Lavender is now in season, so after school/pre-schhool today we returned to a favourite place of ours: Mayfield Lavender.
We discovered Mayfield Lavender – a family run certified organic lavender farm in the North Surrey Hills – last year (despite it being five minutes from our house!) and were bowled over by its beauty and went back a number of times. It is just 15 miles outside of London, so the farm gets a good many tourists as well as plenty of locals visiting.
It was lovely to return for the new season. It was pleasantly busy (it’s never been chaotic) when we arrived just before 4pm and the beautiful smell immediately greeted us. I was happy to see that admission prices had not increased. It is £1 per adult to enter and children under 16 are free. The price also includes parking, so for £1 the four of us got in and parked.
There is a cafe and shop by the entrance, but we headed straight to a grassy, benched area amongst the lavender, which had a nicely styled, chrome van selling refreshments. I had a lavender Earl grey tea and the girls had a lavender lemonade. It was extremely peaceful, and I carried on drinking my tea and sat and watched as the girls ran off – free – through the many rows in the huge field.
I then joined them and we had a lovely weaving stroll, where we identified lots of butterflies and plenty of insects, as we headed to a red phone box for a photo opportunity.
Next we hit the shop and I bought some more lavender plants for our garden (reduced in price to a bargain £2 a pot). As I was paying, I spotted a poster…
The Rosemary beetle – Lavender’s enemy
As the poster says, the rosemary beetle feeds on lavender and then releases a toxin into the stem, which can kill the plant. We collected our jam jar and then went on a beetle hunt. The hunt was so popular with the girls (and me) that we stayed on almost an hour extra! After a slow start (and a botched initial capture), we found 19 of the pesky things. We headed back to the shop and the girls claimed their sweet treat reward.
What a lovely way to spend a mid-week, late afternoon.