Visit one of these lavender farms at high season ― May and June in California, June and July in the Northwest and mountains ― and you might think you're in the south of France, where legendary lavender fields have been in cultivation for centuries.
Pelindaba Lavender Farm
Open daily May-Oct (call for off-season hours). 33 Hawthorne Lane, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island; www.pelindaba.com or 360/378-4248.
Open House: Tours of the farm; presentations on cooking, crafts, and cultivation. 10-5 Jul 10-11, 2004; free.
Favorite Lavender: Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso', for its intense fragrance.
Purple Haze Lavender Farm
Farm: Open daily through Sep 1; 180 Bell Bottom Rd., Sequim. Store: Open daily through Dec (call for off- season hours); 127 W. Washington St., Sequim; www.purplehazelavender.com or 360/683-1714.
Open House: One of six farms taking part in the Sequim Lavender Festival. 10-6 Jul 16-18, 2004; $6 (good for all participating farms).
Favorite Lavender: L. x intermedia 'Hidcote Giant', for its fat purple blossoms.
Champion Acres Nursery
Open by appointment through Sep. 78693 Cedar Park Rd., Cottage Grove; www.championacres.com or 541/942-7766.
Open House: Plant sale; demonstrations on crafts and pruning. 9-5 Jul 10-11, 2004; free.
Favorite Lavender: L. x heterophylla, for its sweet fragrance and constant bloom (borderline hardy in Oregon).
Sawmill Ballroom Lavender Farm
Thu-Sat through May, Thu- Sun Jun-Aug 15, 2004. 29251 Hamm Rd., Eugene; www.sawmillballroom.com or 541/686-9999.
Open House: Food, crafts; classes on growing and pruning. Tour five plantings. 11-4 Jul 17-18; free.
Favorite Lavender: L. 'Silver Frost', for its silvery foliage and attractive form.
Shooting Star Lavender Farm
Mon-Sat through May (call for summer and off-season hours). 17676 Beaver Falls Rd., Clatskanie; www.shootingstarlavender.com or 503/ 728-4236.
Open House: Lavender tasting. 10-5 Jun 26-27; free. Wreath and wand classes; U-pick. 10-5 Jul 31-Aug 1, 2004 and 10-5 Aug 7-8, 2004; free.
Favorite Lavender: L. angustifolia 'Royal Purple', for its deep purple flowers with mellow flavor.
Valley View Lavender Farm
Fri-Sat through Dec. 4297 Carter Pack Rd., Buhl; www.valleyviewlavenderfarm.com or 208/543-4283.
Open House: Food, vendors, U-pick. 10-7 Jul 10; free admission.
Favorite Lavender: L. x intermedia 'Hidcote Giant', for its large flower heads.
Cache Creek Lavender
Open year-round by appointment. 3430 Madrone St., Rumsey; www.cachecreeklavender.com or 530/796-2239.
Open House: Talks on growing and using lavender; U-pick. 9-5 Jun 13, 2004; free.
Favorite Lavender: Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote', for its delicate, sweet scent and beautiful deep purple flowers.
Healdsburg Lavender Festival
Tastings, seminars, craft and cooking demonstrations, and lavender products. 11-4 Jun 19-20, 2004; free admission. Healdsburg Downtown Plaza, Healdsburg Ave. and Matheson St. (Central Healdsburg exit off U.S. 101); www.healdsburglavenderfestival.com or 707/431-4219.
Matanzas Creek Winery
Open daily year-round. 6097 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa; www.matanzascreek.com or 800/590-6464.
Open House: Lavender-enhanced cuisine, wine tasting, and more. 1-4 Jun 26, 2004; $75.
Favorite Lavender: L. x intermedia 'Grosso', for its intense fragrance and dark flower color.
Open only during open house (see below). 8537 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood; www.sonomalavender.com or 707/523-4411.
Open House: Free seminars on growing, cooking, and crafting with lavender; U-pick and live plants. 10-4 Jun 12-13, 2004; $5 per vehicle.
Favorite Lavender: L. x intermedia 'Hidcote Giant', for its dark flower color and generous plant size.
Rusty Acres Herb Farm
Open year-round by appointment. 4233 Rosa Rancho Lane, Fallbrook; www.rustyacres.com or 760/731-7349.
Open House: Food; seminars on growing plants and distilling oil. 10-4 Jun 26-27, 2004; free.
Favorite Lavender: L. angustifolia 'Skylark', for its pleasant scent, gorgeous flowers, and ease of growing.