I have never been to Provence. I have seen some beautiful photos of the lavender fields there though, and this weekend I visited the next best thing – the lavender fields in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
I first heard of Hitchin Lavender a couple of years ago, and have visited each summer since. There is something very special about the place – it’s not particularly easy to find, unless you know where it is. It is like a magical secret of a place, where you truly feel as though you have stumbled upon a paradise when you arrive. As well as the fabulous lavender fields themselves, there is also an old barn, where you can buy lavender products, and enjoy a cream tea. For your entrance fee, you are lent a pair of scissors, and allowed to fill a bag with the lavender to take home.
Some places can get boring – after having visited a few times, you might feel as though the initial excitement has worn off, but it’s not like that at Hitchin Lavender. I think I remember how it will be, and I think I will know exactly how it will smell – but you forget. You forget that as you step out of the car, there is a faint scent on the breeze, and that as you walk closer to the fields, it grows in intensity – so that when you are walking between the rows of lavender, which caress your ankles as you walk further into the fields, the scent is overwhelming.
You forget the sound too. The sound of a gentle hum, as hundreds of bees collect nectar from these beautiful plants. You are sharing their habitat, and they yours. There is a kind of peaceful harmony as the bees buzz around the flowers, whilst you reach down to pick some lavender. Both there to appreciate the lavender – each meaning no harm to the other.
The colours – like an artists palette – an artist who is mixing so many different shades of purple – some which are so dark that they look almost blue, and others which seem white from a distance, but are all tinged with a lovely lavender hue.
It is very peaceful there. Although there were dozens of other people there when I visited this weekend, the fields were hushed. It is as though people are all enjoying their own peace and quiet amongst the lavender, and not wanting to break the spell. I will be back again before the season is finished. I could spend hours there – straw hat in hand, I walked along the rows – I could have easily been in Provence!
Thanks for reading!
Have you visited any local lavender fields?
This post was written by guest blogger Deborah who writes The English Rose.