“Lavandula angustifolia”.

The name alone can send my heart a swooning. I love the scent. I love the look of the flowers. I love the the colors of the grey green foliage next to the purple or white buds. To me nothing says summer more than lavender.

This past Sunday the chicks and I took a drive through the country to a “U-Pick” lavender farm. At $5.00 a bunch I thought it a bargain to escape the city for the afternoon. It is not a large farm, only one hillside is planted. But the owners boast over 160 varieties for sale. Only 6 or 7 were available for picking: Hidcote, Provence (white and purple) and several more who’s names escape me. I felt giddy like a child in a candy store standing on that hillside, just drinking in the sounds and sights before me. Bees were everywhere. Their buzzing filled our ears more accustomed to city noises. Painted Lady butterflies flitted from flower to flower filling Mimi with much delight as she chased them. The farm owner’s goats placidly munched weeds tossed them in a nearby pasture. The chicks laughter as they picked bunches to present to me filled my ears. It was beautiful.

But, truth be told I had an ulterior motive for going to this farm. Years ago my mother-in-law sent the Knight and I an article on lavender farming. We read it, smiled at the silly notions that sometimes enter my dear mother-in-law’s head, and promptly tossed the article. What in the world was she thinking? Two city kids and a lavender farm! What a laugh! We never thought of it again. That is until about six months ago. I am not sure how it happened but the Knight found a website for a lavender farm in Texas. He had me take a look. It was a “U-Pick” farm that a couple started a few of years ago after visiting Provence, France. After one visit to that web-site I was in love. In love with the farm. With Texas (at least that small part of it!). In love with the idea that one could actually live in place like that and grow something so wonderful as lavender and make a little money while doing it (little being the operative word here). We were hooked. At least with the idea of having a lavender farm. Well, the folks owning the farm in Texas have workshops once a year detailing how to get started. Boy, oh boy, did we want to go. Unfortunately, it was cost prohibitive AND the chicks couldn’t stay home alone. So, the workshop came and went without us and we let the desire fade. We convinced ourselves that having a lavender farm was out of the question…It was after all just a pipe dream, nonsense.

Then I visited that farm in the country. The dream is back. Plans are being made (at least in my head) of all the things one can do with lavender: soap, pot pourri, lavender wands, dried flowers, wreathes…the list goes on. Books on how to grow lavender are soon to be ordered. The Knight and I really feel the need to leave the suburbs behind and find a quiet, less crowded, slower paced life for our little chicks and ourselves. This may just be the ticket!

originally posted 6/16/05