Friday, July 19, 2013

Lavender Festival

Light and dark lavender are available to pick at Greysmarch Farm in
Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.
Lavender graces the roadside for
drivers as they enter Sequim, WA.
This is the weekend of the annual Lavender Festival, and purple flags are flying everywhere... not to mention purple and white lavender blooms on display at every corner, in many fields and local yards. The scent of lavender permeates the air almost from the moment you arrive in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.

Lavender in close up.
Lavender, of which there are 39 known species, has been used as an oil and herbal treatment for centuries, but it was only within the last couple of decades that Sequim has become a center for both the commercial growing and product development of this lovely plant. It is not so appreciated in Australia, where one species has become a noxious weed.

Originating in the Old World, it was probably initially found on the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. It requires little moisture to grow well, needs full sun and likes the sandy, gravelly soil of this area. This weekend is a wonderful demonstration of what sun and fresh air can do - both for the visitor and the flower.
The Lavender Arts and Crafts Faire in the Park began today where lavender soaps, shampoos, body washes, sachets, and various crafts celebrating lavender itself are on sale. There will also be a huge variety of dishes made using lavender in local restaurants, and a local winery offers a lavender wine. The lavender honey, from the bees doing all the pollinating, seems like the most divine product to me. It appears there is no end to the uses for this delicate and fragrant flower which finds the Dungeness prairie an ideal growing spot.

If you want more information about this annual event, here are three links:

A number of farms offer free tours, some are part of an organization which requires purchase of a $15 button to visit them and most of them are selling products, and the bigger farms have music or other entertainment as part of the cost of the visit. Some might be including the opportunity to pick your own. Greysmarch Farms also has raspberries, blackberries and blueberries for self-picking and the lovely scent of lavender wafts across the fields, making the picking quite special. I have found their prices to be the most favorable, and the link takes you to their internet store.
Can you find the bees in this shot?
It is a popular time to have professional photographers
take engagement photos amidst the flowers, too.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutley love lavender. If I had my way, my entire front yard would be a field of lavender!