In a world full of so much stress, it’s not surprising that lavender is so popular. There are lavender soaps, perfumes, dried wreaths and fresh bouquets. At a restuarant in Portland last month, I had a lavender lemon drop, and lavender lemonade is a tasty treat in the heat of summer. And of course, lavender has a starring roll in the French Herbes de Provence herb mixture.
Lavender greets our guests at the B&B
We are at the peak of lavender season in July and there seems to be a lavender field in full bloom at every turn. Gone are the days of having a limited selection of types: purple Spanish and purple English. Now there are hundreds of choices. There’s even a very precise color scale that resembles the diamond color spectrum.
Lavender loves dry soil with lots of drainage and sun, just what we have here in the Willamette Valley in the summer. And it benefits from benign neglect, so it seems to be the perfect plant for me. At the B&B, we have a fledgling lavender field out past the shed, less than a year old. Hopefully it won’t be too long before guests can wander through our six different varieties of lavender to pick bunches of their own.
The B&B driveway is lined with Melissa Lavender, a light pink variety that is relatively small.
Just up the road from us is Mountainside Lavender which is open this month for U-Pick from their fields or to purchase some of their many lavender products or plants.
I would be remiss without mentioning Lavender at Stonegate
, which is east of here outside of West Linn. Sarah has been invaluable in helping me select the lavender for our field and providing healthy plants for us to stock the field with. She grows over 90 varieties of lavender and even is in the process of writing a book discussing the growing, cultivating, harvesting and usage of more than 100 varieties.
Enough writing about it… I think I’ll go get out my lavender eye pillow and chill out.