A few months back, at an Oregon Lavender Association meeting, Andy and Melissa Van Hevelingen were sharing their wisdom about all things lavender, as well as showing some varieties of lavender they had found on a recent trip to England -- one of which was an angustifolia called “Felice.”
Well, I had to have it. I mean really...what are the chances? My wonderful mom, Felice, was such a supporter my lavender growing endeavor (of all of my endeavors really), that it seemed fitting (and miraculous!) to have a field full of Felice lavender as a tribute to her, not only because of how supportive she was but also because, like lavender, she made the world a more beautiful place and she made those around her happy. But after looking online for a seller and realizing that this variety was only sold in Europe and couldn’t be shipped, I contacted Melissa Van Hevelingen about maybe, possibly buying any Felice that she could propagate from the plant she had brought back with her. She graciously said yes -- but cautioned that the Felice were turning out to be a little persnickety and she wasn’t sure how many, if any, would take. So I tried not to get my hopes up (but did anyway). And then a few weeks ago, after several months of crossed fingers and silent prayers, Melissa delivered five beautiful Felice lavender to me and I couldn’t be happier. (Thank you Melissa!) I am hoping that eventually those five will turn into fifty so that I can have my field of Felice, but for now I am thrilled with those five.
But what do I do with five? They have been in the greenhouse for a few weeks because I have been struggling to figure out the perfect place for them. Should I go ahead put them out in the field with the hope of adding to their number? Should I create a little memorial garden for Mom on the side yard? Should I plant them on the hill with the fruit trees? Nothing seemed quite right.
And then a few days ago, I was harvesting some very happy, healthy lavenders that are planted by the front patio overlooking our lavender fields. This is where we entertain our friends while looking at the beautiful view of the mountains, and where we drink our morning coffee as we watch the hot air balloons go up with the sun. This is where we sit in our Adirondack chairs and sip a glass of wine after a long day and watch the sky light up from the sunset. This is where we watch the fall colors, and catch snowflakes, and pick blackberries and listen to the birds. This is where some of the best parts of our life happen And I knew that was exactly where the Felice lavender should go -- not off in a field or in some quiet memorial garden, but right in the middle of everything, right there in the middle of our lives, as Mom always was.
So this weekend, I will move the lavender that is already there and plant the Felice lavender in its place. I know it’s not the same as having Mom here again, but just maybe, when I’m sitting on the patio enjoying the day and accompanied by that beautiful purple Felice lavender, she will feel a little closer.
Hello! My name is Pam Reynolds Baker and I am a mom/wife, English teacher, writer, and lavender farmer who lives in Dundee Oregon .