The Sweet Scent of Sequim Lavender
The weather is warming up. And that means the lavender plants are preparing for their summer show of breathtaking color and alluring fragrance. Summer in Sequim has its own special perfume. You know it as soon as you open your car door, go for a walk, or step onto a farm. It’s the sweet scent of lavender floating on the summer breeze. Take a deep breath and relax. You’ve arrived in the Lavender Capital of North America.®
Many lavender farms in Sequim are open throughout the summer season. They welcome guests to learn more about this ancient, versatile herb and what it’s like to be a lavender farmer. You can find a full listing of farms here.
History of Sequim Lavender
The lavender fields in Sequim have been blooming since the mid-1990s. The first fields were planted after a sub-committee of the Chamber of Commerce began looking for a new crop to preserve farmlands. They wanted to inspire visitors to the area and discovered that lavender would thrive in the Mediterranean type conditions found in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. Due to a rain shadow created by the Olympic Mountains, Sequim’s annual average rainfall is 16”. This makes it one of the driest places in western Washington and perfect for a sustainable lavender crop.
Five lavender farms planted throughout the valley, initially. Today, there are over two dozen lavender farms and businesses in the Sequim area. As you visit these family-owned farms, you’ll find that they all have their own character and personality. They reflect the vision of the owners. Each one offers a unique experience. But all of them will captivate your senses with the beauty of the flowering plants, the hum of honeybees at work, and that enchanting fragrance.
Many of the farms distill essential oil to use in their hand-crafted products. Most offer u-pick so visitors can take a bundle of fresh lavender home with them. And many of the farms have gift shops on their property. These are full of unique, therapeutic home, bath and body, and culinary products. They include lavender honey made by all those busy bees at work in the fields.
Different varieties of lavender begin blooming at varying times. You’ll see the bright waving flags of Lavandula stoecha or Spanish lavenders as early as late spring. But the more common species of angustifolia, often known as English Lavender, and the hybrid lavandins, typically come into their peak in late June and July.
Visiting Sequim during Lavender Season
Sequim Lavender Weekend, held July 15 – 17, 2022, is our community-wide celebration of all things lavender. A world-class street fair is held at Sequim’s largest park. Lavender farm festivals and events, plus a host of community activities including art shows, a quilt show, and live theatre appeal to all visitors. There is so much to see and do, you’ll want to plan on attending for more than one day.
VisitSunnySequim.com will have all the Lavender Weekend details and information you need to plan your trip. The website is updated as activities finalize. So check back often for the latest information. Now is a good time make your plans as local lodging fills up early.
Whenever you’re visiting Sequim during lavender season, we encourage you to enjoy Sequim’s small town charm, local cuisine, and build fragrant memories of the sweet scent of Sequim lavender.
By Barbara Hanna, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Sequim