Bees absolutely LOVE lavender! 

Lavender become bare and leggy if left unpruned.

Lavender is best cut after flowering in late summer.  Prune out about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of this year’s growth.

After frosts in spring plants can be trimmed again to tidy up plants and remove any winter damage.  Plants pruned by this regime will stay more compact and flower for longer.


Lavender with bees (22 July 2020)

“Legend tells how a certain grey Mediterranean shrub was used as a clothes drier by the Virgin Mary to spread the (p.99) infant Jesus’s washed clothes out to dry.  After she had collected the tiny garments from the plant, it was left with the most beautifully fragrant perfume as a reward.  The plant is lavender, Lavandula, the name coming from the Latin lavare, ‘to wash,’ which reinforces the legend.  No one really knows when it first came to Britain. The Greeks used the oil from the leaves in their bathing rituals, as did the Romans.  The plant is indigenous to Italy (and around the Mediterranean), so it could have been introduced to Britain by the Romans or have been brought here with the monastic orders in any of the preceding centuries.  Oddly enough, it was neither on Aelfric’s list nor was it one of the plants which Alexander Neckham (1157-1217) named in his De Naturis Rerum.  Certainly there is evidence that Lavandula was here in 1265, when it appears in a manuscript of that date.  (Now in the British Library, the manuscript was one collected by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, in the eighteenth century.)

The lavender we are talking of was Lavandula spica, now L. angustifolia, which accurately describes the shape of the narrow, rather lance-like leaves. Like thyme, this would have been a strewing herb for the house and was another garden plant which bees found (and still find) irresistible.  There are some twenty-five species of this aromatic evergreen shrub and they all live in hot and dry rocky habitats stretching from the Canary Islands through the Mediterranean into Asia and India.  In England we can only manage to grow a few of them;..” (The Origin of Plants, pp. 98-99).