Michigan Bucket List: Where to Visit Lavender Farms
Gardens that you can smell as well as see are a treat for the senses. This summer, put a trek to one of Michigan’s many lavender farms on your bucket list for a sweet-smelling and open-air adventure. Whether in lotions, candles, room sprays or even scented sachets for your pillows, lavender products are popular year-round. But the summer months are when lavender fields and gardens produce their fragrant little purple flowers, shooting up on thin stems from the sturdy bushes below. Their scent carried on a warm breeze makes visiting a lavender farm a memorable experience.
Home gardeners and sophisticated horticulturalists alike have been in love with lavender for centuries. This easy-growing perennial hails from the Mediterranean region, but quickly became a favorite plant to grow anywhere it could find a sunny spot and some well-drained soil. It’s been a staple of English gardens since at least the 16th century, either tucked in pots or grown as a border plant along the edges of gardens and pathways.
While it’s easy to find several varieties of lavender plants to grow in your own garden or landscaping, a trip to a lavender farm should be on your summer to-do list, if only to see what it’s like to surround yourself with hundreds of these plants all releasing their signature scent. Think of it as a little road trip for some self-care. Lavender has a soothing quality – and some good health benefits, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The plant’s blossoms can be used fresh or dried, or lavender can be used as an extract or, more commonly, as an essential oil with aromatherapy benefits. Some positive effects include:
- The fragrance has been shown to lessen colic in babies.
- Lavender can be an overall mood-booster.
- Lavender oil has been shown to decrease headaches and even inflammation.
- The scent of lavender can help some people sleep better.
Michigan is fortunate to have lots of lavender gardens dotting the state. Here’s a list of some of them, with links to their websites, so you can find options closest to you:
The Secret Garden at Brys Estate, 3309 Blue Water Road, Traverse City: This estate known for its winery is also known for its standout flower gardens and gorgeous lavender. Nearly a dozen different varieties of lavender are grown here, with about 6,000 plants in production. Lavender bath products and other items are also available for sale.
Lavender Hill Farm, 7354 Horton Bay Road in Boyne City: Take a guided tour of an Up North lavender farm, do some yoga among the blossoms, or stay for some live music. The events calendar of this farm has lots of options to choose from. It’s located in a temperate area between Lake Charlevoix and Walloon Lake.
Lowell Lavender, 3996 Byrne Ave. in Lowell: Want to walk among the plants and cut your own lavender sprigs? This farm northeast of Grand Rapids offers U-cut days for lavender lovers in July. Check their website for details.
Shades of Lavender Farm, 47222 24th St. in Mattawan. Nearly 2,000 lavender plants are grown on this farm in southwest Michigan. An on-site shop and online ordering business offers many lavender-based products handcrafted in small batches. Want to U-pick their plants in July? Watch their website for details.
Lavender Lane, 12040 Plank Road in Milan. Rows and rows of lavender plants stretch out across 6 acres of this farm in southeast Michigan, which is focused on raising organic lavender for body-care products and other sweetly-scented items. In July, join in the fun when this spot hosts its annual Lilac Harvest Festival & BBQ.
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