A Lavender Escape: Southern Hills Lavender, a Farm with Closed Doors

A Lavender Escape: Southern Hills Lavender, a Farm with Closed Doors

Southern Hills Lavender is not open to the public anymore. The farm closed its doors in April 2021, but it’s never too late for southern hills lavender to reopen its doors and welcome visitors again! If you’re interested in Southern Hills Lavender or want more information about their plans for the future, read on.

What is Lavender?

Lavender is a plant with flowers that have deep purple color. Its species name is Lavandula angustifolia, which was shown to be the most potent for its antibacterial properties. It has an unmistakable scent and helps soothe stress in both humans and animals when breathed or applied topically (Hui).

Some people say lavender is relaxing because of its calming fragrance. The word “lavender” may come from the Latin word “lavare,” translated to mean “to wash” due to its cleansing qualities–specifically on skin wounds during medieval times. There are also different uses for it such as being used as a seasoning or dyeing agent (Schoenfeld-Tacher). 


Why Southern Hills Lavender is not open to the public anymore?

They decided to close their doors for good because they got diseased plant material from one of their suppliers and didn’t want anyone else getting sick. 

They started preparing their lavender field in 2014 and planted it in May 2015. Southern Hills Lavender was previously open to the public for people who wanted to explore Southern Hills Lavender’s fields by providing guided tours on Mondays afternoons or self-guided visits during Saturday hours when they were harvesting time with a lot more picking space available for visitors. 

What's this about a disease?

6 years ago, their original plants were sourced from 3 different nurseries. One of the nurseries sent them diseased plant material that they had treated with a product to suppress symptoms and increase profits, but which ultimately backfired: when they planted in early May 2015, by month’s end 2 of their rows were 90% dead due to this disease. We got the infected plants tested and started working with Clemson professor Dr. Jones on what could be done about it – he made recommendations for an organic treatment plan as well as new planting strategies based on where these outbreaks occurred last year so that there would not be any overlap between infected areas next year if possible.

Due to the nature of the disease, in this area, it can only be “cured” with fumigation – which would kill everything (good and bad) in the whole field. Fumigating an entire farm cost a lot; so we use chemicals that are like vitamins to help plants stand up against diseases. One year there was a reaction from these chemical treatments–plants were burned and areas did not recover as they had before

The research team has been working on finding additional ways for farmers to keep their crops safe without risking losing them all through expensive methods such as toxic pesticide treatment or burning down fields after infection is found.

Change in Direction

When they started planting in 2015, they had no idea that they will be planting diseased plants that came from their trusted source or that the disease would forever change their future. 

Southern Hills Lavenders’ plants were populated with viruses that would have been passed along through seedlings or cuttings which could potentially affect other customers. The owner decided to close Southern Hills so she can focus on her family and lead them down a new path without worry about lavender contamination risks.

A Nature-Lover’s Getaway in South Carolina – J. Verne Smith Park


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