Lavender festivals! When we asked 30,000 U.S. gardeners to name their favorite flowers to grow outside, lavender did NOT make the Top 5. (It was 16th out of the Top 100).

So what’s with all the lavender festivals?

There are so many reasons people love lavender, from it’s scent to essential oils to its use in cooking to it’s purple color. Chances are there’s either a lavender festival or a lavender farm near you! Here are just a few…

Lavender Festivals: U.S.

One of the summer festivals I never miss is the Michigan Lavender Festival, where I go every year to look at crafts from local artisans, eat food made with lavender and, of course, breathe deeply.

At the base of the Olympic Mountains, Sequim Washington will hold it’s annual festival in July 19-21. Six lavender farms are involved and downtown Sequim becomes a street fair. I LOVE this festival’s historic posters. On the festival’s site you can see posters going back to the mid-1990’s!

Lavender Festivals: List - 2013 - Sequim Lavender Festival

Sequim Lavender Festival (Excerpt from Chris Witkowski’s 2011 poster)

Near Skaneateles Lake in central New York state is the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival on July 13-14. You can cut your own lavender bouquet, shop the art show, make a lavender wand, and learn about everything from lavender therapy oils to cooking lavender and honey chicken.

Lavender Festivals: List - 2013 - Finger Lakes Lavender Festival

Picking bouquets at the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival

And this Saturday, June 29th, in southern California (between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara) there’s the Ojai Valley Lavender Festival. It’s the festival’s 10th anniversary and there’s so much going on I urge you to check out the festival’s website. The festival’s epicenter is Libbey Park but you can see places nearby like the Dudley House Lavender Garden.

Lavender Festivals: List - 2013 - Ojai Valley Lavender Festival

California Lavender Garden: Ojai Valley Lavender Festival

That’s a FEW of the U.S. festivals. Some have already happened, like the Blanco Lavender Festival in Texas, not far from San Antonio and Austin.

But, hey, Bombay Outdoors is about inspiring places and stuff from around the world…

Lavender Festivals: Canada

At Damali Farms on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, LavenderFest takes place July 27th. There’s lavender harvesting, essential oil distillations, Lavender 101, farm tours, U-pick lavender, wand-making, children’s crafts & scavenger hunt, and guided labyrinth walks. (And the farm’s near the legendary Butchart Gardens.)

Lavender Festivals: List - 2013 - Damali Farms' LavenderFest

Damali Farms’ LavenderFest

Nearby, in Victoria, Happy Valley Lavender Farm has its 25th Lavender Harvest on July 21st. “Dress in purple, bring your camera, bring a friend,” the owners say. “Help us celebrate the magical Harvest time. Wander the fields & our display gardens, be inspired by the plants themselves to create your own oasis in your yard.”

Lavender Festivals: United Kingdom

A little over two hours from London by car, the Norfolk Lavender Company appears to have an ongoing festival — not just one day or weekend, but the whole harvest season from late June through August. Gift shops, tours, an animal farm and play area for kids, the Lavender Kitchen Restaurant, an oil distillery, and the National Lavender Collection

About 20 miles from London, in Kent, the Hop Shop is NOT running their usual Lavender Festival this year. Instead you can simply visit. A working farm, you can book a tour of the fields and distillery, or even an aromatherapy massage lying on a couch in the lavender fields. There are also workshops and a shop that seems to have it all…

Even closer to London, Lorna and Brendan Maye run the 25-acre Mayfield Lavender farm in Surrey. Their festival will be July 6-7, and typical festival activities, plus face painting, a hog roast, and a sensory poetry workshop! I also love their photo competitions. There are so many beauties! The photo below, by Matt Gibson, won in 2011…

Lavender Festivals: List - 2013 - Mayfield Lavender Festival - United Kingdom

Photo Competition: Mayfield Lavender Festival

Like Norfolk and the Hop Shop, Yorkshire Lavender (about an hour from Leeds) seems to be going from a weekend lavender festival to simply being open for visits. It’s 60 acres of south-facing farmland with gardens that include a lavender maze, Mediterranean dry garden, a sensory garden, and many more…

Lavender Festivals: Other Countries

In Australia, 90 minutes from Melbourne, is the Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. While their lavender harvest is in THEIR summer (and our winter) it’s great to mention it. This farm is on MY bucket list. Owner Carol White restored the old stone buildings of a farm founded in the mid 1800s, and grows her favorite plant. The festival takes place in January…

In northern Japan, 2 hours from Sapporo, is Farm Tomita — a lavender farm that’s 110 years old this year. Like several other farms, it appears to simply welcome visitors throughout the season from May through September. There’s a lot there — a museum, greenhouse, dried flower house, and of course the lavender gardens…

Know a great lavender farm I missed? Comment below and call it out! :-)