Research and Breeding
Downderry is committed to research into all aspects of lavender.
Creating new cultivars for the garden and for oil production. We use conventional breeding by hand, but also speed things up in the lab, which can take us in wholly new directions.
However, we’re often surprised by the wonderful plants produced by open pollinated ‘breeding’, courtesy of bees!
Ensuring plants are named correctly. We unravel the naming mysteries, or more often the mess that lavender names get into. As a Scientific National Plant Collection Holder it’s a role we take very seriously. There are three main issues. Firstly, plants with the same name, but that are different. Secondly, plants that are the same, but with different names. Thirdly, misspelling and name corruptions.
Optimizing each aspect of husbandry. We endeavour to get the best out of the facilities we have available from propagation, through growing on, to pruning, from irrigation to pest and disease control and from harvesting through to distillation. As an example we periodically trial composts, both peat based and peat free assessing their merits and disadvantages. We’re also constantly honing our irrigation techniques to use water more efficiently in response to plant needs.