A little bit about Lavender and the Farm
It goes back a long way!
The word ‘lavender’ is believed to come from the Latin word ‘lavare’ meaning to wash/cleanse, since the plant’s antiseptic and healing properties were known to the Romans. Some suggestions are that the name derives from the practise of spreading washing to dry over lavender bushes in its native land. Another possibility is the historical use of lavender as a fragrance in Roman baths.
In today’s world lavender oil will fill your home with a gorgeous calming scent, treat insect bites, help repel fleas from your pets (put a few drops on their nylon collar), help you sleep (put a few drops on a hankie and tuck it into your pillow), de-stress you (add a few drops to your bath), keep the moths at bay (put dried lavender in your drawers/wardrobe) with its antibacterial properties it is also good to help heal scaring, once broken skin has re-formed lavender oil can be rubbed into scars to help improve healing.
The Farm has been in our family since 1950. The Purple Haze Café is situated in beautiful renovated stone/brick buildings that are believed to have been host to a small school during the late 18th century. Work on converting the stables was completed in 2013 prior to our opening in April 2014. More recently a dairy farm, the focus has now changed to arable with both lavender and beet/barley being grown here, the lands are also host to sheep and dry stock beef cattle. Registered with the Organic Trust Ireland, we grow our lavender organically with no chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides. As the farm is a working operation we ask all visitors to stay within marked areas, supervise children and take care when crossing open areas.
Different types of lavender
There are many different types of lavender, with plenty of varieties and colours to choose from.
Lavandula Augustifolia (English Lavender) has several varieties and is a popular hardy shrub:
Hidcote with its stunning dark purple flowers, remains a gardener’s favourite and is suitably hardy for the Irish climate. Once fully mature, the plant will grow to a height and spread of about 1 metre/3 feet. We call it ‘Cadburys’ Purple’ and its our best seller.
Munstead is another popular choice, with paler mauve flowers and a long lasting scent. Typically Munstead grows bigger than Hidcote.
There are also pink varieties of lavender (Miss Katherine, Rosea, Hidcote Pink to name a few) and also white varieties such as Edelweiss White. Planting several colours together creates a stunning display in any garden.
Our two acre field was planted with Dutch lavender ‘Grosso’ and English Lavender ‘Munstead’ (approximately 6,500!) in May 2013. Grosso is a hybrid variety, a cross between a true lavender and a Lavandin known for high yield oil production and a strong scent.
During Spring 2018 we planted an additional 3 acre field with over 7,000 plants. Using English Lavender Hidcote and English Lavender Rosea to create a beautiful display of rows of dark Purple and Pink flowers for visitors to enjoy. As lavender is slow to mature, this field will take approximately 3 years to grow.