The colour
of Provence

With its strong stem and sturdy flowers, lavender is perfect for drying. But we know that is not always the case with the fresh lavender in the Netherlands. For quality dried lavender, we simply must go to France. There, lavender grows naturally on the limestone soils of Provence, between 800 and 1100 metres above sea level. Greenflor buyer Marc de Graas explains, ‘In Provence, the colour of lavender becomes even more striking. This is due to the climate. Lavender also grows in the lower areas, but that is used for perfumes and essential oils.’

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Traditionally harvested

Lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia, is planted in the autumn. Lavender does not bloom in the first year, but every year thereafter. The sweet-smelling, violet lavender fields are ready to be harvested in July. Buyer Marc explains, “The lavender harvest is undertaken by hand and takes about three weeks. With a scythe, the stems are cut from the soil bush by bush.”

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The scent of French summers

Next, the lavender bushes are dried by natural means: in an enormous drying shed, upside down, protected from intense sunlight. In this manner, the flowers retain their characteristic colour. Thanks to the warm French summer winds, the lavender is dried after about a week and ready to embark for the Netherlands. Buyer Marc says, ‘I love working with this natural product. We are entirely dependent on the weather; that keeps things exciting!’

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Fair for nature

Since 2019, Greenflor has been a sponsor for the SPLP fund, which makes the development of lavender in Provence more sustainable. Thanks to this support, universities and laboratories can research natural solutions against harmful diseases and bacteria. The fund will also reduce CO2 emissions from lavender production by 50% by 2029 and protect as many as 20,000 bees per hectare during harvest. This way, we can continue to enjoy dried lavender from Provence together for a long and sustainable future!

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Did you know…?

• The scent of lavender has been scientifically proven to have a calming effect. Linalool, which is released from lavender, stimulates the nose’s sense of smell, creating a relaxing effect!
• Lavender was highly regarded by our ancestors thanks to its qualities as a disinfectant. Long before us, the ancient Romans used this herb to make soap and medicines.
• If you light dried lavender in a saucer, it will smoulder like incense, bringing an enchanting scent to your home.
• Dried lavender keeps moths out of the wardrobe-naturally!