Imagine yourself here...leisurely observing row upon row of stunning, elegant, dazzling lavender gently swaying back and forth in a soft breeze. No, you are not in Provence, France or even Sequim, Washington but in the little town of Martinsville in South Central Virginia. Imagination Lavender Farm is Carolyn's retirement endeavor but convinced Wayne to tag along on the journey.
Lavender has a unique quality to bring relaxation and pleasure in many different ways. As one of God's most beautiful creations, lavender elicits relaxation from its aroma, which fills a room, or from the body butter or hand lotion that softens the skin. Lavender added to chocolate brownies gives a subtle delicious flavor. A piece of toast smothered in lavender honey tickles the taste buds, expanding the taster's culinary senses. In the visual sense, a large vase filled with fresh or dried lavender or a beautiful wreath made of lavender secures lavender's status as the love plant.
Our lavender journey began in a small way in May 2017. We visited several lavender farms, were quite impressed, and came away with such a sense of joy. Evergreen Lavender in Appomattox and Beagle Ridge Herb Farm in Wytheville, Virginia were especially stunning. Both female owners Bonnie Swanson and Ellen Reynolds continue to be extremely helpful with the development of our farm. In addition to joining the U.S. Lavender Growers Association, we have taken many courses and workshops. Carolyn completed coursework through Michigan State University to become a Certified Lavender Grower. After determining that lavender would grow on our land, we planted several varieties. The Imagination Lavender Farm has approximately 1000 plants, consisting of both English and French varieties. Naturally, as with any new venture, we have made our share of mistakes, but we have also done some things well. Realizing the importance of education, we continue to seek experiences and courses that will aid our learning about the intricacies of lavender and lavender growing. Imagination Lavender Farm continues to be a work-in-progress.
We must give kudos to builder Neil Black who has taken our old horse barn and turned it into a cozy, rustic shop. Special thanks to electrician Phillip Leghorn who stepped up and provided quality electrical work. We greatly appreciate these two talented men. Our shop has numerous lavender related products as well as unique art and specialty craft items, many made by local artisans. One special item is lavender honey, much of which comes from our farm and provided by local beekeeper, Tim Tilley. We also showcase Watercolor Paintings by Dr. Jim McIntosh, Alcohol Ink works by Melani Helms, a variety of stained glass items from Nancy Clark, jewelry by Kara Carter-Hundley, fused glass by Nancy Erickson, wood turned bowls by Richard Riddle and wind-chimes by Robin Holt just to name a few. Visitors may enjoy offerings of health related and creative workshops; and, post Covid-19 virus, a lavender craft festival.