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Has anybody ever trained a french lavender bush into an unusual form, once the bottom part has gotten woody?

We were too timid with our pruning and now, 3 years later, well... you know how they get. I'm wondering if there's an attractive way to work with it. I don't like the mindset of throwing away and replacing plants. I get attached!!! Thanks!?

AndyGadget7 years ago
I'm afraid lavender won't grow from the old wood and the trick with them is to clip them back a bit after flowering each year to try and keep the plant compact as they do (all the ones I've had, anyway) have a tendency to go 'leggy'.
THIS is about the best you can to in shaping them. For topiary you need a plant which will grow from old stems such as box, yew (very slow growing) or privet. (Personally, I hate topiary ;¬)
sugarego (author)  AndyGadget7 years ago
Thanks for the reply. Topiary wasn't quite what I had in mind. It's not my style, either. I have seen pictures of really ancient wisteria plants where the lower 8 feet of the plant are completely woody, and there are only leaves and flowers up top. I was wondering if I could accomplish something with lavender that included the woody stems as a sort of trunk-style support. I can always grow a tender flowering vine up the lavender stems to hide them, but perhaps they might be pretty if allowed to grow for a while? I'm really curious if anyone has done such an experiment, such that the lavender is no longer a bush, but more like a tree. I've even seen bougainvillea in a book that was trained as a standard, and that's the last plant I'd expect to work in tree form. I don't expect the lavender to become a tree, but I am trying to work with the woody base instead of against it.
I get the idea. I've seen some like that and there's a fair few pictures of standards on t'internet, but no clues as to how to achieve it. I'd guess you look for a plant with a vigorous centre stem and then cut off all other growth apart from the top portion each year. Seems like a pretty long drawn-out process though. I know what you mean about wisteria. I've seen some incredibly impressive ones sprawling over buildings. One local one is said to be getting on for two hundred years old. When they're in full bloom the scent nearly knocks you over. We have one in the garden which each year we think has died, and then it manages to push out a leaf or two. I think we're going to call it a stick this year and grow something up it ;¬)