Our lavender farm is at 1,100 feet atop Maesmynis valley with stunning views across the beautiful Welsh countryside. The journey to the productive lavender farm we have run today began nearly a decade ago – read more about our story.
We grow our lavender organically and currently have 8,000 lavender plants growing over two and a half acres. Lavender plants take about three years to become fully productive and may live for 20 years.
Our lavender varieties
We grow four varieties chosen for their ability to cope with our harsh winters.
The oil producing lavenders are Maillette, a “true” or angustifolia lavender, and Grosso, a hybrid. Royal Purple and Imperial Gem are grown for purely decorative purposes.In 2003 we began with a field of 2,000 plants. Today we have approximately 8,000 lavender bushes across two and a half acres.
The lavender is harvested in July and August over an intense six week period.
Imperial Gem and Royal Purple are cut first by hand using small serrated sickles we’ve collected on our travels in Italy, France and Portugal. We gather the stems into small bunches and hang them to dry in our shed. Loose flowers go into our smart limited edition lavender pouches.
Maillette and Grosso, our oil producers, are harvested next with a more rough and tumble approach – we use hedge cutters to nip off the tops to be packed into our still which produces the lavender oil we use in our skincare products.
For dried lavender we cut just as the flowers begin to open while to make lavender oil the flowers need to be about half finished and cut on a warm sunny day to produce the best yield.
Making lavender oil
Our distillation equipment was designed for us in England by John Dore & Co. Ltd which is said to be the oldest distillery engineering business in the world. We pack the lavender tightly into a mesh basket and place it inside a steel cylinder where it sits on a rim just above water which is then heated to boiling point. The steam generated pushes through the lavender and is forced through a connecting tube to the condenser where a 25 foot coil of stainless steel spirals downward. Cold water then cools the coil, turning the steam back into liquid.
At the end of the process, the pale gold liquid drips into the Florentine, a flask at the bottom of the condenser, where it separates into oil and floral water or hydrolat. Both are essential ingredients in our products.