A lovely variety of old fashioned English Lavender (introduced in 1950) but with dark purple flower spikes - stunning for large planting schemes. This is a slightly more compact variety than Lavandula angustifolia growing to about 50cm. It's very easy to cultivate but the key to its longevity is pruning. This should be done as soon as the flowers start to fade n August - they can handle a hard pruning and we recommend removing one third of the plant, not just the flower spikes. Small shoots will grow a further 5cm before the plants start to go dormant in September, giving them a lush, tidy appearance through Winter. Alternatively, you can leave the spent flower heads on the plants until spring because in winter, when food for birds is scarce, birds will come to feed on the seeds - goldfinches in particular! Plants might eventually become wooded and straggly so it is best to replace a hedge after about 20 years though this is not always necessary. Lavender prefers full sun, ideally south or west facing. It is suitable for seaside gardens and poor or moderately fertile, well drained alkaline soil. Once established they are drought tolerant and they certainly do not like to be waterlogged or to sit in wet soil - plant on a soil ridge to avoid roots sitting in wet soil.