Santolina or Lavender Cotton
To raise Santolina, you need six hours of full sun a day and a sandy soil. If your soil conditions are not already sandy, you can make a soil mixture of 2 parts garden soil, 2 parts peat moss, 2 parts sand and 1 part compost. Dig a whole for each plant that is twice the size of the root ball. Set the plant in the hole and fill in the surrounding area with the soil mixture. Tamp it down and soak with warm water, then let nature do the rest of the watering.
You can pot up the silver/gray Santolina and bring it inside into the shape of a Christmas tree. In a sachet it will repel moths. A foot bath with Santolina will relax and soothe feet after a hike or day of shopping. You can lay the branches in drawers under carpets and in closets to deter moths and other insects.
Santolina makes a great base for herbal wreaths and the yellow flowers add great color to potpourri. Santolina is generally not a culinary herb and internal use should be avoided. One warning if you plan to experiment with santolina as a culinary herb: bruised santolina leaves are known to cause severe skin rashes in sensitive people.