Beautiful Mayfield Lavender

Earlier this week, B and I payed a visit to the stunning Mayfield Lavender in Banstead, Surrey. Owned and run by Brendan Maye and his wife Lorna, Mayfield Lavender is a wonderful place to visit for everyone from toddlers to great-grandparents! With a shop and large café that serves a variety of food and drinks, including new ranges produced by Mayfield themselves. The Lavender Cream Tea looks delicious by the way...

This morning’s visit was to have a chat with Brendan, about the use of the lavender fields as a location for portrait sessions. The lavender has just started to bloom, so in order to get a better idea of when the lavender looks its absolute best from a Photographer's point of view, Brendan gave me a brief overview of the lifecycle of the lavender. Mayfield Lavender grow three types, and the lavender in bloom right now gives a lovely blue colour, which over the coming weeks this changes to a deep purple with the addition of magenta and red hues, before finally fading away to grey. Brendan also said that the frost in early May which has had a significant impact on other local farms such as nearby Denbies in Dorking, has slightly delayed the blooming of the lavender, but that the current warm spell is currently helping to accelerate the process. The front fields bloom first, then in mid July the back left Grosso variety blooms, and finally the plants in the back right field. Harvesting begins on the front fields in mid July, allowing for the cut lavender to maintain its gorgeous blue hue, with final harvest on the remainder of the fields around the first week of September.

As a Photographer, one of the things I always ensure is that I have the right to take photographs at the location that we choose for sessions. Such clarification was the main purpose of my visit today. Mayfield Lavender is private property, so to put it simply it is Brendan and Lorna’s own garden that they choose to open for the public to enjoy. When we run paid photographic shoots on such type of property, Photographers always need permission from the landowner to use their land as a backdrop, and Mayfield Lavender grant permission or license to Photographers via a pass system, and photographers purchase these from Mayfield Lavender directly. After all, the least we can do for the use of their land is help them to maintain the amazing lavender plants for others to enjoy in years to come.

So after our catch up with Brendan, my little B decided he’d like to take Mayfield Lavender up on the offer of a empty jar to do some bug hunting! The Rosemary beetle loves to munch the lavender, and as such is regarded as a pest, so children can have brilliant fun catching some beetles and help Mayfield Lavender at the same time! We also saw lots of different types of bees, some ladybirds and a few butterflies.

Quick tip for those of you that fancy bug hunting, the beetles particularly like the Grosso lavender, and you’ll find lots in the back section of the field! And on return to the shop, you can exchange your precious bugs for a little sweet treat.

For visits, Mayfield Lavender cost £2 for adult entry and children are free. For those of you with cameras, you can of course take your own pictures for private use, and Mayfield Lavender is running it’s Photographic Competition again this year, open to all.

For more details about this year's Mayfield Lavender Portraits, click here.

As a small business myself, I try to support other local businesses as much as I can, so please pop along to Mayfield Lavender for an afternoon of delicious smelling lavender and fun.

With Love, Rachel xx

For Mayfield Lavender Facebook page, click here

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Rachel Thornhill ABIPP ASWPP LMPA  - Beautiful story-telling photography and stunning wall art for fun loving people, Rachel is an award-winning professional portrait Photographer based in Lower Kingswood / Tadworth, Surrey, UK.    Tel: +44 (0)1737 244745     

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