A Love Affair with Lavender

09 Sep, 2022

It’s one of the most familiar garden favourites in Aotearoa. Find out more about the plant that suddenly everyone has a new found love for.

Lavender is one of the New Zealand gardener's favourite perennials and a popular addition to every type of garden. From the classic cottage garden to planting en masse in a contemporary garden, lavender will thrive and look spectacular wherever you plant it.

Hardy and drought tolerant, lavender is a great inclusion to the garden in the Auckland area where the summers are long and dry. Although it technically flowers in spring and summer, from Auckland north it’s not unusual for certain varieties of English and French lavenders to flower all year round. fragrant flowers are loved by bees as much as gardeners making it a brilliant way to encourage these busy little pollinators to your backyard.

The Spanish lavenders have the bunny ear flowers, and more closely observe the seasons, unlike their hardier cousins. They should be pruned back hard in the autumn after their final flowering to stop them from getting scruffy. The French and English lavenders don’t need quite the same level of tough love, as they hold their compact form better, but do benefit from a tidy-up in the autumn even if they’re still flowering.

Lavender is beautiful in many forms- fresh, dried and as cut flowers. Decorate your living space with beautiful bouquets of cut lavender to fill your home with its delightful scent. You can even create sachets of dried lavender to place under your pillow and let its calming fragrance promote relaxing sleep. Lavender makes a great addition to your baking for a delicious pairing with lemon, berries or mint.

Lavender you'll love

When it comes to growing lavender, it will take as much or as little love as you have to give. There are no special tricks for this hardy survivor once established, other than knowing that they hate their roots being wet, thrive in what many consider terrible soil and that they benefit from seasonal pruning. Taking the dead flowers out with a pair of secateurs or scissors and pruning back by about a third in late summer will help keep the plants looking vibrant and encourage flowering. Need help choosing the right lavender? Ask one of our expert team instore, or here are a few of our favourites.


Also known as 'bunny ears', Major is one of the most popular lavenders in NZ. This flower has bracts on the top of the buds.

Grows to 60cm x 60cm



Known as 'French lavender', Dentata has small 'toothed' leaves, perfect for a garden border or small hedge with great floral accents.

Grows to 1m x 1m.


Bee Brilliant

An early flowering variety of 'Major', this as a prolific flowering habit with deep purple flowers appearing from spring to late summer.

Grows to 50cm x 50 cm.


The Princess

Famed for vivid colour with deep pink 'bunny ear' flowers and a very long flowering time from mid-spring to mid-autumn.

Grows to 70cm x 70cm.


Deliciously Lavender

Local lavender farmers Trish and Jason Delamore have turned a love of the purple-flowered plant into a lifestyle. They work their own kind of magic at Lavender Hill in Auckland's Coatesville, putting an innovative twist on those old farming traditions. This boutique farm produces a range of essential lavender oils and dried products as well as their own olive oil. But what got us a bit excited as the sun starts to shine is their award-winning lavender-infused gin. With summer just around the corner and the scent of lavender soon to be filling the air wouldn’t it be nice to have it filling a glass too? It’s silky smooth with the juniper and orange peel you might expect, there’s also a whisper of lavender. Jason recommends pairing it with a quality tonic such as Fever Tree. Lavender Hill is open for visitors through summer with tours and tastings. It’s well worth a visit for your chance to see just how fab a field of lavender looks, maybe try the gin, and absolutely snap some amazing pics for the ‘gram.


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