Attractive to look at and much loved by bees and butterflies, these aromatic features are easy to grow, requiring no feeding and little maintenance beyond an annual clip as the flowers begin to fade.
Young plants need to be firmly planted. Do this by gently pressing soil in toward the roots themselves rather than pressing downward on the rootball.
Thoroughly dig over the ground removing large stones and all traces of perennial weeds. Add sand and small stones to heavy soil, but do not add any fertilizer or bulky organic matter unless your soil is very sandy.
Dig holes a little larger than the plant pots and, if using larger lavenders such as "Hidcote" or "Munstead," space your plants about 12 to 15-3/4 inches apart. Space smaller varieties 10 inches apart.
Firm in your plants so the soil is at the same level as the compost. On heavy soil, place the plants 3/4 inch proud of the soil and add a layer of compost with sand and stones sufficient to just cover the plant's rootball.
Water in well immediately after planting and keep moist over their first summer or until established. Try to avoid pouring water over the top of the plant and direct it instead to the surrounding soil at the base.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs
©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009