A local tradition
Mayfield Lavender is proud to pioneer the revival of Lavender growing in the traditional home of Lavender in the UK. We started our project 2002 and opened to the public for the first time in 2006. We are very proud that we grow our lavender on one of the same fields where it was originally grown in the 18th and 19th centuries. 100 years ago, Banstead and surrounding areas were home to a thriving industry which supplied companies such as Yardley, Potter & Moore and others who were famous across the globe. Lavender was a premium product, but sadly, as suburbia encroached and lavender went out of fashion, the miles and miles of beautiful blue fields disappeared.
Until recently, that is! Mayfield Lavender has not only revived appreciation of lavender, but has brought organic farming to the tradition, making Mayfield Lavender the largest organic lavender farm in the UK, certified by the Soil Association.
Dedicated to organic farming
Organic farming is a huge commitment and its principles are an integral part of Mayfield Lavender’s values. It is illegal in the UK to claim organic status unless you have certification from a professional body that audits your activities. We are proud to be audited and assessed by the Soil Association to confirm that we don’t use pesticides or fertilisers. All of our weed control is done by hand which is an enormous and never-ending job! As a result, our lavender and its oil are free of agricultural chemicals and their residues. Our field is also a magnet for many species of insect and bird and you will appreciate the biodiversity when you visit – be it butterflies, bumble bees and honey bees, pheasants or the family of kestrels that has made our field home for a number of years.
Varieties of lavender grown by us
The chalky soil and mild weather in the area are perfect for lavender growing. We grow two varieties of lavandula angustifolia (English lavender): Folgate and Maillette. We also grow an hybrid variety of lavandula x intermedia, called Grosso.
Lavandula Angustifolia (English lavender)
Lavandula angustifolia has narrow leaves and short stems with flower heads that are barrel-shaped. Folgate and Maillette are two of the highest quality varieties of English Lavender and are characterised by their amazing iridescent blue colour and sweet cosmetic scent.
Lavandula x Intermedia (Grosso)
We also grow Grosso which is a hybrid plant that is the result of a natural cross-pollination of Lavandula angustifolia and spike lavender. Grosso lavender has larger leaves, longer stems and larger flower heads that are pointed at the tip. Its stem carries three flower heads which consequently yield more oil. The oil produced from this plant is called lavandin and it has a stronger camphoracious fragrance profile.
Top Tips for planting lavender in your garden
If you look after your lavender and have the right growing conditions, you can expect your plant to last up to 15 years. Lavender looks and smells great in your garden! Don’t forget, the bees and butterflies love lavender too!
Our Top Tips
Soil: well-drained soil, such as chalky or sandy soil is essential. If you have heavy soil such as clay, make sure you add stones and grit to ensure good drainage.
Position: plant in a sunny or partially sunny spot.
Spacing: for English and French lavenders, plant every 30cm, or for Hybrids, plant every 45 cm.
Timing: plant any time between April and October but beware of late frosts until your plant is established. We recommend covering your young plants with a fine fleece if a frost is predicted.
Planting: before transferring to a pot or flowerbed, water your lavender plant and leave to drain. Prepare a hole large enough to avoid damage to the roots. Remove from the container and position the plant so that it is 15mm below the final soil level. Fill with soil, firm in and water well. Note: for pots and where drainage is required, add stones to the base.
Watering: water regularly until the plant is established. Once established in a flowerbed there is no need to water. Lavender thrives in hot, sunny, dry conditions. If the plant is in a pot, make sure it doesn’t dry out completely, however water sparingly.
Pruning: always prune your plant by the end of the summer. This encourages new grown and helps prevent the plant becoming straggly and woody. Be brave and cut your lavender back to up to 5cm above the wood!
Pests: the only pest is the Rosemary Beetle. It has the size and form of a Ladybird but has a shiny, dark green metallic-looking coat with a red stripe. If spotted, REMOVE immediately!