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all you lavender lovers, weigh in with luscious locations!

all you lavender lovers, weigh in with luscious locations!

Aug 1st, 2001, 05:04 AM
  #1  
Beth Anderson
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all you lavender lovers, weigh in with luscious locations!

Hi all,

Beth again, trying to focus on a few things we'd like to see/do on our trip.

We've found out we may have a limited amount of time for the countryside portion of our trip to Cote d'Azur and Provence. Long story, don't need to go into it but it involved the logistics of having 4-5 people along for varying lengths of time...

anyway! our week in Provence may become 3 days. What towns, locations, routes, roads etc - should we divert ourselves to, to view the gorgeous rolling fields of lavender? Is this one of those things were you can't swing a stick without hitting a lavender patch, or, are there specific areas which really have a ton of it? I understand Sault is big...

please let me know!

(is early September a good time to see this?)

thanks

Beth
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 09:14 AM
  #2  
PB
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Sorry Beth, September is too late to view lavender. We're cutting it all off the plants now... finished for the season.

Best times for seeing the lavender fields (actually lavandin) in early to mid July. A beautiful spot to see it is the Abbaye de Senanque near Gordes if you're ever here during the early summer.

The sunflowers are all blooming now, but it's so hot and dry that the heads are all droopy... dommage !

PB
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 09:18 AM
  #3  
kam
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Totally out of place on this forum, I know, but ,Beth, another wonderful place for lavender fields is Santa Maria/Lompoc/Santa Ynez Valley of California near Santa Barbara. Was incredible in June.
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 09:29 AM
  #4  
Joanne
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Beth:

"I share your pain!" We missed out on the lavender fields because we were too early. We saw many fields of yellow (we were there in May), which we thought looked like mustard greens but never did find out what they were or how they were used. We thought they were too symmetrical to be wild and assumed it must be a crop. Would love to find out what we saw.

I did bring home lavender soaps and cologne, etc., both for myself and for Christmas gifts, but I was disappointed not to see the fields of lavender. Had to settle for a post card this trip.

Joanne
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 09:33 AM
  #5  
Beth Anderson
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Thank you everyone!

darn. I too wanted to see the fields I always see photos of (she said ungrammatically).

sunflowers however, those are also among my favorite flowers. I love 'em. PB, what do you think my luck will be in 5 weeks?

Beth, in a pout because she will have to buy a calendar to see the pretty flowers...
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 10:34 AM
  #6  
CC
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Beth:
In terms of towns/villages to see, I would not miss Eze and St-Paul-de-Vence if I was in Provence. Gorgeous architecture combined with fascinating small shops. Have a great time!
CC
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 11:01 AM
  #7  
lynn
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Hi Beth:
We were lucky enough to be in Provence early last month (July) and were treated to an eyeful of lavender. As PB said the Abbaye at Senanque was just glorious. But once you get it in your mindset you see it everywhere when it's in bloom. Even the centre of some of those wonderful (seriously) round abouts in Provence are just filled to brimming with lavender.
We ended our trip in Paris and one day at the Place des Vosges in the Marais they had filled the park in the centre with loads of lavender to herald the harvest. Wow!
Sunflowers are my favourites as well and we were treated to glorious fields of these in the south.
I've been home a week and I'm very sad.
Sigh!
regards,
Lynn
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 11:05 AM
  #8  
Christina
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I was there in early July also and the lavendar was gorgeous. The sunflower fields were in bloom, although it looked not as far along as the lavender. I could be wrong but sunflower blooming period is over by Sept, as far as I know. They bloom in the summer.
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 11:09 AM
  #9  
StCirq
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Joanne:

What you saw was almost surely flax.
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 11:48 AM
  #10  
KT
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I could be wrong, but I've always been told that the yellow is rape, which is a member of the mustard family and used for animal feed and rapeseed oil (called canola oil in the US).
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 01:45 PM
  #11  
PB
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< < PB, what do you think my luck will be in 5 weeks? > >

Sunflowers will be finished as well... with the heat and dryness we're having so far this summer, they'll be done for in a week or so.

In five weeks, if you're in the Les Baux area, you should be on schedule for the first olive harvest - there is an olive festival in a small village nearby called Mouriès. These are the olives they pick green for eating... called olives cassés (in brine flavored with wild fennel).

There is also a huge festival mid September in Arles to celebrate the Rice harvest... complete with bullfights.

As for flowers, there will still be plenty of wildflowers lining the roads !

PB
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 02:01 PM
  #12  
StCirq
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KT:

Yes, it could be rape as well, which is a brighter yellow than flax.
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 03:17 PM
  #13  
BTilke
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Beth,
Lavender season may be over in Provence but if it's any consolation, you may still be able to see some beautiful lavender fields in the town of Sequim, WA, in the Olympic Peninsula. Sequim is working on becoming the lavender capital of the U.S. If you go to www.purplehazelavender.com you'll get an idea of how they're doing.
By the way, the current issue of Pays de Provence has a 30 page spread on lavender. If there's an international magazine seller near you, try and have them order you a copy. It's issue number 24, July-August 2001. The cover and the inside photos are knockouts! (And if you can read French fairly well, the accompanying text is quite interesting.)
BTilke
 
Aug 12th, 2001, 07:38 AM
  #14  
Beth Anderson
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Hi all

there may be hope?

I read on Provence beyond, that in certain areas there MIGHT be some fields stil in bloom, in September... I am not holding my breath but you never know... 'twould be super!
 
Aug 12th, 2001, 11:28 AM
  #15  
John
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We were in the lavender fields of the Olympic Peninsula yesterday - the "grosso" shrubs were still in full bloom and breathtaking. Just about every bee in America was there. With the fields set against rows of Lombardy Poplars, the Olympic Mts. in the background and the CBC French Language service on the radio (from Victoria BC across the Strait of Juan de Fuca a half mile away), one could almost be convinced you could have lunch in Aix instead of the Taco Time in Sequim. Sigh.
 
Aug 12th, 2001, 01:58 PM
  #16  
mimi taylor
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Yes, sometimes in the first week of September you can still see lavender but the color is not as bright. And around Sault, Riez we have picked what was left and it still smells wonderful back home. But, tho the lavender has been harvested, the farmers burn the existing crop that's left to enrich the soil, and the fragrance, as a result, is heavenly as you drive through the area.
 
Aug 12th, 2001, 03:08 PM
  #17  
llll
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I agree.
 
Aug 12th, 2001, 04:17 PM
  #18  
Beth Anderson
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more information:

I just bought a wonderful book.

"The Collected Traveler Provence" by Barrie Kerper. This lady sure knows her stuff - and she is a meticulous notekeeper and researcher.

anyway, about lavender, she says to contact

Comite Regional de Tourisme Provence Alpes-Cote d"Azur, 04-91-39-38-00 for the Routes de Lavande brochure...

and

the Association Routes de Lavande, 04-75-26-65-91 for its package of lavender routes...

she states it is THE most comprehensive listing for lavender to be found anywhere....

 
Aug 12th, 2001, 04:52 PM
  #19  
mimi taylor
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Hello Beth, I have that brochure, during the period of 15 July to 30 August the distilleries are usually open. The lavender is usually harvested between 15July and 15 September. Anything else you need to know you may email me. I have not seen your book but I will look for it . I have two books on lavender with beautiful photos. When I was staying with friends one year(alas, they have since divorced) I would air the sheets over the lavender field, hang my wash above from a tree. I will never forget that.
 
Aug 13th, 2001, 05:37 AM
  #20  
Beth Anderson
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JACKPOT!!

www.routes-lavande.com

this has all the info you need to know... it has the aforementioned info on all the routes... right there in a PDF file.

and so much more...

oh happy day...
 

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