Our first meeting of 2020 was well supported by members & visitors even though the weather was rather inclement again, to say the least! Robin Spencer of Shropshire Lavender near Newport explained how he & his wife Joanna’s farm began in 2002 with a trial plot of 200 lavender plug plants, and despite some setbacks became a thriving enterprise based on their sunny & (mostly) sandy slopes. They have been selling fresh & dried lavender with an extensive range of products & gifts such as essential oils, bags & sachets, hand cream & shower gel, complete with tearoom and of course lavender scones. He also gave some very useful advice on the most suitable varieties to grow in this part of the country, and which ones are best for colour, fragrance or oil, also how to care for them. He brought some products along for us to buy, and the colour of his dried lavender bunches was stunning (down to choosing the right variety & picking at the correct time!).
We were fortunate to have this talk as he & Joanna are now selling up & moving to Scotland, so we wished him well for their future. He hopes that the new owners will keep opening the farm to the public so maybe one for a future coach trip! After his presentation Robin drew our raffle and judged the monthly competition of “A vase of winter-flowering shrubs from your garden”, won this time by Sylvia, with Blodwen second.