Most of my friends know my passion for lavender, — essential since that first trip to France in 1964. The attuned know to travel for lavender apotheosis, –in this country–, to Carousel Farm, Mechanicsville, near Doylestown, in bucolic Bucks County, PA.
This haven from 21st-Century stress is rich in beauty, and so carefully tended by passionate owners
Jeanette Hooban Admires Carousel Farm Cosmos
Caroulsel Lavender Farm proffers outstanding products that not only have the authentic scent, but actually work as cremes, lotions and potions, emollients, air-and-linen sweeteners, and moth prevention. There are hefty bags of culinary lavender and superbly effective candles — one has lavender flowers embedded in the wax. The other’s floral fragrance is blended with cucumbers, to lift leftover aromas in kitchen and elsewhere, refreshing as they burn.
Here are recent scenes of this summer’s visit, just after the main harvest, but enough blossoms remaining to fascinate us and nourish assorted butterflies and bees.
Carousel Farm is only open on Saturdays from 9 til 5, but, as Michelin would say, it is definitely worthy of the journey.
This is their description from the Internet: (bolds mine, for obvious reasons…)
The Carousel Farm is located in historic Bucks County PA, just outside of the Delaware River town of New Hope (90 minutes from NYC, and 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia).
The Carousel Farm, first established in 1748, has had many lives over the centuries, once a dairy farm, later a horse farm and, in the mid-20th century, an exotic animal farm. When we moved to the farm in 2000, our challenge was to put our unique imprint on the farm, maintaining its rural beauty, yet enhancing it with something beyond.
The inspiration for Carousel Farm Lavender came when we were traveling through the beautiful Provence countryside, where the rolling hills are graced with old grape vines and lavender fields, against a stunning backdrop of centuries-old fieldstone barns and farmhouses. Our farm, with its fieldstone farmhouse, 18th century stone barn and rolling fields broken only by fieldstone walls, seemed the perfect place to replicate the South of France.
Our fields, now over eight years old, are nothing short of amazing. Despite our initial worry that the harsh Northeast climate might not be ideal for the project, after testing the soil we carefully selected four varieties of plants, both French and English, and the plants are flourishing. We have over 15,000 plants, each one planted, pruned and harvested by hand.
The beauty of our fields is attested to by the many of local painters and photographers who spend their days drawing inspiration from the fields. There is a store located on the property where we sell our lavender products and accessories that complement the lavender.
As you can tell, we are proud of our lavender fields, but perhaps we are most proud that, despite the striking natural beauty of Bucks County, we have found a way to enhance this historic community with something at once rural, beautiful, and unique.
Open Saturday 9 til 5 but splendid products available on-line
5966 Mechanicsville RD, Mechanicsville PA 18934 near Doylestown (917) 837- 6903
Dare I mention that some of us began our Christmas shopping in that lavender-infused shop in the venerable farm building…
Tools of yesteryear adorn the grounds, as well as lamas, donkeys and assorted birds of great intrigue – but we’d forgotten our binoculars!