So goodbye lavender edge......

Let me rewind to 2007 when the front garden looked like this:
I declared this front garden boring and decided a knot garden was what it needed.  I sometimes wonder if I should have left well alone.  Yes it was dull, but the front garden seems to have been a constant battle I have never really won.  I could just have mown it once a fortnight, yet that was just not what I wanted to do.
The garden was laid out as tiny box cuttings in the spring of 2008; by 2013 it looked like this.  Yes even then the lavender hedge was a bit sprawly but it had a lot to redeem itself with.  In the summer it was always alive with bees and butterflies and it was a joy to brush past as the scent would be released.  I did love the lavender edge.
But then the lavender edge got old and sprawly.  I kept it pruned but it was long past its best.  So the other day I was weeding under the (out of shot) Magnolia tree and I started to weed along under the lavender edging.  This was going quite well, there has been no rain for a couple of days so the soil is quite friable and weeds were coming out relatively easily.  Then, the new year mood hit me, why was I persisting with this edging that was way past its best?  I have been thinking about removing it for far longer than is reasonable, a good couple of years.  My hesitation was not because I thought it could be redeemed, it was because I could not decide what to put in its place.
The muse was upon me, 'out with the old, in with the new' I declared to no-one in particular, and I dug up the first lavender bush. 

Work commenced well and quite quickly.  Day 1 I removed the edge from the side lawn and then I weeded along to remove the weeds had invaded around the roots.
Day 2 was remove the edge from around the Knot Garden itself.  This edge is a couple of years older than the side lawn edge and so even more scrubby.
This is a prime example of the 'weeds' lurking in the edging.  Many small trees and also brambles.  It was a double-issue of the lavender getting old and the problem of weed removal that made the edging so problematic to me.
Whoomp! they were all removed.
Look at how much path I have recovered!  It is twice as wide as it was.  I am sure delivery people will be very grateful.
To celebrate my achievement the sun appeared, which was very welcome.
I am pleased with the results.  I saved one lavender plant right at the top of the side lawn, it will not replace all that the bees have lost but it is better than nothing.  I will ponder on this further as I am keen to support the bees.
I did the check from the bedroom window, a very important check for me.  This helps me guage what it looks like from a distance and whether it is working or not.  I remain pleased with the results.

Hang on a minute I hear you say, you mentioned above that your delay was due to you not knowing what to put in its place, so what are you going to plant?

............ well......

I still do not know.  I have a couple of possible ideas that are brewing gently, but I think I have to live with it for a while and work out what I want to do.  I always say the garden tells me what it wants me to do and so I am going to listen to it for inspiration.


  1. Removing a plant is much harder than just buying or growing a new one. But it is necessary. No room in our lives for plants we don't, or no longer, love!

    1. This is very true, space is too important to waste it on plants that are not pulling their weight

  2. We have lavender hedges and replace them with new lavender plants about every 5-6 years. We cut the back each year after flowering to keep them neat. Why not try another more compact variety this time?

  3. That looks so much better already! I've seen teucrium used instead of lavender, or what about nepeta? Your cats would love it.

    1. Sadly I have never managed to get nepeta to establish, the cats love it to death!

  4. Much better aldready. What is the stick-like plant in the middle of each section of the know garden? I do envy you for your long gardening season!

  5. That does look really good. I love the knot garden, I think you've inspired me to do something with my front garden now :) Funny how a bit of weeding can result in removing a whole lavender edge, I do things like that all the time. Looking forward to see what you will replace it with.

  6. The knot garden looks wonderful. As an alternative to lavander edging, I've used Cerastium which is a doddle to maintain with excellent cover and flowering.


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