Lavender is English summertime

August 13, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

For me, as a long-term expat Australian, one of the best things about living in England is the very fact that we get to experience real seasons.

I grew up in Sydney and - not that I don't miss the epic spring thunderstorms and the sweet relief of the summer afternoon Southerly Buster sweeping up the harbour - I do really like having the need for properly distinct wardrobes.

And there's something so intensely Christmassy about it being cold and dark in December, with fairylights decorating the houses and high streets (sidenote - my first cold Christmas I wandered around in a daze for about three weeks as it felt like I was in a cliche'd Christmas card scene!)


Conversely, summertime now is spent seeking sunshine, rather than avoiding it. The humidity rarely causes serious discomfort. Thunderstorms are a welcome and rare treat. To go to the beach requires over an hour in the car both ways (or a flight to the Med) instead of a 5 minute drive and 30 minute search for a parking space.

I've been surprised to find that since moving to our house, I've quickly come to associate English summertime with the flowering of the rather large and sprawling English lavender bush that we inherited with our front garden. Last year (our first in the house) the lavender flowered quite late, but with regular deadheading it didn't stop until almost October.

english lavenderenglish lavenderBy Surbiton nature and product photographer Marion Wotton

This year it's been even more prolific, flowering a bit earlier and absolutely covered in blooms. I love that it's flourishing with a little TLC ... and that it's providing such a boon for the pollinators. Fat bumblebees, small honeybees and random butterflies are constantly throughout the blooms as long as it's daylight and not raining.

Fortunately for me, I love lavender. Photographing it, harvesting it, having it's scent throughout my garden and home. Strange, really, as before I'd always associated lavender with Provence, not suburban London!



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