It's lavender season in England; early Autumn is when they harvest the fields of sheaves and dry, distill and do a myriad of other clever things to them to make the lovely scented oils, incense sticks, soaps, sachets and so on.
I talk about London a lot, but I actually live a little outside the city, in Surrey. My home town, Carshalton, is relatively famous (at least, in the lavender industry) for growing the stuff - we have fields and fields of lavender here, and there's even a rather monstrous statue of some lavender sheaves in the town centre. (That may seem an odd choice of statue, and it is, but in actual fact, that's really Carshalton's only claim to fame - apart from having a well that Anne Boleyn was said to have stopped at once on her way to London, and being the birthplace of Bradley from S Club 7. Yep.)
One of my favourite summer Sunday afternoon pasttimes is walking in the lavender fields - they're planted in December and generally flower from July to late August, when they get harvested. This year, it's quite late - they're not harvesting until next weekend, the second weekend of September - and so I went for one last little walk in the fields.
Have you ever been walking in lavender fields? If so, you'll be able to understand me when I say I can't describe the smell. We're most probably all familiar with the scent of lavender, but when you're laying in fields surrounded by it, it's overwhelming - and gorgeous! It's so calming just to go for a slow wander or lie in the gaps between the rows in the afternoon with a good book.
If you're after some lavender products, may I suggest having a look at Mayfield Lavender's online shop - they're my most local lavender fields and their products are all local, organic and really, really lovely.