Garden Photo of the Day

Growing Baskets Full of Lavender

Lavender and other flowers feed pollinators and more

Today’s photos come from Eileen deCamp in Charlottesville, Virginia.

I love growing lavender (Lavandula species and hybrids), but it can be challenging in our Virginia climate with humidity, clay soil, and rain! Here is a photo of a gathering basket I found at an antique shop filled mostly with ‘Super Blue’, ‘Melissa’, and Hidcote lavender. You can see the Melissa lavender bush at left, with Munstead lavender in the back. These are all great culinary lavenders. I love making shortbread and ice cream and adding lavender to peach cobbler and blueberry jam! YUM!

growing lavenderA glorious harvest of fragrant lavender.

Honeybees enjoy lavender at least as much as humans do.

Mexican sunflowerTraffic jam on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia, annual) as a hummingbird and a butterfly both try and get a sip of the nectar.

CosmosCosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus, annual). This wonderful annual is easy to grow from seed and gives loads of flowers in return for very little work.

pink cosmosClose-up of a particularly rich-colored cosmos. If you save seed from your favorite plants of cosmos each year, you’ll get more in the colors you like best.


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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/30/2019

    I envy you your success in growing such fine looking lavender plants, Eileen. You obviously have the fine tuned knowledge and discipline to prune them at the right time to keep them so fresh and pleasing looking. I let them get all leggy with woody stems and then they kind of break apart. Then, sadly, I give up because their ugliness offends me and I know it's all my very own fault. I live in east TN and my growing conditions are much like yours. Kudos again for your beautiful plants.

  2. btucker9675 10/30/2019

    I, too, envy your lavender - here in the Charlotte, NC area, the "soil" is solid red clay and even when I amended before planting, lavenders just gave up and died. I now have two in large pots and they're doing pretty well. In New Jersey, I had several large lavenders that were many years old and beautiful - always filled with bumblebees when in bloom!

  3. User avater
    simplesue 10/30/2019

    You sure know how to grow some healthy and happy Lavender!
    I've never had any success...I think because I didn't know how to prune it properly and not enough sun...but you sure do inspire me to give it another try! That basket filled with the lavender is such a classically beautiful garden photo!

  4. Cenepk10 10/30/2019

    Ohhhh how I love lavender... & I can grow it here in Georgia... but only for a little while - then it dies. It’s so finicky & I’ve tried nearly every trick in the book ! P. Allan Smith suggests growing it in a concrete block. ?. Haven’t tried that yet. Great suggestion to collect Cosmos seeds. Normally - I let them seed themselves- but only the gold ones relentlessly come back. I have some gorgeous magenta ones in a pot on my deck that are 3 rd generation plants this yr ! Snagging some of those seeds. Thanks for posting!

  5. toweringpines 10/30/2019

    I have written an article on lavender for our local Master Gardener newsletter and would love to use your photo of lavender. Seeking your permission.

  6. cheryl_c 10/30/2019

    I think your post could well be called 'pollinator paradise'. I especially love the photo of the hummer waiting her turn at the sunflower! I tried those this year for the first time, and will do it again. Thanks for the tip on the cosmos seed- I do that with zinnias, but never thought to do it with cosmos. Thanks for sharing your lavender photos, too.

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