Thursday, 31 March 2011


Lavender is your quintessentially British plant. I always expect to see it in most gardens in the UK.

Not only do the butterflies love it but you can use the flower heads to make tea before bedtime to help you snooze and you can dry the flower heads and put them in tiny cushions like Grandma used to make - then put them in your drawers to make your clothes smell nice - or on your pillow before bedtime to again help you sleep.

Foolishly I've ignored my English Lavender for quite some time without pruning it and so it has become woody and unattractive.

Woody and Unattractive

I am disgusted with myself.

The problem is, I can't really find any one argument to say when is best to prune or how best to prune.


Fortunately I've found a lady on YouTube who seems to know what she's talking about (I think it might be her American accent that inspires confidence in her ability - - I'm going with her:) ).

I read somewhere that all silvery shrubs - such as Curry plant and Lavender - should be pruned around May time. So now is probably a good time to prune - and then again you should dead-head in late summer after flowering.

I think.

As for my Lavender, I think it's time to say goodbye. I've neglected it too much, it's beyond help.

Here's a love song to say goodbye.

Marillion - Lavender


  1. I too love lupins. I live in the loam-rich, well drained soils of Dalston/Shacklewell and have tried for many years, to date - without success, to grow lupins from seeds and from seedlings.

    Travelling on the North London Link (as it was then) from Dalston Kingsland to Highbury & Islington, I always enjoyed - with a touch of envy - the vast expanse of lupins which extended the full length of the abandoned platform at Highbury Station. There were perhaps thousands of tall, colourful lupin plants.

    One drunken night, about 20-odd years ago, a mate and I talked in the pub of how wonderful it would be to liberate some of these fully formed wild (or feral) lupins for our garden. We clambered down onto the abandoned platform equipped with sharp spade, fork and pick axe. But, whether because the ground was too heavily compacted, or our drunken limbs were too weak, we were able to make little impact and we sulked away into the night, empty handed.

    Dear Glamorous Gardener,

    What has Railtrack got that I haven't?

    What can I do to make lupins grow?

    Yours, in anticipation.


  2. Sorry, that should read: I always enjoyed - with a touch of envy - the vast expanse of lupins which extended the full length of the abandoned platform at Canonbury Station.

  3. Hello John

    I have a feeling that the plant of which you speak is actually called a Buddleia. A rampant weed along railtracks of the UK but a desired flowering bush - loved by butterflies - in the US of A.

    I would suggest that you either move to the US of A so you are not outcast by the local gardening community for your desire to cover the country in rampant undesireables.

    Or, I would suggest that you learn to love Geraniums. As you are clearly unwilling to go to a garden centre and purchase plants, there are usually plenty of Geraniums up for grabs from various roundabouts throughout the country.

    You can consider yourself a Guerrilla Gardener in reverse.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Dear Glamorous Gardener,

    Yes, I am familiar with the Buddleia, which not only grows along railtracks but also, to my annoyance, in my neighbour's garden! But honest, it is Lupins which were awash on the disused platform at Canonbury station for many years, and which remain the object of my attention.

    I love the thought of Guerilla gardening in reverse (which is, sort of, what we did then) but sobriety and dotage has now rendered me a regular of gardening centres.

    As for learning to love Geraniums, I have too many of them, they flourish too well in my garden and my window boxes and they stink of cat piss (and I have a beautiful Russian Blue to fulfil that function).

    As for my "desire [for] rampant undesireables" the less said about my choice of friends, the better.

    If you have no solution to my problem I guess I'll have to continue enjoying lupins from a distance ... or find out where you live and steal yours! [Only joking about the last bit!]

    Yours, ambivalently,


  5. Sorry, they continue to evade me. Even my Lupin link didn't work properly.