Sunday, 26 July 2009

Carshalton Lavender Harvest 2009

Well, what a fantastic day. Many, many people picking lavender at the Stanley Road site in the name of the local community project, Carshalton Lavender. It is so spiriting to see how many people came and enjoyed picking Lavender, buying lavender products and generally joining in.

Allotment July 17th 001

We even had a few Far Eastern tourists taking photos of the allotment, making us feel a bit like one of the exhibits. All great fun - as our plot is right next to the bit where most people pick the lavender from, we are used to being a living demonstration plot. One year we almost had a creche going on in the Wendy House, with lots of children joining in with our girls playing. It is always so nice to talk to people, who are invariably interested, and if it means people see the possibilities of gardening with children, so much the better.

As I sit here typing, Jamie has arrived back with some more lavender. The smell of the lavender is very powerful, almost medicinal, and has already filled the house. It is supposed to be relaxing, so that bodes well for a chilled out evening. I can feel the lassitude washing over me - it seems to be willing me to rest.

Lavender day

Happily, this co-incided with possibly our best harvest ever. We have an abundance of fresh produce at present, and this is heavily influencing the menu in the Costello household. We are getting large numbers of extremely tasty potatoes. I have to say that although they make a very boring photo, but they are delicious boiled and coated with butter and a bit of salt.

Lavender day 002

Next on the menu is the set of novelty courgettes. Novelty because there are different varieties, and also because some of them have grown into marrows - oops. That will teach me to be more vigilant. How they have soaked up enough water from our soil to get that big, I will never guess? We did have thunderstorms last week I suppose, but they must have a decent root system. The round ones look worthy of a new recipe, probably involving rice and parmesan.

Lavender day 010

Other elements of today's harvest are some french beans, delicious with the potatoes and some black-and-redcurrants from Doug's plot.

Lavender day 009Lavender day 006

He offered them to us, as they were so small it hardly seemed worth him picking them. He has got a LOT of fruit bushes. I am hoping to make this later on, blackcurrant ripple parfait.

Lavender day 019

I will take photos if I make it later - that is if the lavender induced lethargy doesn't get to me too much.

Finally, we have discovered that the plum trees on the new plot yield the most delicious, tiny, fragrant plums. They taste almost like cherries, only sweeter. The girls had their fill, and this is what was left. With a fruit-laden damson tree in the garden and three of these plum trees on the plot, I am looking forward to a glut and to all kinds of plum jams, crumbles and chutneys. Friends be warned to expect plum related presents this Christmas, especially if I do give up work.

Lavender day 014

Happy gardening!


  1. I bet your house smells divine with all that lavender about.
    The blackcurrant ripple parfait looks delicious.
    I'm harvesting potatoes, courgettes and French beans too, although I've only got the bog standard variety of courgette. I'll have to have a go at growing different varieties next year.

  2. I must confess that I never made the blackcurrant parfait. It was a nice idea, but life got in the way in the end. I will have to bookmark it for next year. ; )