Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lavender adventure

I visited the Long Beach Peninsula in southwest Washington this past week. While at the Ilwaco Saturday Market I paused to buy a delicious-looking lavender-laced cookie. I was immediately urged to visit the Painted Lady Lavender Farm just east of town. You can't miss it if you watch for the colorful sign.

Inside the gate is a wondrous paradise.

Immediately I was swept up in the warm embrace (er, figuratively speaking, alas) of Pierre, from Provence, France, who is spending the year as a guest artist on the farm. He picked bits of lemon balm, rosemary, and various lavenders for me as he guided me through the fragrant gardens. By the end of the tour I had a charming bouquet.

A guest cottage that doubles, upon request, as a tea house for your private party, looked enticing in the sun-streaked shadows.

But then I turned to my right and was awestruck. Pierre is building an outdoor bathroom. He explained that when finished, it will be open to the stars above.

The romantic mood was jarred by the arrival of Tom, a massive turkey who jealously guards his chickens, one of whom he was running after.

Pierre told me that Tom leaves women alone, but he does not like men. I was touched when Pierre stepped protectively between me and Tom, but I watched with inevitable amusement as he tried to chase the turkey away with a trembling hand. I apologize to the handsome Pierre for not getting a better photo of him, perhaps when he was glowing with pride over his amazing stone work around the bathtub.

Tom was not amused by the chase. He flew onto a nearby roof and watched Pierre walk away.

Pierre proceeded to show me some of his nice art that is for sale in the gift shop and also gave me a sample of lemon curd flavored with lavender buds. I was just falling in love when the next guest arrived and I was forgotten like last year's lavender bouquet.

I do recommend the tour, which has something for everyone: beauty, fragrance, art, edibles, and high farm adventure. Will Tom get Pierre on the next tour?

Painted Lady Lavender Farm
1664 Highway 101 South
Ilwaco, Washington 98624

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing experience! I love the outdoor bathroom. If it weren't for the modern fixtures it would look like an old ruin. I want one!