Bee kind, grow lavender!

At Fig Tree Day Nursery we have a variety of plants that flower at different times of the year. In June and July, our lavender takes centre stage!

The children at our nursery love the beautiful deep purple flowers on our lavender bushes. The strong and fragrant scent can be a real treat for the senses for those that like the smell. In fact, there is actually research to support the relaxing effects of the smell of lavender!

Children at Fig Tree spend time outdoors every day, no matter the weather. Outdoor play is an important part of our day and so much learning can be done through practical engagement during our time in the gardens. We support children to gain an understanding and respect for nature by observing the plants and wildlife they attract.

Our lavender bushes are usually full of insect activity, attracting butterflies and bees. This is a fantastic opener for discussion about insects and flower pollination. The pre-school children in particular are fascinated by how important the role bees and other pollinators have in helping plants to grow.

The children are involved in the creation and cultivation of our gardens and take great pride in that! We encourage critical thinking when considering the plants we want to grow, thinking of how to support local wildlife, maintaining beautiful colours and smells throughout the year. Lavender blooms in the midsummer when bees are at their hungriest and blooming flowers are in short supply so we think it is an important addition to any garden!

English lavender plants are the perfect choice for our gardens as they are hardy and usually survive well in British weather! We also have french varieties in pots so they can be moved around in more extreme weather. Lavender is best planted in April or May but as long as you don't plant during winter months you should be able to plant successfully any other time.

Free draining soil is very important for growing Lavender, chalky soil is perfect and lavender looks great on garden borders. If you have heavy soil you can add gravel to aid drainage or plant in a pot or hanging basket which some people find works better for their space too. Watering plants is often a sought after job at Fig Tree, we do make sure that our lavender plants are not overwatered.

In early August, on a sunny and dry day, we harvest the lavender, often with the help of our pre-schoolers. We make a lot of use out of fresh and dried lavender for creating lots of sweet-smelling crafts, we even use small quantities in our baking!

Do you or your children like the smell of lavender? What would you do with your harvest?

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