In this valley, lavender blooms all summer long
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
What if you can have a day in the open air, a day of blue sky, sea breeze and the whisper scent of lavender?
In the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, that day is yours. Ten farms, all within a few miles of one another, offer the Sequim Lavender Experience all summer, and without a lot of driving. Oh, they’re distilling essential oil, offering fresh-cut bundles of flowers, scooping lavender ice cream and readying for the harvest. But away from the crowds of the July 20-22 Lavender Weekend, the experience is more relaxed for the visitor.
Why fight the crowds of Lavender Weekend when ten farms, all within a few miles of one another, offer the Sequim Lavender Experience all summer long?"
On the valley's eastern side,
Purple Haze Lavender Farm,
is one of the special places where you can behold the aura above
thousands of lavender plants. Explore the fields, then find a shady spot for a
glass of lavender lemonade.
Jardin du Soleil,
is an island of purple ringed by protected land, so the view stretches
out toward the horizon. Jardin, like many of the other farms, hosts a series of
special events on weekends during the summer season.
Heading south we find the Lavender Connection, where 37 varieties of the
herb grow. Once you’ve wandered among the rows, you might visit the
“perfumery,” and mix the lavender essence with other fragrances — “invent a
scent,” as they say here.
On Old Olympic Highway, B & B Family Farm is where three generations
of one clan nurture their 12 acres and thousands of lavender plants. This is
yet another farm where summer brings free tours, which here include the
100-year-old barn and a look at the one-of-a-kind “jitterbud” lavender
Victor’s Lavender is just down the road with a former milking barn
turned into a lavender haven. Farmer Victor Gonzalez of Sequim is known
internationally; his farm has provided more than 1 million lavender plants to
gardeners around the world.
On Finn Hall Road just off Old Olympic Highway, Washington Lavender offers a subtly fragrant experience: wildflower-lined driveway, thousands of lavender plants and a shop promising honeys, jams, teas, spices and other gifts. Also here, George Washington Inn, a bed and breakfast fashioned after Mount Vernon, stands on the bluff above the blue Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Swinging east again, we arrive at Martha Lane Lavender, where a gazebo
and gift shop are surrounded by purple. Like the neighboring lavender farmers,
Martha Lane’s Mike and Julie Greenhaw say they can see people start to relax as
soon as they step out of the car. The kids can run and play while the grownups
explore, and if they like, find out what other nearby farms offer.
To wrap up, let’s meet in downtown Sequim, where the Cedarbrook Lavender Gift Shop is filled with goods for cooking and wellness, plus the Lavender Lace Cookie.
“We bring the farm to the shop,” said Marcella Stachurski, who along with her crew makes Cedarbrook's products by hand, and with love.