July 20, 2013
from the program: Painted Lady Lavender Farm: Whimsey abounds as you enter this gorgeous cultivated canyon, revealed at the end of a woodsy driveway. After being inspired by a visit to France 20 years ago, the owners decided to farm lavender on this undulating acreage. The terraced hillside holds four lavender fields, vegetables, perennials, a tree house, two charming cottages, chicken and quail coops and a bocce court. The valley floor of the farm holds a cafe, many seating areas, a stage, a store selling lavender products, garden rooms and a fountain. Wrought iron furniture and gates were made by the owner’s son Wade. Daughter Sherri will be on hand to lead tours through this paradise.
I’ve written about this garden before, and for a more organized photo tour of the garden, you could read this. For garden tour day, I’d like to just share the impression of wandering through the garden.
Sheila and Debbie and Allan and I arrived at the farm with the foreknowledge that guided tours were being insisted upon; however, by invoking the fact that we had with us professional photographer Debbie Teashon, who has had photos in Fine Gardening and other famous magazines, and who needed to wander at will, and by reminding tour guide Sherri that I knew the gardens and its paths well and promising to keep my guests safe, we were given permission to wander at will.
Sheila and Allan and I enjoyed the sights and smells while Debbie photographed this and that.
A bit uphill from the back of the house is a gift shop with lavender items and antiques.
As we were enjoying the views from this area, a guided tour went by, crossed the field and went back down the hill.
Sherri was explaining all the different kinds of lavender and other herbs, but we were glad to be on our own rather than being guided because we are very
stubborn independent minded.
We were able to go further up the hill to a delightful guest cottage.
The farm is “off the grid” with any electricity powered by a generator and water supplied by a well.
I remember reading a novel about farm life where the family had an indoor kitchen for the winter and a roofed outdoor kitchen for the summer. It is an excellent idea, especially with the partial walls that provide windbreaks and shelter from any rain.
Belly dancing is a big part of the Lavender Farm lifestyle these days. You can read more that here. (They are having another Beach Bellydance Festival this year on August 10th and 11th.)
By now we had reunited with our friend Kathleen Shaw, who had been touring from north to south while we went south to north and then back south again.
We can just see Kathleen next to the statue in the photo below:
Our friend Jenay, who lives just up the road from the farm, was there as well.
She had been stationed at the entrance but as the tour hours drew to a close, she could not resist joining the dancers.
Susan’s decorative floral painting can be seen on buildings around the Peninsula; her mural of flying kites is on the outside wall of the Payson Hall clubhouse at Andersen’s RV Park.
As the dancing continued, we explored the gardens around the house.
Kathleen is amazing for the connections she has made as a vacationer here on the Peninsula. We so look forward to her moving here someday. The sooner the better!
The five of us (Kathleen, Allan, Debbie, Sheila, and I) walked back to our cars in a happy mood, went back to our house and all sat around for awhile discussing the tour and then went out for a delicious meal at the Depot Restaurant. Depot owner Nancy Gorshe was beaming because she had so much fun hosting tour guests at her mother’s garden. Our three friends from out of town were pleased with Chef Michael’s sulbimel food. (It was not a new experience for Kathleen, a frequent visitor to and future resident of the Peninsula.)
And our touring was not over, because on Sunday we all had plans to tour several more gardens on a private tour day of our own.