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Cider Barrel ?

We've cut an old wooden 50 gallon cider barrel in half and the two halves have been filled with soil ready for planting. We are going to plant them up with lavender but was wondering what other plants would go nicely with lavender? Its probably down to this lovely weather we've been enjoying, but we've been thinking about having a Medterranean theme to our gardening. We're off to the local garden centre this afternoon.

Remember to mix in a lot of grit if you want them to survive the winter - its not the cold that kills them its the damp round the roots freezing.

Lemon scented Geranium and mock Orange go exceptional well with Lavender.

you will have both the lovely contrasting but complimentary colours of the blooms, and the superb combination of the scents.

We have all 3 together in one container in the garden, and almost everyday recently Lois has been taking flower cuttings for the house.

Yes agree with LLP, plenty of grit. A couple of low growing plants spring to mind,  Ajuxa metalica, green to deep purple leaves spreads easily, lovelly deep blue flowers and Phlox sublata, Mc Daniels Cushion, spiky dense foliage, bright pink masses of flowers.Other varieties in shades of white - purple.
Both are evergreen plants, and under the lavender would look splendid.

To add extra interest, for spring and early summer you could always add a few bulbs, from crocus to African corn flowers, there are so many to choose from the choice would be 'what you fancy'.

And just noticed Gareth's choices, more excellent ideas...

Grit? Its a good job that you said something, because we've just filled the barrels up with cheap compost. Maybe we plant the barrels up with something else instead and plant the lavender in the bare ground through the gravel that we have.

At the moment I suspect its only cheap compost as you say. A good few trowel fulls out onto a plastic sheet mix in some grit. chuck it back in.
Any spare grit over the surface after you have planted up.
This is not only a benefit to the Alpine type plants I spoke of, but also helps stop the soil drying out in this weather so quickly.
As you water it will sink and mix in anyhow.

PS..I suggested 'we' could go to the local G/H centre yesterday...I just got one of 'those looks'....perhaps,maybe...possibly...been there to often, spent a wee bit....too much...  
There is always a tomorrow ....    

I'm going to sound like a real plonker now DD but what sort of grit do I want?

The finer the better 2-3 mm....if not a bag of 5mm gravel will surfice...I really don't worry about it to that extent.
If you wish to go to the expence and buy one of the coloured stones, say white or what ever...its down to you mate...

I've purchaced the expensive stuff in the past, OH  saying it would look 'loverly on the top'.....yep untill you water it, possibly put a few new replacement plants all vanishes into the soil...  

We try not to do expensive.

Okay your back now..What was your final choice plants wise....?


We planted the two barrels up yesterday. Rob nicked the camera for Jens graduation ceremony but we should be able to get some photos on this evening. As suggested, I mixed loads of gravel in with the compost and planted three lavender plants to each barrel. Even though I say so myself, they look really good.

Here they are.


. nice to see them complete .

Noted, two different types of lavender, one butterfly...

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