The gorgeous scent and colour of lavender flowers make it one of the most relaxing, evocative plants in the garden. Lavender attracts butterflies and bees – lavender honey is delicious. In Italy and all across Europe flowers are cut, dried and used in cushions and posies to perfume the house. In the kitchen they can be used to flavour home-made biscuits, cakes and ice-cream and when crystalized with sugar make great cake decorations. Used sparingly, lavender also adds a distinctive flavour to pork and lamb.
Perennial. Sow into pots of seed compost, 2.5cm deep, from mid-February to mid-September. When 3-4 cm high plant outside in a sunny position or into a larger pot filled with potting compost. To keep mature plants in good shape prune in late summer removing flower stalks and about 2.5cm of the current seasons growth, ensuring some green growth remains.