We're told that the Greeks and the Romans used lavender as a perfume; for bathing and in laundry. In the middle ages its use has been linked to the fight against infectious diseases since there was a belief that odors spread disease. Lavender was grown in the gardens of convents and monasteries and may have been used for medicinal purposes especially after the outbreak of plague in Provence in the South of France. In the late 18th century an industry grew up around the town of Grasse for the production of perfume in which lavender essential oil was a key ingredient. This gave work and income to some of the poorest communities in southern France, especially as their land was unsuitable for other crops, and there was an abundance of wild lavender after the peasants has abandoned their fields during the industrialization of the first half of the century. Cultivating and picking lavender became an important focus for the peasant farmers and their families. Gradually farmers became more organized and equipped themselves with stills and were able to extract the essential oil themselves. In the early twentieth century the demand for lavender essential oil by the perfumeries grew considerably and farmers learned how to propagate and transplant lavender to the hills surrounding many of the small villages in France. After the Wars the introduction of mechanical cutting techniques displaced many small farmers once again and the lavender crops became concentrated in certain areas mostly around the town of Sault. At the same time a synthetic product appeared on the market (lavender fragrance oil) and in large part replaced the widespread use of natural lavender essential oil in cheaper consumer products. In the 1972 a grower named Pierre Grosso (1905-1989) discovered some unusual lavender plants in a deserted field in the Vaucluse district of France. He took some cuttings which turned into healthy plants with multiple flower spikes and oil yields in excess of those from lavandula species. In 1975 the Grosso variety was updated from the old form of "Abrialis" to the new Grosso lavandin which is now the preferred crop for farmers in the south of France for its longevity and superior oil yields. Lavender essential oil however has retained its place in the luxury perfume market and in the development of herbal medicine and aromatherapy industries and is prized for its delicate aromas. In England it is believed that Lavender was introduced by Queen Eleanor of Provence in the 1300s and was probably grown for its uses as a component for strewing over earthen floors to improve odors and repel vermin rather than as a plant in a garden. It is believed that Lavender was brought to North America by the English although they had limited success cultivating it. It was not until the early twentieth century that commercial lavender growing really took hold in the Pacific North West due to the pioneering work of L.J. Wyckoff from Seattle. Lavender has seen something of a revival in recent years and The English Lavender Farm joined five other lavender venues in 2014. Today there are fewer farms in and around the Applegate valley and we hope that will change with new venues preparing to open in the spring of 2019. THE GENUS LAVANDULA All Lavender plants are part of the genus known as Lavandula and are represented by 39 species (ref: Tim Upson & Susyn Andrews – The Genus Lavandula 2004). The genus can be divided into three distinct sub groups: Lavandula Dentatae Stoechas The plants grown here on the farm all stem from "true" varieties grown by Sarah Bader at Lavender at Stonegate in Oregon and any new plants have been propagated from the original starts so we can be sure of their heritage. The majority of our plants are in the Lavandula group - in the main they are Angustifolias or English Lavenders and we have a small number of X-Intermedia Lavandins or hybrid plants.

Lavender

We're told that the Greeks and the Romans used lavender as a perfume; for bathing and in laundry. In the middle ages its use has been linked to the fight against infectious diseases since there was a belief that odors spread disease. Lavender was grown in the gardens of convents and monasteries and may have been used for medicinal purposes especially after the outbreak of plague in Provence in the South of France. In the late 18th century an industry grew up around the town of Grasse for the production of perfume in which lavender essential oil was a key ingredient. This gave work and income to some of the poorest communities in southern France, especially as their land was unsuitable for other crops, and there was an abundance of wild lavender after the peasants has abandoned their fields during the industrialization of the first half of the century. Cultivating and picking lavender became an important focus for the peasant farmers and their families. Gradually farmers became more organized and equipped themselves with stills and were able to extract the essential oil themselves. In the early twentieth century the demand for lavender essential oil by the perfumeries grew considerably and farmers learned how to propagate and transplant lavender to the hills surrounding many of the small villages in France. After the Wars the introduction of mechanical cutting techniques displaced many small farmers once again and the lavender crops became concentrated in certain areas mostly around the town of Sault. At the same time a synthetic product appeared on the market (lavender fragrance oil) and in large part replaced the widespread use of natural lavender essential oil in cheaper consumer products. In the 1972 a grower named Pierre Grosso (1905-1989) discovered some unusual lavender plants in a deserted field in the Vaucluse district of France. He took some cuttings which turned into healthy plants with multiple flower spikes and oil yields in excess of those from lavandula species. In 1975 the Grosso variety was updated from the old form of "Abrialis" to the new Grosso lavandin which is now the preferred crop for farmers in the south of France for its longevity and superior oil yields. Lavender essential oil however has retained its place in the luxury perfume market and in the development of herbal medicine and aromatherapy industries and is prized for its delicate aromas. In England it is believed that Lavender was introduced by Queen Eleanor of Provence in the 1300s and was probably grown for its uses as a component for strewing over earthen floors to improve odors and repel vermin rather than as a plant in a garden. It is believed that Lavender was brought to North America by the English although they had limited success cultivating it. It was not until the early twentieth century that commercial lavender growing really took hold in the Pacific North West due to the pioneering work of L.J. Wyckoff from Seattle. Lavender has seen something of a revival in recent years and The English Lavender Farm joined five other lavender venues in 2014. Today there are fewer farms in and around the Applegate valley and we hope that will change with new venues preparing to open in the spring of 2019. THE GENUS LAVANDULA All Lavender plants are part of the genus known as Lavandula and are represented by 39 species (ref: Tim Upson & Susyn Andrews – The Genus Lavandula 2004). The genus can be divided into three distinct sub groups: Lavandula Dentatae Stoechas The plants grown here on the farm all stem from "true" varieties grown by Sarah Bader at Lavender at Stonegate in Oregon and any new plants have been propagated from the original starts so we can be sure of their heritage. The majority of our plants are in the Lavandula group - in the main they are Angustifolias or English Lavenders and we have a small number of X- Intermedia Lavandins or hybrid plants.

Lavender