Last year, I heard of a magical place on the East End that was full of lavender. Rumor had it that no matter which way your head was turned, lavender was all you saw for miles and miles. The stories were mythical in nature and they sounded too good to be true.
Sadly, by time I visited Lavender on the Bay, I had missed both the English and French blooms. All that was left was pretty mounds of sheared plants. I was disheartened for sure, but I vowed to visit again and catch one of the blooms in full glory.
My children love lavender, which is probably why this became a mission. We diffuse it nightly to help soothe them to sleep. We use dried sachets of it in our linen drawers. And, we cook with it too. Finding a working farm whose sole purpose was to grow high quality lavender plants was like finding a unicorn in a hidden forest. Only this unicorn could be found on the North Fork.
Once spring arrived, I did what any normal person would do. I started stalking the farm. For weeks on end, I messaged with the owners’ son, Chanan, to find out when the English variety would bloom. Due to chilly spring temperatures, the blooms were all out of whack. But after weeks of not-so-patiently waiting, he finally messaged the words I wanted to see: the English lavender was in bloom!
We weren’t able to visit the farm until the following weekend, but Chanan assured me there were still about 100 rows of English lavender in bloom, so off we went! It’s a long ride out to East Marion from our home, but I kept my eye on the prize: fields and fields of picturesque lavender.
In case you’re wondering, the rumors are true. Fields of purple lavender really do stretch as far as the eye can see and you really can pretend you’re in the South of France. The fragrant scent wafts across the fields and it’s amazing. Serge and Susan Rozenbaum have created something truly special here.
Since my children and I prefer the quieter sounds of nature, we avoided the crowds at the English lavender and walked among the rows of French lavender instead. The lighter purple flowers were just waiting to bloom and the bees were happily buzzing about. Between their buzzing and the relaxing scent of lavender underfoot, you could happily lay down in the fields and nap for days.
But like many moms, I haven’t napped in years so off we went to buy some English lavender in the store. We plan to use it in our refreshing Lavender Lemonade Recipe over this holiday weekend.
The French lavender is expected to bloom around July 4th weekend and the blooms only last for a week or two. Lavender by the Bay is a working farm; the lavender is continually being cut for fresh and dried lavender bunches, so don’t delay. U-pick is not open on the weekends, but cut lavender is available in the store. Young children will tire of this beautiful farm after an hour, so make sure you have other spots to visit during your day trip to the East End.