly dilly)


The first winter we were here, one of walls in front of the top terrace on the sea-side of our garden collapsed. Our attentions were focused on the house at the time but when our kitchen extension was being built we took the opportunity to have new retaining walls built slightly further away – enlarging the top terrace – and filled the gap with the spoil from the groundworks for the extension. It was very messy for a very long time…

We um-ed and ah-ed for quite a while about what to plant on this terrace – it’s south-east facing, gets bashed by the prevailing salty wind and the soil is poor and chalky. We also didn’t want anything that would grow too tall because it would interrupt the view of the sea from the house. Finally we decided on a simple, formal planting scheme of lawn with a lavender border along the front edge. We found a specialist lavender nursery not too far away and went over to see which species would suit us best. There are lots… Lots and lots of lovely lavenders but we plumped for a hardy one – ‘Miss Dawnderry’, an angustifolia with dark purple-blue flowers.

I planted the plug lavenders late last summer and they stayed the same size all through the autumn, the winter and this is what they looked like this spring. Still small...

I planted the plug lavenders late last summer and they stayed the same size all through the autumn, over the winter and this is what they looked like this spring. Still very small…

This is what they look like now! They've put on an amazing amount of growth in three to four months and are smothered in flowers (and bees).

But this is what they look like now! They’ve put on an amazing amount of growth in three to four months and are smothered in flowers (and bees).


There are so many flowers that I cut an armful yesterday (dodging the bees).

There are so many flowers that I cut an armful yesterday (while dodging the bees).


And we now have jugful on the kitchen table.


27 thoughts on “Lavender blue (dilly dilly)

  1. I love lavender. I have two lavender plants in the front yard but they’re getting old and aren’t flowering as well anymore. I really want to replace them next spring. Your lavender looks very pretty in the jug.


  2. Gosh – your lavender has done so well! I underplanted roses in the rose garden with lavender grown from plugs but although they grey they barely flowered and always looked a mess, so i have taken them out. When I see your lovely neat little plants and others like them I wonder where I was going wrong!


    1. I suspect that lavenders do not like being underneath other plants as they do like sunshine but I may be wrong. They do, however, like fairly poor, free-draining soil, whereas roses like rich soil and a good soaking – this could possibly be the root of your problem.


  3. What a lovely deep colour – mine look rather insipid in comparison. I’m not very good with lavender as they spend the first years tiny, then shoot up and get straggly because I don’t prune them properly and then we get a wet winter and they die after sitting in our cold, wet clay soil for months.
    What a fantastic view with the grass, then lavender and sea behind.


    1. Thank you Anne. I think lavenders wouldn’t like sitting in wet soil but you could try adding lots of grit to your clay where you want them, then replanting them deeper than they currently are. I’ve heard that this promotes lots of new growth.


  4. How lovely the Lavender looks and what an amazing terrace you have with wonderful sea views. I love Lavender but like many people I am not ruthless enough with pruning. My hedge has got very straggly, but this year it is gong to have a proper ‘back and sides.’ Kill or cure. I have plenty of cuttings lined up in case it is ‘ kill’.


    1. Thank you Chloris. You do have to be quite heavy with the pruning to stop lavenders getting all leggy. One solution for yours might be to dig them up and replant them much deeper, then cut them back (but not into the wood). This would hide the straggly bits at the base (under the soil) and may give your plants a new lease of life. Good luck.


  5. I love this sort of very simple clean planting. Your dark blue lavender is gorgeous and I have made a note of its name. I didn’t realise you had such spectacular sea views. I’m guessing your lovely wall and vegetable garden is on the landward side.


    1. You guessed right. The house faces the sea with terraces on the sea-side and the flat garden with wall is at the back. We are averting our eyes from the lower terraces for the time being…! Have a look at Downderry Nursery’s website (link from post) – they know their lavenders.


  6. Wonderful terraces – so envious of your sea views.

    Thank you for the link to Downderry Nursery – fascinating reading about all the different varieties. I did some research and planted ‘Imperial Gem’ this spring but was disappointed because the flowers became quite tatty very quickly. On the plus side they look terrific now that I have pruned them because they have a bushy habit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My grandmother had a ‘blue garden’ that was filled with bluebells, grape hyacinths, delphiniums, lavender and cornflowers, according to the season. Your beautiful lavender hedge reminds me of it.


  8. What a colour that lavender is! I’ve noted the name. We have a narrow border which is currently in deep shade but won’t be if we remove more of the trees that obscure the view to the level below. I had a lavender hedge in mind. The space is too narrow to have anything other than a straight line of plants. It’ll either be lavender or the short Verbena bonariensis (Lollipop).
    You certainly wouldn’t want anything obscuring your lovely view!


    1. The great thing about lavender for your border is that it would be there all year round. Isn’t the Verbena herbaceous? Or not necessarily hardy? It is lovely, though – I’m a huge fan of the tall one.


    1. Thanks Gillian. I’m still not used to the view and we’ve been here for nearly three years. It can be quite distracting – I find myself spending quite a lot of time looking at it!


  9. We couldn’t do without lavender in our garden either! That looks a wonderful nursery in a fantastic location and not far from where I went to school! Your sea view is amazing it’s just as well the lavender can stand up to the salt air! Sarah x


  10. What fantastic views you have; the deep blue of the lavender must look wonderful against the backdrop of the sea. Don’t forget to keep the lavender well pruned; they go woody very quickly and don’t grow back from old wood. The lavender also looks great in the vase.


  11. I’ve just harvested lavender from one particularly fragrant but elderly bush and put some in a drawstring bag by my pillow. Never slept better! But I’m grateful for the nursery link as it is rather an insipid colour and I need a new border of dark lavenders for next year.


Please leave a comment if you'd like to. I love reading them. Making connections with people is the nicest part of blogging.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.