Lavender farm

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The Lavender Farm Blog

The lavender farm is not only a working farm but a well established Isle of Wight attraction. Within the farm team, there is an overwhelming desire is to share and bring to the attention of the public the many interesting ecological and educational aspects that we see on a daily basis.

Our primary goal is to operate a successful business, however,  we also see ourselves as an educational and informative centre. To this end we will be publishing various articles based around our nursery experiences as well as what we call good sense ecological propositions, that need to be shared, discussed and understood.


The Lavender Farm Mob

Reuben and Jill Abbott, who run the Lavender Farm, are very conscious of how lucky they are to live in such an idyllic place and love sharing it with others.  They are more than happy for visitors to bring a book, sit and relax around the courtyard or gardens to enjoy the peaceful and picturesque surroundings, but appreciate that some would rather be more active and perhaps stay for longer.

In view of this they have set up a group for people who would like to spend more time here, helping out in the garden.  They have called this group ‘The Lavender Farm Mob’ after the super comedy of the 1950's "The Lavender Hill Mob"

As any gardener knows, even a gentle potter in the garden provides you with not only the feeling of a job well-done (regardless of how much you really have done!) but also gives you exercise, helps concentrate the mind and leaves you feeling more positive. There is also a great feeling of purpose when pruning and planting and then accomplishment when plants mature and flower, and then again when they need tending to help them give their best. Being part of their cycle, and gardening generally, is proven as a positive thing we can all do for ourselves; even some GP’s are prescribing it!  

Being a squad member also helps those who don’t currently have access to a garden to enjoy these advantages. It is a great opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people with a similar interest, develop new skills and improve existing ones.  Or maybe you are hoping to get back into employment after a break and need to dust off your social skills and boost your confidence and freshen-up your CV.

The Lavender Farm is, of course, a working farm and commercial venture and although we are unable to pay our mob members you will be very well looked after. 

No gardener would expect to plant, prune, weed, and deadhead without a supply of rich, home-made cake washed down with a quality tea or coffee, and for those who want to make a day of it we’ll provide lunch too, all in our warm, welcoming tearoom. 

We have a shop on-site, so if gorgeous smelling essential and massage oils, Pot Pourri, or scented candles are your thing we’ll give you a mob member’s discount there as well. On the practical side, we have plenty of space for free parking and modern, spotless washing facilities including disabled loos. 

We’ll also provide gloves, kneelers, wellies, and if needed help with the bus fare.

Don’t worry if you’re not a Gertrude Jekyll or Monty Don as Reuben and Jill, both professional horticulturists, will be on hand to show you what to do.  Their latest venture is growing roses for bare root stock and developing a new rose; learn about it here “The Wight Rose”.

If you’d like to know more then give us a call for a chat.  There’s no commitment to how much time you spend or how much you have to do as we’d like you to feel unpressured, work at your own pace and enjoy your time here.
The Lavender Farm Mob
T:  01983 530097  


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Plant A tree

Gareth and Didi are the co-founders of “1 More Tree” an organisation that has been given operational room at the Lavender farm, their objective is to increase and assist in the planting of as many trees as possible. Specialising in some of the rarer trees that need help, they will be developing various tree planting campaigns and exercises both locally and worldwide over the coming years.

One More Tree team
The Farm Tree Team

Why not ask Gareth when you are at the farm if there is anything you can do, you may well leave with a pot an acorn and a mission!



Planting Habitat Agreement - Staplehurst

On the 27th of August “1 More Tree” signed the first of 3 agreements to plant trees at Staplehurst grange the home of the lavender farm, near Newport.

This first eco planting project will see over 2000 native trees being planted in the lakes area of the farm, planting and management of the project will be handled by new company 1 more tree. Agreements are being drawn up for 1 more tree to sign a further 2 planting agreements as well as an adoption and maintenance agreement for the farms ancient woodlands.

I more tree was set up this year with the single aim to plant as many trees as possible, in order to address the huge problem of deforestation, globally as well as locally on the island.

Planting Location

East of Newport, Isle of Wight

Tree mapp area
Location East of Newport

Site Plan Drawins  as marked in blue.
  • Planned planting area consists of 1.169 Hectares.
  • Trees native broadleaf varieties 2.922 trees
  • Post and guards on all trees
Pond  coverage
Planting Area

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Besom Broom

Most farms have tucked away areas full of discarded objects overgrown with weeds and grass.  The Lavender Farm is no different.  One such object we unearthed looks like a bench crossed with an early bone shaker bicycle without the wheels, but it is in fact an efficient besom broom making machine.

The Besom Maker

Looking like nothing more than a stick with twigs stuck on, or upside-down supermodel having a bad hair day, the besom broom is instantly recognisable to most of us as the witches broom. However, it was for centuries the typical broom.  It was traditionally made with a hawthorn stave for the handle and birch twigs for the brush part, but heather, straw and herbs were also used. The twigs were attached to the stave with a split withy, a thin flexible branch from the willow tree, or twine made from brambles or other suitable plant, but string and a nail are used today. Its distinctive appearance is partly due to the twigs being tied around the end of the stave, giving it a rounded shape rather than being flat ended as more modern brooms are.

The besom has seen an increase in popularity in recent years in line with more interest in woodland management and using renewable materials. If looked after, a besom will last fifteen years, it looks better than a plastic or metal handled broom, and when its worn out just throw it on the bonfire rather than landfill it.
So why the connection between witches and brooms? There is all sorts of hokum connected with brooms and folklore.  According to J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, witches chose brooms to make magic because they were easy to hide. A variation on this is that it was a way of camouflaging a staff, the handle, which was used to harness magical powers.

They were also used to symbolically sweep away harmful energy and protect houses and their occupants. You can also turn them up the wrong way for good luck or jump over them for the same effect.

There is, perhaps, a more believable origin for the mystical reputation of such a humble tool. Before trained medical professionals became the norm for healthcare, a local woman, often a widow or spinster, would dispense herbs and potions and help with childbirth.  Because such things could be effective but no one really knew why they were sometimes accused of witchcraft and, as they were women who at the time were strongly associated with housework, the broom became part of the magical image.

In Welsh folklore they were used as an important part of marriage ceremonies.  All the couple had to do was place a broom across the doorway of their home-to-be and both jump over it.  If neither of them knocked it over then the marriage would be a success, if they did then it would end in disaster and the whole thing was called off. If they decided that they’d had enough in the first year they could jump the broom leaving the house and they’d be divorced.

Whether you want one as part of your Halloween fancy dress, to fly over the rooftops, or to sweep worm casts from the lawn, they are also decorative and environmentally friendly, and very much in use today.


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