Pick your own lavender on the outskirts of London

This weekend is purple harvest time in a southern surburb of London – Saturday July 30th and Sunday July 31st 10am to 4pm.
Three acres of lavender are ready to pick in Carshalton Beeches. Back in Victorian days this part of Surrey was the lavender capital of the world, internationally famous for a flower that helped companies such as Yardley create its range of products. Now Carshalton’s lavender tradition depends on a group of dedicated volunteers and this is the one chance you have of being part of the annual harvist and picking your own.

Price Guide

Lavender Flowers on stems
* mini/child-size from £1
* small from £2
* medium from £3
* loosely-filled bucket from £6
* densely-filled bucket from £10

Lavender Bunches (ready picked for you)

Medium Hand-tied from £6
Large Hand-tied from £10

Scissors loan – £1 refunded on return (or you can bring your own)

 helping out at the harvest weekend
 

Family Activities – free for accompanied children
* pick lavender while enjoying exploring in the field
* take part in the Big Butterfly Count

*spot bees, birds, ladybirds and butterflies
* catch rosemary beetles (lavender’s natural enemy, we need to eliminate them by hand)
* learning about taking lavender cuttings
* making dried lavender bags for us

Pay-as-you-go Acivities

* face painting  (mini/child-size bunch of lavender to take home, from £1
* textile ma

There will be stalls, lavender shortbread and essential oil on sale, and a lot of photo opportunities so make sure your phone is charged.

Find out more HERE including how to get there.

Seven things to do with Lavender Flowers

Fresh flowers in the wardrobe will deter moths and silverfish. Put them at the window and it should deter flies.

Add flower spikes to  granulated sugar and seal for a week to make delicious lavender sugar for use in cooking (and sweeten tea apparently).

Use it instead of confetti

Dry them. Tie bunches of lavender with a rubber band around the end of the stalks and hang upside down in a dry, dark place.  It will take about 10 days to dry thoroughly, depending on the size of the bunch, the weather and where you are able to hang them. Test by untying a bunch and snaping a stalk in the centre of the bundle. There should be no sign of moisture or bendy-ness.

Put in drawers.

Put in pretty envelopes or little muslin bags and hang in the wardrobe

Treat yourself to a luxury foot bath

1 can of coconut milkj
A good handful of dried lavender flowers
Warm water

While you soak your feet take a deep breath, hold it for a count of 10, breath out slowly so it feels as though you are emptying your lungs of all the air they held. Repeat.

Soak for as long as the water is warm.

Dry your feet. Sleep the sleep of the just and the weary.

lavender-570570_640

Six things to do with Lavender Essential Oil

Make your own carpet cleaner by mixing together 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil to 1cup baking soda. Sprinkle this on the carpet about an hour before vacuuming. Vacuum as normal and enjoy the lingering scent.

A few drops on your pillow case will help you sleep.

A natural antispetic keep a small bottle in your bag to rub into minor cuts and bruises

Cook with it. Add it to biscuits, shortbread, brownies, salad dressings – lots of recipes on the internet.

Rub it inso your scalp to help get rid of dandruff.

Easiest and best: rub a couple of drops of into your palms, then cup your hands and breathe deeply for an instant tension-reducer. You could also  rub it on your temples and wrists. I’ve heard that this method is supposed to relieve hayfever symtoms as well.

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