Lavender requires the soil as dry and sandy as possible, and at best even stony. In this respect, planting in the gravel bed – sometimes called a rock garden – is ideal.
A gravel bed makes little work
In addition to creating optimal conditions for your lavender plants to thrive, a gravel bed has another invaluable advantage: once it’s established, you’ll have very little work to do with it. Weeds have no chance to overgrow in such a rock garden. Lavender also benefits from this, as it can be quickly overwhelmed by unwanted growth in normal beds unless you constantly weed it. However, in very hot and dry summers, you need to make sure that the plants get enough water, that is, if necessary, should be watered.
Create a gravel bed
But before you can enjoy your little labor-intensive, but always green gravel bed, a little work awaits you: after all, the bed must first be created. A rock garden, in keeping with the needs of lavender, is best planted in sandy or gravelly soil. However, other soils are also suitable for such a type of design. To do this, first of all, according to the area of the bed, dig out a thick layer of the soil, at least 20 centimeters. The resulting hole fill with sand or gravel, which may have been mixed with a little garden soil. Loosen the substrate well with a hoe and rake it smooth. Now, if planned, you can cover a path with colored decorative gravel, and only then spread the gravel for the beds. After that, the beds can be planted.
Suitable plants for the gravel bed
In full-sun locations, the following plants harmonize with the planted lavender varieties:
- Various grasses such as lampbush grass, pampas grass or Chinese reed.
- flowering perennials such as gentian, mullein, verbena, toadflax or carnations
- ground cover roses or shrub roses
- Cherry laurel
- Plate hydrangea
- Allium (globe leek)
- strong yellow flowering yarrow
- Highland asters
- Blue rue
- Junker lily
- Girl’s Eye
Of course, the list is not exhaustive. However, the plants listed harmonize particularly well with lavender, as they all have similar needs in terms of location, soil conditions and care.
Tips & Tricks
It can also look very pretty to combine different lavender varieties in different colors. Lavenders reach different heights of growth and bloom in various shades of blue and purple, as well as white and pink. Strong yellow flowering perennials such as girl’s eye or yarrow go particularly well with this.