Last month, I blogged about the lavender fields in Sequim, Washington; about how they weren’t quite ready for prime time even though the annual Lavender Festival was at hand. I was up in Sequim the past several days for the annual Becker family campout, held this year at Sequim Bay State Park. Being so close to the lavender fields again, I decided to make a second visit to see what another month had brought.
There was definitely much more lavender blooming than a month earlier. However, it appeared that all the farms have started harvesting the blooms, some more than others. Some fields are completely flowerless. Others are in full bloom. Still there were many good photo opportunities to be had. The Purple Haze farm we visited in July had many cut fields, but did have other fields in bloom, as well as many other flowers. We were not able to visit the Jardin du Soleil farm, the other farm we visited in July, as it was temporarily closed. However, from the road, its fields looked in good shape. By just driving around north of town, we found and stopped at four or five other farms as well.
Many of the farms are currently distilling lavender oil. At the Port Williams farm, Tanya and I learned about lavender farming, how the oil is distilled, what products are made from it, as well as other interesting facts. For example, we learned the lavender is not irrigated, because it creates more oil when it is water stressed, and that humans are the only animals to eat lavender.
Overall, it was definitely worth doing the lavender redux. You might try it as well if you find yourself in the Sequim area.
I meant to report on the state of the lavender fields up in Sequim, Washington after my trip there last week, but got caught up in preparing for the Art on the Ave, which was held last Sunday. I’ve wanted to photograph the Sequim lavender fields for years, and finally made time to do it. I was able to visit the Purple Haze lavender farm and the Jardin du Soleil farm. Unfortunately, our seasonally cool weather this spring and early summer defeated me again – at least partially. I did come away with a few nice photographs, as you can see by the images illustrating this blog entry, but not with shots I was really looking for.
The Lavender Festival is coming up this weekend. It is always the 3rd weekend in July, supposedly timed with peak bloom. Well, peak bloom is late this year. There is some lavender blooming, but a lot of it still needs several weeks of summer to reach full bloom. The early varieties were blooming nicely last week, and probably are still doing so this week. But most of the fields are planted with later blooming varieties, which were showing much yet (at least last week they weren’t).
So when will peak bloom be this year? No one is sure, but I doubt it will be this weekend. I spoke with one of the employees at Purple Haze about when they thought the peak would be. Their best guess was toward the end of July, or even possibly into early August. My best advice, which of course I didn’t follow when I went up there last week, is to check out Purple Haze’s webcam. However, don’t wait too long, the lavender gets picked after it blooms; and with the late bloom this year, I imagine they may want to not wait too long to pick it.