North Carolina's Lavender Landscapes
Purple perennials are more than just for showBy Leah Chester-Davis
Lavender fields filled with fragrant, spiky, delicate blooms punctuate the Provence countryside in France. The purple-mounded rows are stunningly beautiful and are an iconic image in photographs from the region. A few North Carolina lavender farms now dot our state’s landscape, lending a touch of that iconic beauty when in full bloom.
North Carolina lavender farms are small, but they offer a chance to walk among the plants that, when grown en masse, lend a romantic touch to any landscape. Depending on the year, some of the farms open their doors to visitors, particularly in June when the plant is at its peak in the state.
A lavender farm in full bloom is a sensory experience beyond the scenic beauty. Breathe in the delightful fragrance. Listen to humming bees that absolutely adore this plant. Sample lavender products, from lemonade and baked goods to skin creams and perfumes.
The following is a short list of farm offerings in North Carolina. More lavender farms can be found throughout the state.
Sunshine Lavender Farm
Sunshine Lavender Farm was started more than 15 years ago in northern Orange County, in the Hurdle Mills community. Its owners, Dale, Annie, Abigail and Sylvie Baggett, are members of Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation. With a background in marketing, Annie was drawn to lavender because of its uniqueness to the area. The farm now has 750 to 1,000 plants. Two Saturdays each year, usually in March and October, the farm sets up its signature lavender tent at the Hillsborough Farmers Market for a Lavender Planting Clinic & Sale.
The best way to stay abreast of planting clinics and annual harvest celebrations is to visit www.sunshinelavenderfarm.com. You’ll also find information on lavender products and Annie’s tours to Provence during the peak lavender bloom.
The Lavender Garden
The Lavender Garden is located outside of Salisbury in Rowan County. Owner Rita Rodelli has about 600 lavender plants. Rodelli’s Lavender Garden space at the Davidson Farmers Market sells lavender products such as sachets, mists, lotions and lavender wands most of the year.
The Lavender Garden’s Open Farm Day is June 11, from 1 to 5 p.m. Visit the farm website (www.thelavendergarden.net) and get your name on the mailing list to learn more.
Frogholler Lavender Farm
Frogholler Lavender Farm, in Madison in Rockingham County, currently grows lavender for products the farm makes (sachets, etc.); but this year, owner Dorothy Allen is starting a new farm in Madison and planting 1,500 plants. She expects to open the farm to tours and visitors in 2018. She sells lavender plants and those are available this year. Visit the farm’s Facebook page at facebook.com for more information.
Hauser Creek Farm
Hauser Creek Farm is located just west of Winston-Salem, in rural Davie County. Owner Alethea Segal, an EnergyUnited member, started growing lavender in 2010. She was drawn to the beautiful purple and lavender blooms. She also likes how it attracts beneficial insects to the landscape. Her lavender garden is about half an acre. The farm sells fresh lavender bunches and artisan lavender goats milk soap at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax.
In addition to the lavender, Segal grows peonies, sunflowers, perennials and other flowers. The location is an outdoor wedding venue that can accommodate up to 100 guests. Hauser Creek Farm usually hosts one or two Open Farm Days each June. Visit the farm website at www.hausercreekfarm.com to sign up for updates.
Salem Lavender Farm
Salem Lavender Farm, in Lewisville in Forsyth County, is a relatively new farm in the state. Owned by Gray and Wendy King, the farm is just getting its lavender crop started. The Kings were drawn to lavender due to its ability to attract pollinators, and they planted 1,200 plants this spring. Visit www.salemlavenderfarm.com for info on their Open Farm Days in 2017. The farm also will feature a chicken coop, butterfly garden and a honey bee colony. The Kings will be selling lavender products through the website and local farmers markets.
Bluebird Hill Farm
Bluebird Hill Farm, in Bennett in Chatham County, usually hosts a lavender harvest during the month of June. Owner Norma Burns plans to make a late-May planting party an annual event for those interested in learning more about lavender. Burns also has a distiller used to distill essential oils from the lavender flowers. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the AuthorLeah Chester-Davis has her own business, Chester-Davis Communications (chester-davis.com), specializing in food, farm and lifestyle brands and organizations.
Blooming across Carolina