A purple mailbox on the way to Deep Creek Lake was the first signal that we were about to get off the beaten path. And it really was a road less taken— a narrow, winding road. I was sure we were lost as we passed farms that probably have in the care of families for generations.
And then with a slight turn, we had arrived. A few acres of purple blooms swaying above their grayish leaves rose up a hillside to the farmers’ house and a little shop for visitors. We had arrived at Garrett County‘s one and only Deep Creek Lavender Farm.
I wish the blog had an aroma mode so I could send a bit of the heady floral scent your way. We hadn’t even open the car doors all the way before we were hit with this heavenly fragrance.
The farm is quite small, only a couple of acres of a variety of lavenders. The owners plan to expand next summer. Only English plants grow here — no French or Spanish — because of Garrett County’s harsh winters. Each variety from the Buena Vista to the Royal Velvet are planted in long rows of deep purple, pale lavender and white.
While we were there, a layer of clouds obscured the sun. And that’s not unusual, we hear. But on any day, it’s always cooler here in the mountains than in the city, any city.
Local farmers shook their head when the owners proposed the farm. But in only a few years, the project took off. Florists and brides have discovered the beauty and fragrance for their bouquets. Area chefs have ordered culinary lavender to spice up their cuisine. Busloads of flower fans have arrived to walk among the plants, breathe in that heady aroma and buy some lavender scented souvenirs, and perhaps a plant or two.
Much of the lavender has to be cut before the buds open but rows of plants are left to bloom for visitors. And if you want to catch the flowers at their most dazzling, come in mid-summer. If you want to come this summer, hurry!
It’s a quick visit, really. An hour or two. Of course, you could bring your
picnic — which you are welcome to do. In fact, a local restaurant in Accident will cater if you like. And certainly bring your camera. You’ll want to remember this place.
Now I have known about this farm for a while — my sister has been friends with the owners since they were college students. The question is Why didn’t we go sooner? For surely, we’ll be back.
We drove for three hours to get here. When our visit was over, we weren’t ready to go home. We went out to find lunch, a place to spend the afternoon and maybe even dinner before our day was over.
I’ll tell you about that in another post.
ⓒText and photos Mary K. Tilghman