Mitcham lavender revival

In 1995 a project to grow Mitcham lavender was started by the Bioregional Development Group together with the Body Shop and the Department of the Environment.

Cuttings were taken from some of the original bushes, and were propagated by prisoners at HMP Downview in Sutton.

These were planted on part of an allotment in Carshalton Beeches which had been given to the project by Sutton Council.

This year is their second harvest, and on 23rd July they held an Open Day where people could come along and either pick a bunch for themselves or help with the harvest. Sheila Harris and Marguerite Lee-Delisle went along to have a look.

The project has an acre of land at the end of the allotments where the lavender is grown in neat rows of closely packed bushes, about 2,500 altogether. Some of the flowers will be used for lavender bags and dried flower bunches, but most will be sent to a small scale distiller to produce the essential oil.

Yardleys is now also sponsoring this project. The firm's name was built on the lavender crops from Mitcham and Carshalton in the early 1900s.

The aim is to obtain more land in the area and to produce the essential oil in their own still.

Marguerite Lee-Delisle

Lavender recipes

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