Hasn’t the time flown by! Last time I wrote was January 2018 after our hugely successful picking season, we were rapt with all the support we got from all the lavender lovers out there and we both thank you.

Believe it or not, we attended 48 markets in the 2017/18 season with our last one at the end of March 2018. We then pruned the lavender and went into hibernation until June.

From mid June to the end of July, we were lucky enough to visit the amazing lavender fields of Provence, in the South of France. We have wanted to visit Provence since we started our lavender journey, so it really was a dream come true. We were amazed at the massive lavender fields. We enjoyed seeing large sunflower fields next to the lavender fields, the colour contrast was just perfect. We visited lavender farms, lavender distilleries, a Marseille soap factory, perfumeries, markets and ate lots of yummy food, oh and don’t forget the Rose’, it’s really nice and very cheap which is a bonus. Temperatures were mid 30’s most days, very pleasant and sometimes too hot, depending on what we were doing.

We spent the first two weeks in Grasse – from there we visited Monaco, Nice, Gourdon village, Eze village and the beautiful Menton. Note to self – Menton definitely worth a week or two stay – add to bucket list!

The next two weeks were stayed in Cucuron – this was closer to the lavender fields, so each day we saw lavender somewhere, whether it was in the fields, on the side of the road, in the roundabouts, in the hilltop villages, at the markets – lavender was everywhere!!

We did a tour to The Carmague where we saw pink flamingos in the wild, the highlight of that day. We visited St Remy – a really lovely town – and Aix en Provence – a big city. We visited Sisteron on a Sunday – it was closed, which was a shame.

We visited Mont Ventoux and the lovely village of Sault. Rousillon was a stand out also, the ochre walk was really interesting, hot but amazing.

Now we are back down to earth and home, it’s time for another market season, starting this Saturday 8th – Upper Hutt Spring Festival and Sunday 9th – Daffodil Day at Memorial Square, Carterton. See www.lavenderabbey.co.nz/markets for where we’ll be in 2018/2019.