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Lavender – A Love Affair

By Sheila O’Hearn

True story: as a young girl, I couldn’t wait to go to the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, (CNE) — not for the whirling rides, and candy floss, — but for the lavender! Every year, my parents’ last stop was a lone booth where, among other fragrances, lavender potpourris were sold. I emptied my change-purse bursting with pennies. It was mine! – the purple, slightly pungent trophy — its scent sandwiched between tartness and calm. I truly believed my insides sparkled, fairy-like, every time I breathed it in. Magical! The potpourris would grace my top drawer until CNE time the following summer. As you can imagine, research into Canada’s lavender farms was a pleasure: A plant, I have learned since, is so versatile you can wear it, drink it, eat it, or apply remedially!

Full Bloom Lavender Farm

“The secret of our success,” says co-owner Robyn Wyman “is that we give people a truly sensory experience.” Two-point-five acres are dedicated to 2,000 organically grown lavender plants. Robyn is a Registered Aromatherapist and spa-er, whose focus is about preventative health care, education and awareness, while participating as an agri-tourist destination. Robyn and husband, Greg Reid, have come a long way from the hay field they purchased in 2003. Today, you can wander their breathtakingly cultivated property; customize a relaxation day at Full Bloom with Swedish massage, aromatherapy, Reiki, or yoga. Drop in for lavender tea. Hand-crafted bath and body products are available, and contain pure essential oils, pure botanicals, or are lavender infused with sweet almond. These are chemical-free products—animal friendly too! Join Robyn and Greg at their Third Annual Lavender Festival, July 4-5.

Langley, British Columbia

Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm

Owners Jacqueline and Ben Sutton’s farm is blessed with soil that contains quartz crystal, which, when infused with lavender creates a “high vibrational essence”. Organically grown, their lavender essential oil is steam distilled at the farm. Aromatherapy is prime for the couple, with a signature scent developed for a BC spa. Ben’s background in botany means that they propagate their own lavender, distil it, and distribute to several more spas as a private label. “We hand make everything ourselves,” Jacqueline says, including choice lavender cuisine. They bought the 35-acre farm in 1999, hand-propagating 4,000 plants in rented greenhouse space. Today, 7,000 lavender plants thrive on two acres. Seek spiritual solace at Sacred Mountain on the foothills of Mount Tuam. Day or overnight meditation retreats include horseback riding. July 5th marks their seventh annual Lavender Festival.

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia