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Give your herbs a haircut

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Give your herbs a haircut to keep them producing lots of fragrant fresh pickings for the kitchen and to keep them nice and neat.

You'll find many varieties of evergreen herbs like bay, lavender and rosemary on sale now in our garden centre here in Stapleton and they make fantastic value for the herb garden, lasting year after year. One really stylish way to use them is to clip them into low hedges and topiary: in time these will give your herb garden structure. They look fabulous in a hard winter frost, too.

Now is the time to do a little shaping, once the worst of the cold weather is over and they're starting to grow again. Shape bay into low balls and lollipops, using secateurs to remove large leaves whole. Trimming bay with shears simply cuts leaves in half, leaving them to turn brown and ruining the effect.

Rosemary and lavender, however, make lovely low hedges. Choose the upright rosemary 'Miss Jessop's Upright' and compact lavender 'Hidcote', and plant lavender 50cm apart and rosemary 40cm apart. Then keep them in shape annually with ordinary shears, trimming only the green growth and avoid cutting into old brown wood which won't regrow.