Lavender time

Lavender and bee

Today begins Sequim’s annual three day Lavender Festival celebrating all things lavender. Most of our region offers good growing conditions for lavender and local crops range in size from a small backyard bush or two to large farms with hundreds of plants in dozens of varieties.

Lavender and bee 2

Most lavender growing operations are open to visitors during the festival and some offer entertainment, food, lavender education, and craft vendors. A downtown street fair fills in any gaps if you want to shop, eat, be entertained, and sniff lavender and lavender products all in one location.

Side note: If anyone’s counting, this marks my 1,750th post on Sequim Daily Photo. Time flies!

Victor’s Lavender

Victors Lavender

Over the years I’ve heard interesting lavender talks at the Sequim Lavender Festival. Last weekend I heard one of the best yet at Victor’s Lavender. Any lavender farm is pretty by its nature and Victor’s is no exception. But Victor’s Lavender has one special difference: Victor Gonzalez.

Victor Gonzales

Victor is an expert in growing and propagating lavender which he freely admits he learned through trial and error. He came from a farm family that legally emigrated from Mexico to the U.S. when he was 15 years old. His strong work ethic eventually landed him a job at a local Sequim farm whose manager was interested in growing lavender, a plant Victor had never heard of. Failures taught Victor one lesson after another until he was successfully propagating tens of thousands of plants. Today he not only produces lavender plants and products commercially he also consults internationally on cultivating lavender, including trips for the USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program. Click here for more information about Victor. He’s an interesting guy!

Victors storefront

Here’s the front view of Victor’s operation. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the police car parked in front.

The stuff of dreams

Olivers 1

The Sequim Lavender Festival planted stars in my eyes before we moved here. So many of the lavender farms have that dreamy, picturesque beauty that fills lifestyle fantasies. For me it’s almost Martha-Stewart-meets-Alice-in-Wonderland. Too crazy good to be true. But it isn’t, at least during Lavender Weekend and most of summer. This is Oliver’s Lavender Farm.

Olivers 2

The location is glorious and the grounds are so well groomed. A place this gorgeous needs a combination of staff and obsession. And a fistful of green thumbs, too. I love wandering through such a beautiful farm. Before moving here I held high hopes that some of it might rub off on me.

Olivers front

This is the home that greets you as you arrive at Oliver’s. Really, can’t you just imagine moving in? Help me, Martha!

Did somebody say “lavender?”

Lavender harvest 1

Workers were busy harvesting lavender at Graysmarsh Farm this week. Soon bundles will scent cars and luggage as our visitors head home after this weekend’s Lavender Festival. Some farms pre-pick bundles for lavender lovers and some are harvesting the herb to dry or distill it for lotions, soaps and essential oil.

Lavender harvest 2

Professionals harvest and shape the bushes at the same time.


These bundles were waiting at Jardin du Soleil last week. Lavender bouquets typically run $5 to $6.