11th July 2016
Herb gardening was given quite the advert this weekend at one of Central London’s many RHS shows, Hampton Court Flower Show.
With many herbs such as the Origanum (oregano) and Lavandula (lavenders) famalies flowering particularly well this year – great news for bees! – it was no surprise that growers such as Hooksgreen Herbs were so proud to be showcasing their herbs this year. July’s flowering herbs featured prominently all around at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show with an emphasis on those herbs that look and taste good.
For those of us concerned about how future generations are being introduced to gardening and horticulture, there was some particularly encouraging news to come out of the Central London RHS Hampton Court Flower Show this year. A new initiative this year was ‘Family Saturday’. This initiative saw activities aimed at children and families such as story time, a family trail, and a selection child-oriented cookery classes. Encouraging children to participate in cooking is also a great way of introducing them to the variety of herbs that are available and herb gardening!
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Twickel Purple’
Origin: Native to the Mediterranean
Cropping: The essential oil from this herb is well known to have properties that repel insects, encourage rest, and help to ease headaches.
Scent: The Twickel Purple is a particularly aromatic herb to grow in your garden. It grows to between twenty and forty centimetres tall. The beautiful and highly scented flowers sit atop some stunning grey-green foliage.
Structure: With leafless stems reaching between ten and thirty centimetres long and wonderful oblong dark purple flowers, it is no wonder that this herb is well utilised by garden designers to create structure within their gardens. The Twickel Purple is also evergreen, so a brilliant plant for year-round interest.
Twickel Purple can be a stunning addition to any garden and is happiest when planted in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.
To keep Lavandulas looking at their best, a hard cut back, once they have finished flowering, is recommended. It is also suggested that these herbs should be replaced in your garden every three to four years. If you are gardening in Central London, the warm air may mean that your Lavandula herbs last a little longer.
With an RHS rating H5, meaning that this lavender is fully hardy and will survive a cold winter, this herb really has it all!
July’s top tips for your Lavender:
Harvest the flowers
Now is the perfect time to be collecting lavender flowers to make oil.
With the wet, damp, and weather we have been experiencing recently, herbs such as the Lavandulas should be cropping well. Unfortunately, these conditions also bring with them the risk of mildew on your plants. Mulching and watering well reduces the chance of infection. If you spot any powdery mildew on your herbs, remove the affected shoots immediately and destroy them to decreases the risk of future infections.
Whether you are in Central London or anywhere else in the UK, herb gardening is a very enjoyable and tasty past time to be involved with; from a small pot of oregano in your kitchen to an entire lavender hedge!