Willowfield Lavender Farm is an organic lavender farm with approximately 1,000 plants covering a four-acre field. Our love of gardening and wildlife brought us to this land in 1992. Our farm includes 28 acres, many of which are woodlands providing home to a variety of plants and animals. In October, 2001, we planted our first 100 lavender plants. It has been a labor of love ever since. Lavender is one of the most beloved plants in the world–and our experience as lavender farmers has taught us why. It requires hard work and dedication; but, the benefits are well worth it. In 2008, we visited the amazing lavender fields in Provence, France. The lavender was at the peak of its bloom, and beautiful beyond description. Also, in the high altitudes of that region, the finest lavender variety in the world grows wild, ‘lavande du population.’ This particular variety can only be found in the mountainous regions of France. Our trip to Provence has inspired us to learn even more about this most amazing plant. We are excited to share our joy in what we are learning and we look forward to your visit to our farm where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll in our fields as you experience the ‘gift’ of lavender.
ALL ABOUT LAVENDER
Soil Preparation/Planting: Lavender, the most beloved plant world-wide, is a beautiful addition to any garden. Growing it in Indiana’s Zone 5 requires some special considerations. Lavender is a native plant of the Mediterranean and needs dry, sunny, rocky habitats. Consider these growing requirements when deciding where you want to plant your lavender garden. Lavender loves warm, well-drained soil in a very sunny location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight (preferably from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). We recommend that you prepare your soil in a base of lime stone for drainage and to sweeten the soil. Typically, lavender likes a ph of 6.5 to 8.0. Fertilizing the plants the first year is also recommended. Lavender is a drought-tolerant plant but needs regular watering initially until the roots are established in that first growing season. Space your plants at least two feet apart for proper air movement around the plants. This will keep them from holding moisture at the base of the plant which can result in stem rot and even root rot.
Pruning, Harvesting, and/or Grooming: Harvesting the lavender can be also be considered pruning. However, in the spring, you can prune Angustifolias (true or ‘English’ lavenders) a bit to keep plants well shaped and to encourage new growth. Hybrid lavenders, such as Grosso and Provence, should be pruned in late fall as they will set their buds over winter. As a general rule, cut back by approximately one-third the height of the plant.
Protecting Lavender: Protect plants in the event of an unusual weather event for the region; i.e., ice storm or temperatures falling below -20 degrees F. Only cover them thru the event, however. You can also mulch lavender after the ground initially freezes. This mulch should be removed during the summer growing season as it can hold too much moisture.
Planting in Containers: Lavender should grow in containers that are only an inch or two larger than the root ball. The plant likes growing in a tight space, therefore will need to be re-potted as it gets larger. Water it when the soil (not the plant) appears dry and also at the base of the plant (not on the foliage).
Lavender Benefits & Usage: There are many studies being done about the benefits of Lavender oil. Lavender is one of the most versatile oils there is. Lavender is analgesic, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and has for centuries been used for its beneficial effect on skin, soothing burns and healing wounds, stimulating the growth of skin cells, treating eczema and psoriasis. Lavender is used as an anti-depressant and the high linalool and linalyl acetates in Lavender have been demonstrated to have anti-anxiety, stress reducing effects. Diffused Lavender oil has also been reported to relieve tension headaches. Lavender oil is a bug repellent as well. We have personally used it for headaches, sleeplessness and more. In choosing an oil, we recommend using any ‘Angustifolia’ variety, mainly because hybrid oils, which are much higher in camphor, can actually be stimulating rather than calming.
WILLOWFIELD LAVENDER FARM'S PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY POLICY
For professional photo shoots Willowfield Lavender Farm charges $100 (plus tax) per session. You may schedule your session during business hours, or before and after hours. Contact us via email to schedule a session.
The farm is a beautiful backdrop for many types of photography. The lavender is in bloom roughly from mid-June thru mid-July with some re-bloom in August and on. Even when the lavender has been harvested, our farm continues to lure the guests with wild flowers, paths into the woods, unique architecture, etc.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the lavender "in bloom"?
This is hands-down the most frequently asked question we get here at the farm. It's a bit of a complicated question. First, lavender has three stages of development: budding, flowering, and going to seed. In the first two stages you will see a beautiful purple color out in the fields. So, what you are meaning to ask is "Are the lavender fields full of purple?"
Our lavender begins to present (show color) in late May/early June and continues to bud and re-bloom through mid-September. So if you visit the farm at any point during this time, you should see some purple.
However, we are harvesting the lavender before it flowers in order to use the buds in our product. In past bountiful seasons, we allowed some of the lavender to go to flower for your viewing pleasure. Each season’s bounty is dictated by the spring rains and summer heat. Our farm is quite beautiful throughout the entire season with plantings of flowers and paths to meander. Please come to enjoy the peace our farm can bring…
Can we pick the lavender?
We allow u-pick lavender in seasons where the harvest is abundant. Please call ahead to make certain our harvest is sufficient. And, we do have fresh hand-picked bundles for purchase in the shop, when available.
What do we do when we come? Is there a charge to walk around?
No. You may browse the shop, roam the fields, wander the paths, have a picnic - all for free!
Do you sell plants?
We do sell plants, but typically sell out by the end of June. Come early if you want to purchase one!
Are you handicap accessible?
The shop and the side porch are all the same level and are fairly easy to maneuver for guests with wheelchairs and walkers. The bathroom facilities are limited due each individual's mobility. In general, the field is also accessible to people with walkers and wheelchairs.
Do you serve food?
We do not have a cafe or a restaurant, but we do serve fresh lavender-blended iced-teas and some sweets.
Do you allow smoking?
We are a non-smoking facility.
Do you allow dogs?
Yes! However, they must be on a leash and you must pick up after them.