Floral Friday ~ July 27, 2018

Last Saturday the annual Lavender Festival was held at the Denver Botanical Garden’s Chatfield Farms location. Having had a terrific time last year (click here for a flashback), I wanted to check it out again this year. It was hot but heavenly and I wasn’t disappointed.

Last year’s festival featured around 800 lavender plants. This year the festival featured nearly 2000. From white to pale pink, to blue and purple, there’s something for everyone to love. I’m all about the dark purples and the darker the better, but every single plant was a stunner. And that divine fragrance…swoon. As I walked through the rows, I was struck by the mesmerizing effect this incredible plant has on people. In an age where everyone seems to be constantly jockeying to get ahead of everyone else, people were kinder, gentler and just more consider to one another. It was a pleasure being there, even amongst a huge crowd. Knowing it would be a warm day, I had arrived 30 minutes after the festival opened thinking I could avoid the crowds. But the crowd was already so large, a sheriff’s deputy ‘kindly’ blocked me just as it was my turn to turn onto the access road leading toward the entrance. Harumph…dude, should I bring you back a big bunch of lavender to lighten up your cantankerousness, I grumbled to myself, in between HBO words.

Us plebeians were directed to the backside of Chatfield and I began to wonder if I’d need  4-wheel drive to cross through that back-forty pasture. Up, down, swerving back and forth to avoid small car swallowing ruts, I traversed the access road to find myself in the middle of a fallow pasture that had been turned into a temporary parking lot. At least I had sense enough to wear close-toed shoes unlike many who were clad in low-heeled sandals whose feet were going to be dirty in a matter of seconds as we hiked through the dusty pasture toward the pick up area where ‘farm limos’ waited to whisk us closer to the entrance. Look out Uber, you’ve got some serious competition out there.

Near the ticket booth, I was greeted to a picture perfect, blue-sky day guaranteed to lower the aggravation quotient.

Having pre-purchased my ticket the day before, I didn’t have to stand in the 50+ deep ticket line and made my way toward nirvana. Despite being early in the day, I was surprised there was already a sizable queue at the wine and spiked cider tents. I like wine with the best of ’em, but if you are in need of an alcoholic beverage at 9:30 in the morning, you definitely could benefit from wandering through rows of lavender in which to mellow out.

Lavender does surprisingly well in arid Colorado and English lavender in particular, is quite cold-hardy and generally thought to have strongest fragrance over its French and Spanish cousins. Lavender’s overall health benefits and healing properties were discovered more than 2,500 years ago. A powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial and sedative properties, the Greeks were the first to experiment with this natural remedy and soon the Romans and Egyptians were on board. Many monarchs in Europe made lavender widely popular. Lavender’s underlying chemistry allows for the diversity in its many medical to culinary uses, with a range of biochemicals, terpenes, and acetates accounting for the healing properties of lavender. Okay, enough with science and history of this awesome plant, let’s check out the festival.

Lavender and lemon flavored pops for those with a sweet tooth
This blooming Red Yucca plant was exceptionally striking
This is where a scratch-and-sniff screen would be incredible (Lavandula Augustifolia – English lavender)
Lavender with Black-eyed Susan’s
A pretty bucket of English Lavender
A visitor soaking up sun and scent among scads of lavender
Beautiful white lavender
Some of the new plants
Craft offerings galore
Whiskey pops for adults
Sweet smelling handmade soaps
Wildflower backdrop for a row of lavender
Pretty coneflower with insects
Don’t know what this plant was but it was so beautiful among some lavender sprigs in the meadow
Musical entertainment rounding out the festival

Hope you enjoyed the festival as much as I did. Have a great weekend!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

81 thoughts on “Floral Friday ~ July 27, 2018

  1. Wished we could grow lavender here. I love those flowers. I bought a variety once that should have been to withstand our weather. Well, it didn’t in my yard.

  2. As I read this, I started to think that I could smell lavender! Isn’t it funny how our brains can do that? Absolutely wonderful photos of the flowers… Recently our neighborhood email group was discussing whether we can grow lavender up here. The conclusion was “yes”, if you put it in a pot and bring it in when it gets cold. Maybe I’ll try it!

  3. How absolutely wonderful! I would love to attend a lavender festival. I love the smell. My daughter’s new home has lavender so I’m going to send her this post. Thanks for sharing. ♥

  4. What a great festival! I would love going to that. The truth is, I’ve never cared much for lavender scent. BUT, I’m not sure I’ve ever smelled the flower itself! I’ve only smelled lavender-scented products. I bought some lavender seeds this year to try to grow some, but they never took. So I’m still on the search to smell real lavender and see if I like the real thing!

  5. I love lavender, but I am allergic to it, and one of my dogs is too. We did photos in a lavender field last year and both of us ended up sounding like we had colds by the end of the shoot. Much as we love how it looks, won’t be doing that again any time soon.

  6. Mommy said she bet the smell was incredible, we enjoyed the pictures. She tried to grow some lavender here but it didn’t like our wet.

    1. Yes, I cannot help but brush the stems to release that heavenly scent with every opportunity. Lavender likes sunny, well-drained conditions to survive. If you have those, you should be able to grow it.

  7. I can almost smell the lavender looking at these photos! I’ve tried growing several varieties but have never been successful. Maybe it doesn’t like the humid summers here in the midwest.

    I laughed about your comment about wine at 9:30 in morning. Yes, sounds like these folks might benefit from more lavender!

    1. There are lavender farms in the Midwest but plants need well drained conditions to survive the humidity that we lack here in Colorado. As for the wine so early, I couldn’t help but think ‘wow!’ I love a good red but 9:30 AM is not the time to break it out.

    1. Lavender here is mostly dependent on how it will winter over; not all varieties can stand the cold winters. I learned there are about 450 different varieties. Sounds like heaven on earth to me! 😍

  8. Ah, lavender! My favorite color – purple – and my favorite scent! Have you ever been to the lavender farm in Hawaii? I can’t remember the name of the place, but I used to buy a lot of stuff from them until the shipping costs doubled.

      1. Maybe one day I’ll get there. Till then, a trip with my son and his family will have to suffice as a suitable substitute. Hope Shadow is doing well in her stem trial. I thought of you guys when we’re on our morning walks the other day and am sending ‘pawsitive’ healing thoughts.

      2. Aw, thanks! Actually, Shadow is doing great, mobility-wise. Unfortunately, right now her sensitive nature is causing stress poops. We are trying doggy Imodium and a lower dose of the probiotic chews to get her “system” back to normal. I hate that we have to use chemicals; but the CBD oil gel caps are only helping with the arthritis inflammation, not her sensitive emotions.

  9. I have many lavendar plants in my yard, as it is a drought tolerant plant–and droughts are common these days. They are mixed in with mainly salvia and penstimon, also drought tolerant. I have every color of lavendar except pink, even yellow. My yard blooms all year around and attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds galore.

    1. Color me JEALOUS! If only my own lavenders were ‘active’ all year. Still I often pinch the leaves in the non-growing season just to release the fragrance. I get some volunteers that come up in inconvenient spots and either leave them or transplant to a better spot. Lavender is my favorite garden plant!

      1. Medicinally and culinarily…it’s so versatile. Sam and I always ‘wear’ it whenever we go to West Pines. It helps keep the patients more calm and was especially needed this week in anticipation of the lunar eclipse which can adversely affect mental health patients.

      2. We’re all about safety first. For us and the patients and if it helps them, it’ll be helpful for us. Always good to have a more mellow environment when dealing with unknown strangers. For both sides. 😊

  10. I’m sure I didn’t enjoy the festival nearly as much as you did, but I can almost smell the lavender from here. Think I’ll drop some of that essential oil in my atomizer when I get home. 🙂

  11. It was not my day to wander but next year… and I am now really interested in finding some pink lavender plants, as well as the English variety to put around our house. We have such a wind tunnel it would be glorious if the wind carried a scent of calm with it.

  12. Thanks for the “virtual stroll” through the festival! Enjoyed it and glad that you had a great time. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend too!

      1. Luckily, finding bundles of lavender stalks or buds is fairly simple. I may have to walk out in the garden and cut a few myself! That and crank up the diffuser with lavender essential oil. 😉

      1. For some reason, when I think of whiskey, I don’t think of millennials. Whiskey reminds me more of people from the previous turn of the century…

  13. It was only a few days ago that I was wondering if our deer would eat Lavender or would leave it alone. I need to figure that out, because it would really be lovely to have some in the garden.

  14. oh I wish I could be there too… and how great your lavender look… you should see our creepy goners… maybe the better home for that purple beauties is in the US ;O)

    1. My own lavender isn’t quite up to the farm’s standards, but I love brushing against its leaves along the stone path. It would probably be better if the yard wasn’t so shaded. But I’ll take it any way I can.

      1. I have a small bag of dried lavendar in my bedroom, and when it has accumulated some dust, I give it a good shake in front of an air intake/return air vent (for the heat/air system). The furnace filter traps the dust, and the lavender aroma is distributed throughout the house! Wonderful! 🙂

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