A visit to the Lavender Fields at Cadwell Farm is a must when you live in Hitchin as I do. Located in the village of Ickleford which is between Hitchin and Letchworth it’s a wonderful way to spend a warm Sunday afternoon walking along the footpaths taking in the scent and the views.
Hitchin has a long history of growing lavender as it grows well on sunny chalky soil. At it’s peak there were 100 acres of lavender being grown in the town which must have been a real spectacle at this time of year!
As a designer I ilke to use lavender planted in bold drifts at the front of a border or used as informal hedging along a path where you brush by and release it’s wonderful smell. My favourite variety is Hidcote with it’s deep violet-blue flowers and silver grey leaves. It’s an English lavender that flowers from July to September and stays compact and neat.
If you want to attract bees and other nectar-loving insects into your garden then lavender is also a good choice. At the Lavender Fields in Hitchin the flowers were covered in honey and bumble bees.
As well as seeing and smelling the different varieties of lavender grown on the farm you are also encouraged to pick your own fresh lavender and are presented with scissors and bags as you enter. The children loved doing this and I now have various pots of lavender dotted throughout my house.