Stories

Travel the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail

Sunny skies, modest rainfall and rolling hillsides make Southern Oregon a superior location for growing wine grapes, and that same mild climate is perfect for cultivating lavender plants.  Bunchy English Lavenders, showy French Lavenders, fragrant lavenders for body care and flavorful lavenders for food and drink: Southern Oregon’s lavender farms have it all.

by Eileen Garvin

At The English Lavender Farm in Applegate, visitors will find undulating acres of silver and green foliage and blossoms ranging from pale purple to brilliant blues. “The setting is really quite beautiful. People come when the flowers are blooming and the contrast between the fields of purple and the surrounding green hills is just lovely,” says Sue Owen, who co-owns the farm with her husband Derek. The Owens cultivate many kinds of lavender, including the short, dark Hidcote English Lavender the Grosso French Lavender and culinary lavenders like Royal Velvet and Melissa.

The English Lavender Farm in Applegate, Oregon
The English Lavender Farm in Applegate, Oregon

The Owens distill lavender oil on site in a copper still and harvest flowers for dried bouquets and buds. They craft a variety of lavender-based body care products like essential oils, soaps, lotions and sugar scrubs as well as culinary offerings like lavender infused honey, salt with lavender and culinary lavender on the stem.Check out their products at the farm and online or look for them at farmers markets in Grants Pass, Ashland, Medford and Jacksonville. Open in June and July from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Monday, The English Lavender Farm also hosts special events like wreath making, wine and painting evenings, farm dinners and parent-toddler mornings.

Lavender Fields Forever, Jacksonville, Oregon
Lavender Fields Forever, Jacksonville, Oregon

Jacksonville’s Lavender Fields Forever nurtures seven varieties of lavender on 1.5 acres of their farm.  Lavender varieties with blossoms of white, pink and blue are cultivated for essential oils, culinary use and crafts. Owners Cheri and Michael Lowry invite visitors to pick their own lavender, take a stroll through the fields and bring a picnic. The farm offers lavender distillation demos as well as hands-on classes about cultivation, distillation, culinary use, wreath-making and more. The Lowrys, who purchased Lavender Fields Forever in February, are excited to welcome visitors for their first season. Shop online or at the onsite barn store for bath and body products, essential oils and culinary treats. Lavender Fields Forever offers a farm stay and is available for weddings and special events. The farm is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from June 14 to August 11, 2019.

Applegate Valley Lavender Farm in Grants Pass cultivates eight varieties of lavender on its seven-acre farm. The farm is open July 10-28, 2019 from Tuesday through Sunday for U-pick as well as fresh, dried and culinary lavenders. Visitors are likely to see the resident Sebastopol Geese and Babydoll Sheep, which co-owner Deborah Thompson says help with the weeding.

Other stops along the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail include Williams-based Goodwin Creek Gardens, which sells lavender among many other kinds of potted plants; Dos Mariposa Vineyards & Lavender in Medford, and Oregon State University Lavender Garden in Central Point with the Pacific Northwest’s first Lavender Collection and Demonstration Garden with more than 80 varieties of lavender. The garden is open year-round for self-guided tours.

 

Bonus: Don’t miss the Southern Oregon Lavender Festival, which takes place over June 21-22 and July 12-14, 2019 and includes special events at some of these Southern Oregon lavender farms.

Story Categories