lavender farm*

red barn lavender farm

When I was in my late twenties, I lived in downtown Pleasanton (Northern California).  It was an old house turned into 4 apartments.  I lived in the one at the top and directly across from me was my best friend from younghood.  She was newly married and looking for a place to live and as soon as that spot opened up, I was on it.  It was our dream.  We had always joked about living near one another the rest of our lives, literally next we were able to live that dream for a good year or so.  Often as we were bustling about getting ready, we would open the door and say good morning, have a little chat, close the door, begin our days.  I remember clearly one time she had wanted to show me the first published copy of Real Simple magazine.  I had just got one too and was thrilled about this new magazine.  There we sat on the bench seat between our apartments, flipping through our copies.  What drew us in the most was the cover page.  It was a lavender farm somewhere back East.  The four or so page spread was about a couple who were deeply entrenched into the corporate world, wealthy and living a gorgeous life in the city.  But they began to feel a bit empty and decided together to take a leap, leave the corporate life, as well as their finely coiffed home and buy a farm in the country.  Their little green cottage sat in the middle of massive amounts of lavender.  In their workshop, they made lavender-everything to sell in their darling little store.  People would come from miles away to walk the fields and pick their own bunches. Amy, my friend, and I sat and dreamed about what that would be like.  The image of their cottage surrounded by lavender made such an impression on me.  I think of it so often and have since been attracted to lavender and dreamed of planting loads of it near my home.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I heard from our local friend Forest that he met the owner of a similar lavender farm about 20 minutes from here.  For months I've wanted to go and for some reason it never worked out but finally, FINALLY was able to go when my sister was here last week.

When we pulled up, it was utterly dreamy. The couple that owns the farm were walking down their lavender draped hill with a wheel barrow full of multi colored purple bundles they had just picked and tied. They waved to us with their garden gloved hands and pointed where we should park. Each of them greeted us with gentle smiles. We got a bit of a tour and the history. The gentleman went on to share that there were many species of lavender plants and the light pink ones were the most fragrant and the ones most used for essential oils in products. I had no idea there was such a thing as light pink lavender! It ended up being my most favorite.

So we were handed scissors and ties and sent off to walk the fields and cut our own bunches. Cedar was so enchanted. Especially at the bees and how gentle they were. I caught him crouched down observing their dance on the flowers. At one point he went off by himself to a patch of dirt and when I approached and sat near him, I noticed he planted a lavender stem into the ground. "I'm planting more, mama".

The energy in those fields was so tranquil and lingered with us. The drive home was lavender scent soaked and my sister hung our bunches on a string above the kitchen table. Now over a week later, I have placed the dried lavender in our old vintage bottles and mason jars scattered throughout the house.

Boho Boy and I are now dreaming up our own hill of lavender behind our house. I had a wee bit of practice at the blue cottage. If any of you have tips on growing lavender, I am all ears.

Notice the light pink beauties on my shelf?