Let’s jump right in. Lavender Day has been rebooted. Last weekend at Maple Rock, we opened up the lavender field for picking. Not a single bee sting. Not even the family who came dressed like flowers whose children ran through the lavender got stung. I saw this happening as these young kids frolicked through the lavender and thought, “There’s a target.”

But, nope. The bees didn’t care. So focused on their work bringing food back to the hive.

Ever wonder what it looks like to have a swarm of people harvesting your lavender? Wonder no more. This is what it looks like.

I remember a lady yelling out to her husband, “Come help, I’m stranded.”

With a chuckle in his voice he said, “You’re not stranded. Just walk back the way you came.”

Coming from a man who never asks for directions, this seemed like logical advice. She was paralyzed. She walked so far out into the lavender that basically she found herself in a sea of bees. I watched from up top as the scene unfolded. His voice getting agitated as he said, “Just walk back the way you came.”

You know the tone. It’s the tone of a couple who’s been married for 30 years.

Finally, his hero instinct erupted, as he brazenly walked through the lavender in his shorts to retrieve a damsel in distress. Another bee target, I thought. But, nope, the bees didn’t care.

So, here it is again this Saturday at Maple Rock. Lavender Day.

Frequently asked questions about lavender picking at Maple Rock.

Can I bring in my own blanket to sit on, or do you provide blankets?

— Yes and nope.

Can I pick lavender, take it home and return?

— Yes.

Do I need to bring my own basket to hold my lavender?

— Yes, but any vessel such as a plastic bag will work just fine.

Do we only get to come one time?

— Well, yes, it’s only for the one day, but you can walk back and forth through the gate as many times as you would like.

If I pay $10 to get in, do I have to pay by the pound to pick the lavender?

— First of all, a pound of lavender is more than a person can carry. It’s kind of like how much volume does a pound of feathers take kind of thing.

— Nope, we don’t charge by the pound to cut lavender. The lavender is free. But if you cut a ton, we might need to talk cause that would mean you’re probably from some perfume company and surely at that point you can afford to pay for the ton of lavender you picked.

Should I bring gloves?

— Yes.

Should I bring my own clippers?

— Yes. But we do have a few extras.

May we pack a picnic lunch?

— Yes.

Can we walk Maple Rock Gardens when we’re done and relax and chill out?

— Yes.

Will you have lavender lemonade for sale?

— Yes.

Will you have lavender cookies for sale?

— Yes.

As you can see the “yes” answers outweigh the “no” answers. So if you have any other questions, chances are the answer will be “yes”.

So, I have a question for you? Would you like to see how lavender oil is distilled? If the answer is “yes”, you can. The mad scientist will be there with his lavender distillery apparatus.

Click here for tickets to the June 16th Lavender Picking. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate.

Succulents? We have that covered as well. Join us at High-Hand Nursery this Saturday.

Here’s the program. Robin will be talking two times. Once at 10:00 a.m. and once at 1:00 p.m. Make a reservation for breakfast or make a reservation for lunch and then go sit down and listen to Mr. Succulent talk. He wrote a book. It’s a pretty cool one. We’ll have it for sale. Pick one up while they last. It’s truly a beautiful book filled with lots of inspirational ideas.

Did I say you can shop until you drop for succulents? See you on June 16th. Both lectures are full, don’t worry. There is standing room and shopping to do and books to buy. We only have so many chairs to set up, so feel free to mosey in and mosey out while Robin’s talking. Robin’s used to people walking out on him in the middle of a lecture. (Just kidding, Robin.) Last year I did walk out of the lecture because my mom told me we were out of toilet paper in the women’s bathroom.

So, what’s Dori’s next workshop? Lavender wreaths.

June 23, 10 a.m. join Dori as she takes you through, step by step, how to make a lavender wreath. The class is $65.00. Light treats and, yes, mimosas. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

What’s coming up next at Maple Rock? Well, if Mother Nature allows it, a watermelon pop-up. We have planted many varieties of watermelons and cantaloupe. I pulled my hair out in recent years trying to figure out if we could get 50 different varieties ready on the same day. So, this year we succession planted and, most likely, the varieties will roll in and out on various weekends.

You want to pick a watermelon fresh from the field? Stay tuned.

I was reading a story about a pair of cantaloupes that sold in Japan for $22,000.00 at auction. That’s insane. That’s the seed of the Japanese Yubari King. I found them. I bought them. Could this be my magic bean? Will I be Jack and will this lead me to the Golden Eggs. Probably not, but I’m sure hoping I can get the twenty grand for the melon. I bought ten seeds worth an estimated $1.7 million at auction once the melons are fully ripened. Probably not, but is it not fun to fantasize? In the seed packet also came another variety I was not expecting.

A note read, “Gift — unnamed Ukrainian watermelon.” I’m sorry, but this freaks me out. It looks like a tick, but we will see. We will see what lies ahead.

Baby Bird Update

Mama Robin has a nest full of teenagers. Wow, what a difference a week makes. But I get it. It seemed like every week I was buying a new pair of shoes for my kids. Mom and Dad have been feeding non-stop, twenty-four/seven. Good job. Time to fly away on vacation.

But, honestly watching the birds grow up has been surreal. I got to see their eggs and I was sitting there when they started to take their first flight. If you’ve never seen the first flight of a bird it’s kind of cool to watch it unfold in front of you. Spoiler alert: It kind of looks like a floppy crash landing. But they survived. Happy ending.

Don’t forget about Train Day. I’ll keep reminding you.

Train Day is a Maple Rock exclusive. Who doesn’t like trains? Tickets can be purchased by clicking here, at the nursery or at Maple Rock on the day of the event. All aboard for Train Day.

Here’s the recap:

  • June 16th – High-Hand Nursery’s Succulent Extravaganza
  • June 16th – Lavender Day rebooted at Maple Rock Gardens
  • June 23rd – Dori (like the fish) and her Lavender Wreath Workshop at High-Hand Mercantile.
  • Maple Rock Melons. Let’s see if nature pulls through for us
  • September 15th – Maple Rock Garden’s Train Day

See you at High-Hand Nursery.


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