I am on the north Cornish coast this week, and walking along the cliff tops this morning, my eye was caught by a tiny rock sea-lavender growing in the most inhospitable location imaginable: facing the wild Atlantic Ocean with all its accompanying salt winds and spray, it was growing in a crevice in the slate.
Then I thought of our own sea lavenders at home. Unlike Monty Don we don’t have a jewel garden but if we did, this limonium (accompanied in my photograph by the startling Dianthus carthusianorum) would probably top the list of likely occupants.The tiny blue-purple flowers of our Hungarian lavender are held aloft on well branched stems, sparkling in the sun and glistening after rain: they look good whatever the weather.
This semi-evergreen hardy perennial likes well-drained soil, and despite its common name, is no relation of lavender. It makes excellent dried flowers as they retain their colour so well.
Another equally good species, which I found at Marchants Hardy Plants, is L.chilwellii. If you’d like to replicate the one in my second photo, then look no further than L.bellidifolium which is a sturdy and compact little plant, no taller than 20cms when in flower, and looks especially good in a container.
NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 inc P & P and is for sale in our online shop here.
More NB If you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.