The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Park Place lavender plantations

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Park Place has long been celebrated for its lavender plantations, which occupy between 40 and 50 acres. The plants are raised from flings, which are slipped off and prepared by women in the autumn, and bedded in, in rows, in any spare piece of garden ground, where they remain for two years. The ground into which they are to be transplanted being prepared by shallow trenching, or double ploughing, the plants are placed in rows 4 ft. apart, and at 2 ft. distance in the rows. For three or four years a row of turnips or potatoes is grown between the rows of lavender; after which period, or about the time that the lavender plants in the row touch each other, half of them are removed, leaving the field covered with plants 4 ft. apart every way. All the culture which is required afterwards, is keeping the soil free from weeds. In a few years the plants touch each other; and in this state they will remain from 15 to 20 years, according to the nature of the soil; they are then taken up, and the ground cropped for two or three years with turnips and other field crops; after which the lavender plantation is renewed. The flowers are obliged to be either sold to a regular licensed distiller, or distilled on the premises, on account of the excise laws. The oil from the plantation here is said to be of the best quality; doubtless, from the calcareous nature of the soil.