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!

Still wondering

Martha Lane Lavender is a certified organic lavender farm. They offer lavender ice cream, cookies, and lemonade for sale during the Lavender Festival. But, well, this bench caught my eye. And so did the still in the background. I’m sure it’s innocent, just for distilling lavender. But the people in this shot were engaged in such an animated conversation I couldn’t interrupt with questions. And it’s tacky to ask about free samples, isn’t it?

In pursuit of purple

Sequim, the “Lavender Capital of North America,” is celebrating our purpleness this weekend with the annual Lavender Faire and Festival. Our weather has been perfect and the timing is right: the fields are in peak form and they look great.

We had time yesterday to take in just a couple of the many farms that have opened their doors to visitors. My camera favored Oliver’s Lavender Farm, shown here.

Lavender grows well in many areas of Sequim. It likes loose, sandy soil and not too much moisture. Though soils vary throughout this region (my garden is favored with a choice blend of clay and concrete), many places have the “just right” conditions for lavender. Plant it there and watch it take off.

Most of our lavender growers enhance the view with garden features and plantings that would make a brown thumb ache with envy. But it’s also an inspiration to take ideas home.

There are lavender plants virtually everywhere, ready for the home gardener. Or baskets and clippers to pick some fresh to take along. Or bundles of dried lavender. Or any imaginable lavender-based lotion or potion.

The Lavender Festival, 2

Yesterday’s weather wouldn’t have thrilled sun-worshipers, but the lavender at Jardin du Soleil was bright enough to make a lavender lover happy.

Purple Haze Lavender has beautiful fields in all directions, rain or shine.

And the fields at Olympic Lavender Farm were a vivid contrast to a grey day.

This display of plants for sale at Lost Mountain Lavender would have visitors believe that life is just a bed of lavender in Sequim.

I understand that the farmers who make up the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association are a cooperative group and supportive of one another. But at times while visiting the farms on the Lavender Farm Tour it seems like they’re all trying to be tops in having beautiful vistas across fields of fragrant lavender. It’s quite a treat.