Lavender plant rows create ‘purple haze’ after blooming early

A family planted 8000 lavender plants at their farm in Perth and Kinross and hopes they will last 20 years.

Lavender plant rows create ‘purple haze’ after blooming early SWNS

Pictures show rows of lavender plants which bloomed early due to the warm weather – creating an amazing ‘purple haze’.

The field usually turns purple in the mid July – but the magnificent crop bloomed a week early this year.

Rory Irwin, 24, who works on his family’s farm, Tarhill, in Kinross, Perth and Kinross, with his dad Graham, 61, and brother Toby 21, attributed the bloom to the balmy temperatures.

The lavender grows on a three acre field and is harvested by hand to be produced and sold as essential oil and soap by the family’s company Scottish Lavender Oils

After studying Energy Physics at The University of Oxford, Rory decided to focus on diversifying the family farm, which also grows barley, broccoli, peas, and potatoes.

The lavender grows on a three acre field. SWNS.

In 2015 they planted 8000 lavender plants which they hope will last 20 years.

Rory said: “We have one field of lavender and we set aside about 20 acres from other arable activities to allow for natural plant growth and wildlife. 

“We planted 8000 lavender plants in 2015 and have been expanding our varieties of plants since then. 

“The field is ideally suited to growing lavender in Scotland’s climate due to its south-facing well-draining soil.

“We expect our plants to live for 15 to 20 years with continued care and replenishment. 

“The first blooms start to develop in mid-June and reach their fullest in mid-July. 

“We started to see a purple haze at the beginning of July this year, about a week early due to the weather. 

“Our lavender blooms about a month behind the southern English lavender farms.”

Rory lives in a cottage on the farm and helps tend to the lavender, while his brother Toby, a student at The University of St Andrews, lends a hand at the weekend. 

The farm employs two further local seasonal workers to weed and harvest from June to August.

Rory said: “We harvest the lavender blooms by hand to protect the plants and the bees and butterflies.

“We have a 200 litre copper alembic still which was hand-made in Portugal. 

“The advantage of using a copper still is that it removes the majority of impurities in the oil vapour, ensuring out oil is of cosmetic grade.

“We will expand further next year and plan to grow and distil chamomile, rosemary and peppermint alongside our lavender.”

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