Each year, the start of summer reveals itself through Mother Nature’s bounty, be it juicy peaches, homegrown tomatoes, or sweet, crisp melons. Across the South, fragrant lavender quilts the countryside in patches of purple every June. To amble among the trembling blooms and inhale the calming scent is a summertime rite of passage and a cathartic gift to the mind, body, and spirit. Here, we’ve rounded up seven Southern farms where you can not only stop and smell the lavender and pick your own bouquets but also snack, sip, and shop for scented souvenirs to take back home.
In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the Haushalters are building a legacy of lavender at their family farm. Every harvest season, more than eight thousand blooming plants beckon visitors for tours, U-Pick experiences, and lavender craft classes. The farm, which is open year-round and seven-days a week, is also home to the Purple WOLF Vineyard and Tasting Room. Grab a glass of the lavender-infused wine and explore the grounds, which include a life-size checkerboard and labyrinth as well as an oil distillery and a gift shop with lavender ice cream, teas, and body products.
Since 2012, the Swanson family has been welcoming the community to their lavender farm in Appomattox County. From May to September, guests can wander the garden paths and cut an array of fresh blooms, including lavender, sunflowers, and zinnias, or peruse the lavender soaps and sachets in the family’s Lavender Shoppe. The farm also offers a medley of workshops and live music events throughout the year.
With roughly two thousand plants and eleven different species of French and English lavender, the Bluegrass State’s first commercial lavender farm is a sanctuary for the senses. Every June, visitors buy tickets for their popular U-Pick events, yoga classes, painting courses, and lavender wreath-making workshops. Grab a ticket to a Lavender Night Market, where you can listen to live music and trim lavender beneath the stars.
While strolling through the fields at this Middle Tennessee farm, you’re sure to meet its namesake, Gigi de Lugo. This fourth-generation Virgin Islander enjoys sharing her knowledge and resources with others, so much so that she founded an alliance of lavender farmers throughout the South called the Lavender Exchange. This idyllic, by-appointment farm is also a licensed lavender nursery that’s supplied thousands of plants to both emerging and established farmers over the years.
Williamston, South Carolina
At Twin Creeks, Michelle Ducworth has taken her family’s century-old cattle farm and turned it into one of the Palmetto State’s most desirable lavender locales. Here, you’ll see seven different varieties of organically grown lavender blooming every June, in addition to other cut flowers throughout the year. Every weekend during the U-Pick season—May 26 to July 2—visitors can picnic or pick a fresh bouquet, while others come to relax over a scoop of lavender honey ice cream or shop from the more than one hundred lavender products in their barn store.
In the Texas Hill Country, Becker Vineyards lures both locals and visitors with its award-winning wine, which has been served in the White House, the Texas Governor’s Mansion, and the James Beard Foundation in New York. Complementing the fields of grapes are more than five hundred lavender plants that bloom every year through late spring. Stroll through the rows of pastel blossoms or visit the tasting room where an array of handmade soaps, sachets, balms, and candles are packed up and ready to be taken home, along with thirty-two different wines, including bottles of Texas tempranillo, viognier, and cabernet sauvignon.
Rising Fawn, Georgia
Twenty miles south of Chattanooga near Cloudland Canyon State Park, Alice and Bill Marrin are giving guests an aromatic escape from the stressors of daily life. In addition to educational lavender classes and events, their North Georgia farm also offers U-Pick dates every Saturday from June 9 to June 24 from 10 to 4. Stop by their farm store, The Lav Shack, for fresh-made products, or stay the night at Foxlair Cottage, an idyllic mountain getaway where guests receive complimentary access to the couple’s lavender fields along with a free U-Pick bundle.