Planting a lavender bank

future lavender bankJust twenty more shrubs and my lavender bank is complete. Well, that’s not strictly true. By the end of the day and the end of the row I realised that I am two plants short. Grrr.

Mind you, finding lavender here in the south east of France is easier than tracking down lemon grass or lime leaves.  So it will be easy to finish the row.  Lavenders are our ground cover shrubs.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I made this bed way back in the early years. (Have a look on the Farm Tour section of the site and you will see the lavender bank looking stunning in summer).  But it was never complete as I hadn’t filled in this last bit of the bank.

Here is a shot of it last autumn when I marked it out.

There is a fence that cuts the bank in two – and an excellent deer deterrent it is too.  This last little quadrant lies on the potager side of the bank.

And armed with a trowel, and some gloves (for once) I set to finishing the job. 20plants

I had already dug the area over once, so I didn’t have stones to contend with.

And I had already planted one hundred drumstick alliums in between where I wanted the lavenders to sit.

So with two full buckets of water soaking each plant thoroughly I worked my way along.

The place was of course infested with weeds. That only took two weeks of spring warmth.  And the weeds had to be removed by hand and I had to avoid the poppies.  I love poppies and this potager and any bare soil around it can become delightfully infested.  So I chose which plants could stay (and they get quite large) and which were just in the way.

waterforlavenderI’m going to do the Filippi method again for these shrubs. Watering only every fortnight and then putting a whole bucket of water over each plant.  So I had to make sure I had a wide enough planting hole.  Easy for the plants on the lower rung.  But devilish on the steeper slope above.

Luckily I managed it with a bit of judicious rock placement. And I even avoided an ants nest which I disturbed halfway along.

Artur is never far away when there is a bucket of water to try and drink from. Even one with soil, floaty bits of mulch and random lavender stalks.  But he didn’t stay long. The day was warm and he was in search of shade.

All I need to do now, apart from adding the missing two far right shrubs, is to mulch the area thoroughly. It will be a waste of a good afternoon planting and weeding to have to do it all again in a few weeks time.