It originally flourished in Sutton / Carshalton / Wallington / Mitcham as London grew, sewage grew and lavender seemed to grow well with sewage!
One of the original founders of the project, Nigel walked into our field today, he hasn’t been back since the first couple of years when they put the original plants in. The website will be adding more history soon but the project started in 1995 and they planted the first lavender plant in October 1998.
They took cuttings from waste ground and local people’s gardens in order to recreate local varieties that flower well, produce oil well and oil of good quality. He has a massive folder of all the planning work they did as well as some photos from 19th century.
The two main varieties we have on the field are Seal and Pale Pretender.
There are a couple of other lavender plants too, varieties tbc but they, like the ones around our seating area are in full flower:
These will have gone over by the harvest and may be replaced. We don’t have lavender plants that seed themselves so they do not cross fertilise again, all the replanting is done using cuttings.
Loads more work to do before then. The rest of team don’t think we’ll have the top six rows ready in time unless we get more help but I am making small paths appear slowly and defeating the brambles albeit with blood and sweat, (not quite tears yet, depends how deep they bite!)
Top rows before today’s work. You can’t actually see six rows yet. It’s a beautiful time of year to see the flowers emerging in spite of the jungle around them: