Fragrant purple flowers have been the highlight of Linda Dowling’s farm for a quarter of a century.
A sea of lavender blows in the breeze at Happy Valley Farm in Langford, which started with 500 cuttings Dowling took off one plant. Now, she grows up to 35 different varieties.
She sells fresh lavender, dried lavender and potted lavender plants, as well as dried herb blends and floral teas. Before focusing on lavender, Dowling grew an assortment of herbs, mainly culinary, medicinal and historical varieties.
“The lavender is a focal point. We could use it as a crop for agricultural status,” she said. “People now aren’t as interested in 16th-century herbs.”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary, Dowling is opening her farm to the public on weekends.
“I want people to wander through the gardens, bring a picnic lunch and celebrate this little oasis.”
With the main lavender harvest happening July 21, she added, anyone wanting to enjoy the beauty of this year’s crop should come prior to that. “You can come and smell it, feel it and see what a lavender field looks like.”
The greater farm property, which celebrated its 100th year in 2010, originally belonged to Dowling’s late grandmother, who willed the land to her three grandchildren.
“It was a gentleman’s farm just for the family,” said Dowling, who received 2.5 acres. “There was a goat pasture and an orchard.”
For information on the farm or its product lines, visit happyvalleylavender.com