Lavender Title
Earlier this year we visited Cotswold Lavender - the farm that produces all of our lovely range, new for this season - to find out how they make the lavender products. Nestled in the Cotswold countryside, this farm was a real visual treat, with buildings composed from the lovely, honey-coloured Cotswold stone and fields upon fields of stunning lavender. We were lucky enough to visit just as they were beginning the lavender harvest - a perfect time to capture the lavender at its photographic finest.
 
Buildings
Tucked away along quaint countryside lanes, the farm is run by Charlie, Hannah and Phil, who are passionate about all things lavender. Here, the lavender thrives on the south facing slopes of free-draining limestone soil, sheltered by picturesque hedgerows.
 
Lavender landscape 1We were amazed with the large variety of lavender grown here. From deep purple to rose pink and even white, we were surrounded by these wonderful plants.
 
Lavender Landscape 3
A Brief History of Lavender: References to this plant are found as far back as Ancient Egypt & Greece, as well as the Bible. The word lavender is of uncertain origins - although most agree that it comes from either the Latin lavare, meaning 'to wash', a reference to its purpose, or livere, meaning 'blueish' referring to its colour. Romans used it extensively for its cleansing and medicinal properties and brought it to Britain, where it thrived and has formed part of our culture. Whether it was warding evil spirits away and guarding against the plague in the Middle Ages, filling Queen Victoria's palace (she reinvigorated the lavender industry and even appointed a special Lavender Purveyor) or being used in the First World War for dressings due to its antibacterial properties, lavender has a rich cultural history.
Michelle Landscape
Our lovely buyer Michelle striking a pose amongst a beautiful wildflower field, with the Cotswold lavender on the horizon.
 
Distillation
The lavender is harvested using the tractor shown in the image above. Once enough lavender is collected to fill the trailer, a special lid is placed on top of the trailer to seal it. Rainwater is then heated to produce steam, which is piped into the trailer. The steam causes the oil glands in the lavender to open and allows the oil to evaporate into the steam, which is then collected in a funnel shaped lid that sits on top of the condenser tank. The oil then passes through the condenser, which uses cold rainwater to cool and separate the oil and water. It does this as it travels to the separator tank. Here the water and oil are allowed to settle out, with the oil forming a layer on top of the water, which is then collected for use. This method is not only good for the environment, it also guarantees a pure essential oil. It is a process unchanged since the Ancient Egyptian and Roman times.
 
Lavender Gifts
Featured items: Room Fragrance, Slumber Gift Set, Drawer Liners, Handcream & Slumber Spray.
Lavender has many special properties and is used to alleviate a variety of ailments, including insect bites, indigestion, heartburn and migraines. It also acts as an aid to sleep and relaxation and helps freshen rooms with its delightful fragrance.
Click on the image to shop our Cotswold Lavender range. Whether it is a moisturising handcream or slumber spray for a peaceful nights sleep, some scented drawer liners to infuse your clothes with the lovely scent of lavender or the room fragrance. Anyone would be delighted to receive the beautifully presented slumber gift set, which includes a slumber spray, slumber gel, soap and a pretty bag of dried lavender.
What could be better than a product that is grown and distilled in the Cotswold Hills?
Recipe Image
Lavender Shortbread Recipe
This simple yet delicious recipe is Cotswold Lavender's & we thought we would share it with you!
Ingredients:
175g butter
75g caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g ground rice
1 level teaspoon of dried Culinary Lavender flowers
Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C
  2. Grease a baking tin.
  3. Place the plain flour, ground rice and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter thoroughly with your fingertips, or let a mixer do the hard work for you.
  4. Add the lavender and mix evenly through the mixture.
  5. Press the mixture into the greased tin, prick with a fork and bake for about 35 minutes.
  6. Cut into wedges or fingers whilst still hot and leave to cool the baking tin.
  7. Sprinkle with some caster or lavender sugar and serve.

 
What is your favourite use for lavender? Do you have another lavender recipe you would like to share with us? We'd love to hear from you on all things lavender - just leave us a comment using the box below!
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Lavender Landscape 2