We often travel miles when we can find what we were looking for right in our backyard, if only we knew where to look. A couple of summers ago I was busy planning our summer trip to the south of France and was desperately trying to figure out the timing of Lavender fields in bloom. Seeing and smelling some lavender fields in Provence, was high on my wishlist. Little did I know I could find lavender fields near Dallas at Lavender Ridge Farms!
Our trip had us there in Aix-en-Provence end of July to the first week in August. We were narrowly missing the lavender by a week- since it will be harvested by the middle to end of July. I have been trying different searches to see if I can find a field where the blooms and harvest run a little later. During one of my endless searches, I ran into a site that had pictures of lavender fields in Texas. The sight of the Lavender field in full bloom is a sight to behold, not to mention the smell- miles and miles of purple blankets stretching as far as the eye can see. So to have found it right in our backyard when I have been looking for it halfway across the world was exciting to say the least!! We have these lavender fields right here in Texas and I have looking for them all the way in France – A Provencal view right here in our backyard!
Visiting Lavender Ridge Farms, a Lavender Field near Dallas
Lavender Ridge Farms is located 8 miles east of Gainesville, Texas. It is a beautiful hour drive through the countryside with farms and open skies that we Texans love. Originally a strawberry and melon farm in the 1920s & 1930s, Lavender Ridge Farms opened in 2006 as a lavender, cut-flower, and herb farm. Run by siblings Jerry Ware and Jane Dane, the land here has been in the family for over 150 years and will be for many years to come. Apart from the lavender they also have a variety of perennials and lots of birds and hummingbirds visiting.
There were hammocks and cozy corners, lots of garden art, they even have a chairy tree. Plenty of space for the kids to run around and learn about a working farm.
While we were there we saw chickens in the coop, some lemurs, and a watchdog named Georgia – Lavender Ridge Farm is a beautiful working farm and garden.
The little gift shop is stocked with everything lavender from scented oils, handmade herbal soaps and cute knickknacks with lavender prints that transport you to the villages of Provence.
The Café is delightful, where you can stop by for a lavender inspired lunch in the screened-in patio nestled among the tall shady oaks overlooking the lavender field. It makes for a perfect setting to enjoy the tasty lavender treats – we loved the lavender cheesecake and lavender lemonade. Jane makes these delicious goodies right there in her kitchen with a purple door. They have cooking classes with lavender of course!
Best time to visit Lavender Ridge Farms
Jerry who was busy tending to the farm mentioned that the lavender blooms around the end of May and continues through early July and sometimes through mid-July. During which time the lavender and other crops like Iris and Zinnia will be available for picking.
Lavender Ridge Farms hosts an annual Lavender Festival where there will be wine tasting, antiques and art and of course lavender products. You can also buy little lavender plants to bring home to your garden or patio. About 50 vendors set up shop under the shade of the oak trees, rain or shine the festival will be held Memorial Day Weekend.
The farm currently has 2 acres of lavender planted and more lavender, new herbs, scented geraniums and cut-flowers are being added all the time. It is smaller compared to the bigger and more expansive fields of Provence but definitely has a rustic Texan charm to it! Plan a picnic or snap a picture at the Lavender Ridge Farm and fool your friends into thinking you went for a weekend getaway to Provence!
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