A Visit to Welsh Lavender August 10, 2014 11:00
My roots lie in Wales. I was born and brought up in Swansea, spending my childhood days in Mumbles at the western edge of Swansea Bay, with the beaches of Gower as my playground. So it is always a pleasure to source products for Oggetto that are made in Wales and we are thrilled to be stocking body care products from Welsh Lavender.
When I first heard about Welsh Lavender I was excited and intrigued to find out more. Could lavender really be farmed in Wales? Well…yes it can and with the lavender now in full bloom, we took the opportunity to visit the farm to see the fields for ourselves. We received a very warm welcome from Nancy Durham who kindly showed us around. Nancy, an international journalist runs the farm with her husband Bill Newton-Smith, an Oxford philosopher.
Their story goes back to 2003 when the first lavender was planted. In fact 2,000 plants in all, following a grant from Glasu, whose aim was to encourage farmers to diversify, making Welsh Lavender the first in Wales to grow lavender on a field scale. In 2008 they started working with Helen Lowe, a leading artisan in the design and development of cosmetics creams and in 2012, the FARMERS’ brand was launched, inspired by the labours of Welsh farmers. The creams and balms are all made by hand in Helen’s studio in North Wales and then returned to the farm to be bottled and labelled. The key ingredient, lavender oil, is distilled on the farm where the lavender is grown according to organic principles. No artificial colours or perfumes are used in their products.
The farm is on a hillside at an altitude of 1,100 feet above Maesmynis Valley, close to Builth Wells and enjoys breathtaking views of the Welsh countryside. Several varieties of lavender are grown; oil producing and decorative. The lavender is grown naturally in the rich red soil and is cut by hand. Drainage on the hillside is excellent and Nancy explained that this is key to their success in growing lavender here.
What we love about this brand, is that everything is made by hand with care, attention to detail and integrity. We regularly use the FARMERS’ scrub to exfoliate and have really appreciated the hand cream in this hotter weather to keep our hands moisturised. But don’t just take our word for it. Ace Hotels recently commissioned Welsh Lavender to provide 3 exclusive treats for its Shoreditch Hotel and The Sunday Times Style Beauty Director has commented ” My favourite new brand, FARMERS’. You just want to keep using it.” We couldn’t agree more!
You can buy FARMERS’ hand cream and scrub from our store. Do keep checking back as we will be adding to the range over the coming months.