Monday, June 17, 2013

Lavender On The Brain

Julia Cameron introduced the concept of the Artist's Day in her seminal book on creativity and tapping into our creative sides called The Artist's Way. I read her book over 20 years ago when I lived in Brussels, Belgium and have now read it three times. I highly recommend Cameron's awesome book over and over again to friends and family who feel stuck in a rut and want to find and pursue their passions in life.

An Artist's Day to me back when I lived in Brussels could have meant an afternoon with Magritte, marveling at the Grand Place and trips to Provence, Ghent or Brugges. I live in West Virginia now and these days, my Artist's Days look more like a trip to a farmer's market, a picnic at a Virginia winery, a visit to a Civil War area, and year-round, myriad festivals in my neck of the woods which I love. But, an Artist's Day could also mean baking a cake, picking wildflowers, making a collage of favorite photographs. Anything to fill your emotional well is an Artist's Day.

This past Saturday, two friends and my sister joined me for a road trip to Willow Pond Farm Herbs & Everlastings in Fairfield, Pennsylvania. This was our third time at the Annual Lavender Festival and we were excited. We were coming from Northern Virginia and West Virginia and met in Frederick, Maryland to carpool in one car which is always fun. Willow Pond's lavender festival had actually been held the weekend before, but with all the rain in our area, the lavender hadn't bloomed. So, when the farm offered another weekend to pick lavender, we jumped at the chance!

Sadly, the lavender at Willow Pond Farm was not in full bloom and our dreams of colorful photographs were dashed. We still had a great time, enjoyed lavender ice cream and watched a young woman making lavender wands, but we were a bit bummed. I felt sad for the elderly owners of the lavender farm and the festival organizers, but what can you do? Lavender needs hot sun and dry weather which we have not had much of this summer.

Oh, well. C'est la vie. We'd still had a nice outing together and it was a beautiful day. We left Fairfield and headed south on 15 toward Frederick, MD and my sister spotted a small lavender sign that read: Lavender Festival. I saw the sign, but thought it was an old sign for the Fairfield festival the week before. Lo and behold, we spotted a larger sign on the side of the highway. A different lavender festival and it was that day! I laughed at how a male driver might not agree to turn the car around and we were almost giddy as we made the U-turn and drove up the gravel driveway.

LAVENDER! Rows and rows of lavender at Springfield Manor! What a feast for the eyes, nose and soul. We jumped out of the car and began taking photographs as if the lavender would disappear into thin air. There were also rows and rows of grape vines dotting the hill. We bought bouquets of freshly cut lavender, my sister and I bought lavender plants (Munstead and Provence variety), and we discovered from the owner's children that the old stone house on the hill is soon to open as an Inn and their newly renovated barn and patio are to open as a winery/future distillery in September. Wine, lavender, and B&Bs, three of my favorite things in one spot. Awesome! We'll be visiting soon!

After the festival, three of us headed to the river for a fun evening and relaxing Sunday. The weather was perfect and the river was beautiful. Artist's Day well done!

I'm heading outside with my lavender plants to select the sunniest part of my garden with thoughts of France, friendship and future road trips.

Peace and love,


  1. That's an awesome picture, E. I don't think I knew there was such a thing as a Lavender Festival. How serendipitous that you ladies came across that second one! Glad to hear you got to enjoy the river this weekend, too!

  2. Thanks, Linda! If you Google lavender farms, you will be amazed at the number of farms with festivals :) Hope there's one close to you.

    I was thrilled to discover Springfield Manor which is closer to me! I hope you had a super weekend, too!