Brides and grooms love photos in the lavender fields

Shane Manners Wood with some of her crop  at Ben Lomond Lavender, which is likely to end up in numerous tourist and wedding photos. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Shane Manners Wood with some of her crop at Ben Lomond Lavender, which is likely to end up in numerous tourist and wedding photos. Photo by Christina McDonald.

It's been in gelatos in Wellington, and meals and chocolate in Queenstown, but the next job for the lavender at Ben Lomond Lavender is likely to be as a backdrop for a growing number of tourist and wedding photos.

Shane Manners Wood first planted a field of lavender at Ben Lomond Lavender in 1998 and has noted the wedding market is growing.

''It's a great thing for Queenstown; people almost get bucketfuls of it [lavender] for weddings,'' Mrs Manners Wood said.

''There's nothing like fields of lavender - it's very romantic.''

She said having photographs taken and enjoying the lavender was particularly popular among Asian tourists.

Lavender is in bloom from December until April.

From mid-January, the lavender at Ben Lomond is cut and distilled for essential oil on site.

Products such as soap containing Ben Lomond's lavender are used in the district's hotels.

''Once the field is cut for oil it's basically just trimming back and pruning in autumn.

''It's an easy plant - you plant it, add lime and prune it. But if you don't prune it, it will grow out of shape and collapse,'' Mrs Manners Wood said