The annual Lavender, Herb and Chilli Festival held Saturday and Sunday, January 12 and 13

Crystal Brook Gardens and Lavender Farm is blanketed with the pretty purple plant in time for the annual Lavender, Herb and Chilli Festival.

Over the past 20 years, Judith and Michael Basile have whittled down their lavender varieties at the farm from 40 to 10 because of their suitability to the area.

Fields of flora: Judith Basile and grandson Joe Bush prepare for the lavender festival this weekend Saturday and Sunday, January 12 and 13. Photo: Clare McCabe

Fields of flora: Judith Basile and grandson Joe Bush prepare for the lavender festival this weekend Saturday and Sunday, January 12 and 13. Photo: Clare McCabe

While the dry weather of late affected the farm’s dam water levels it has not affected the lavender harvest, although it came in very late, Mrs Basile said. 

The commercial fields will have to be harvested after the weekend because of grasshoppers, they eat the head but they don’t kill the plant, she added. 

Two of the many varieties that are in bloom are the Lavendula x intermedia ‘Riverina Alan’ and ‘Riverina Thomas’ which were developed in Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga and hold breeders rights. 

The farm is also trailing Lavandula x intermedia ‘Asa’, which is a triploid, a combination from Lavandula x intermedia ‘Seal’ (a tetraploid) and Lavandula angustifolia ‘Lady’.

This new lavender is from Larkman Nurseries in Wandin.

“It is under trial in the hope of achieving a fast growing, heavy producer of a lavender with a very low camphor rating.

“If the yield and plant strength is a success, the plant will attain a plant breeders right.”

The Angustifolia is the only lavender variety that has no camphor and is perfume grade, and is the only variety used in cooking. Mrs Basile, a member of the Australian Lavender Growers Association, will hold a cooking demonstration of her signature lavender salmon with honey at the festival.

The art of distilling will be presented by Mr Basile.

Acres of themed gardens inspired by travel to both Europe and Japan will open, and there will be guided walks, cooking demonstrations and tasting with lavender, three different grades of chilli and herb, talks on propagating plants, the uses of lavender, and gardening in small areas, bonsai demonstrations, and soap making, a vintage and veteran car display, and entertainment by musician Michael Baker.

For more information visit lavenderatlaggan.weebly.com/