McNaughton has been a plantaholic for years and has become a little wiser (or slower)
with age. Trained as a botanist and plant physiologist she has sold plants of one type
or another for many years.
come from a background of working with herbs and fragrant plants
having worked for one of New Zealand's foremost herb experts at
the time, Avice Hill. She has also worked as the Botanical Officer
for the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
She is passionate about lavender and is very enthusiastic
about the versatility of this wonderful herb and ornamental plant.
Virginia is very much into lavender research and has lectured
widely on lavender and its uses. Virginia is also the author of
a couple of international books on the subject, "Lavender the grower's
guide" and "The Essential Lavender". Both Virginia and her late husband Dennis have
produced another booklet (see Plant Orders) which is sold from the
shop on site or through Touchwood Books.
The business was moved to the site in West Melton at the end of
1996. Virginia and her late husband were looking for a larger area and better drained
soil than where they had been previously. Happily they found both,
in fact the first couple of years happened to be drought years and
the soil was certainly well drained!! It is a move that she would
not recommend to any other lavender grower as it has meant a tremendous
amount of hard work to re-establish.
Lavender Innovationz is continually developing and evolving and life is
never dull, as most other lavender growers will tell you. One does
need a lasting passion or a large workforce to grow lavender on
anything but a small scale. However the rewards are many, including
seeing the beauty of large masses of lavender in flower in summer,
the beautiful mix of colours in the collection and the excitement
of seeing that pure essential oil flowing out of the condenser at
harvest time. Besides, there is nothing more beautiful than lavender
to work with when producing crafts and products.