Summer in the Northwest. It may bring blue skies and hot days but it also brings something just as beautiful: lavender!
Of course, you could fly to Provence to view the majestic, purple fields – or you could stay close to home and travel to a few areas around Western Washington, like Sequim, Friday Harbor, Port Angeles and Arlington. All have lavender farms in full bloom during these summer months.
While it is true that lavender likes a sunny spot, it does very well here in the Pacific Northwest temperate climate, never getting too cold or too hot. Along with sun, lavender appreciates soil with good drainage, sandy soils being ideal. The best time to visit the lavender fields is late June through August. Many of the lavender varieties begin to bloom in late June, peaking in July and are ready to harvest in August (although there are some varieties that will continue to grow into September and October).(Image: Richard Schmitz)
Once harvested, many of the flowers can be dried or processed for use in distillation, creating the ever-popular essential oil we have all come to adore, or for scenting our soaps, lotions, and candles.
Sequim, in Clallam County and located on the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, is sometimes referred to as “America’s Provence”. There are over 20 family-owned lavender farms in this region covering the area’s fields with this beautiful, fragrant plant. Since 1996 these farmers have been opening their doors and their fields to the public with the annual Sequim Lavender Festival. With the uncertainty around large group gatherings and COVID, the Sequim Lavender Growers Association decided to cancel the festival street fair activities usually held at Carrie Blake Park, but many of the farms are still opening their fields to guests, with safety protocols in effect.
If you like lavender, be sure to make time this summer to visit one, or maybe all, of these lavender farms. Here are 7 lavender farms to get you started.