Lavender is the staple plant for any sunny Mediterranean styled garden, the thin silvery leaves make it ideal for a hot climate as its water loss is kept to the minimum. However, not everyone likes the scent and if you have a shady spot, you will need to find an alternative plant. Lavender is also suitable for coastal windy sites too so long as it’s planted in full sun.
So, if you’re looking for an alternative to Lavender, here’s five lovely alternatives to use and ideas for your garden.
Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’
This was the first plant that sprang to mind, although it’s a perennial and will die back each autumn, its still a robust plant to use in any garden border or container. As you can see it has the blue spires like Lavender and the sagey/silvery leaves, but the stems are dark and angular which I really like. These plants will flower from June until October – just cut down the flower heads at the base once they’re starting to go over and you should get additional blooms. They love being in full sun and will grow to around 50cm tall. If you want to move away from the blue/mauve flower colour, there are hundreds of Salvias to choose from and in every colour too.
Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’
Another perennial that loves a sunny spot. It grows to around 1m tall and loved by bees. This plant may need staking when it reaches maturity as I’ve known a storm wreck the flowers. Such a beautiful plant in the border. Flowers from June to October and prefers a well-drained soil.
It’s proper name is Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ and I think it’s so pretty with it’s silvery white stems and violet blue flowers. Its a very striking plant, and a good one to have as it flowers in August to September. A tall variety, so its great for the back of a border at 1.2m.
Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’
It’s commonly known as catmint which explains why my cat loves to roll around in it. This is also a perennial with lovely silvery foliage and striking violet blue flower spikes from June to July. Prefers full sun in a well-drained soil. Grows to around 90cm tall.
And my final suggestion is a shrubby veronica –
Hebe ‘Garden Beauty Blue’
This evergreen shrub grows to around 50cm tall and creates a dome shape of glossy leaves so it’s ideal for the front of a border and is also suitable for containers too. It has bright blue flowers from June to July and prefers full sun or part shade in a moist but well drained soil.
Depending on the width of your border, the shorter plants are ideal to use along the front edge or middle of your border. The taller varieties are better suited to the middle or back of the border. Planting companions can vary depending on your style and colour preference, but here’s a few ideas for you:
A harmonious colour scheme uses plants with similar shades such as Heuchera ‘Wild Rose’ or ‘Obsidian’ with its purple leaves that will look great next to the Salvia and show off the dark stems. I love David Austin roses, so a vibrant pink such as Princess Alexandra would look fabulous in any sunny border.
Or if you want a complementary colour scheme, use colours that are opposite to each other such as Echinacea ‘Sympathy’ with its beautiful vivid orange daisy type flowers and dark conehead centres.
Alternatively my ready-made garden design kits take the guesswork out of what plant goes where and looks good together. These kits will help you easily create the WOW factor in your garden. I have designed them so you can rock your inner Monty Don and be the envy of all your friends with a fabulous garden! No green fingered expertise required – it’s all worked out for you, saving you oodles of time and stress.
The shopping list enables you to buy the plants online or from your local garden centre easily without having to read lots of tiny plant labels with unpronounceable botanical names.
I’ve chosen plants that are simple to look after too and will provide enjoyment for many years to come.
So if there’s a lavender plant included, you know the alternative!
There are 8 ready-made design kits to choose from – for more information on these kits click this link Ready-Made Garden Design Kits