- June 5, 2014

10th Annual Blanco Lavender Festival


The 2014 Festival Artwork by Dan Gilroy
via the Blanco Chamber of Commerce

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Blanco Lavender Festival and the event promises to be bigger and better than ever. Taking place June 13-15, 2014, on the grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse, the festival boasts 100+ artisans and craftspeople; live music; lavender-related educational programs and cooking demonstrations; food vendors; and locally crafted beer and wine. The highlight of the festival may well be the opportunity to visit two of Blanco’s local lavender farms–Imagine Lavender Farm and Hill Country Lavender–during peak season.

The family and I were lucky enough to while away a recent Saturday morning at Imagine Lavender Farm. A short drive through fields dotted with wildflowers and prickly pears leads from the entrance on Hwy. 281 to the lavender farm, which occupies 6 of Rocking L Ranch’s roughly 200 acres. Keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the family’s horses, goats, llamas, or miniature cows cavorting along the way.

The field sits atop a breezy hill with gorgeous views of the surrounding Texas Hill Country. It is a wide open and beautiful space where my boys felt free to run and play without inhibition. Imagine Lavender’s owners, Bernadette and John, are grandparents who believe that children learn through experience. As such, kids are encouraged to dig in the dirt, pick up bugs, touch and sniff the lavender (but no picking!), climb the trees, explore, and get grubby. There is a fairy village nestled beneath a magnificent oak tree, which is decked out with a family-sized swing. There’s a garden of natural sculptures called the “stump walk” where, like staring at clouds, everyone is likely to see something different in the shapes. The farm is a Monarch Waystation, so lucky visitors may spy a few of those beauties or their chrysalises. And if you find yourself in need of some peaceful reflection, there is a handicapped-accessible seven circuit labyrinth and a Rosary, both created from lavender bushes to honor Bernadette’s parents, who founded Rocking L Ranch.

During the festival, kids visiting Imagine Lavender can participate in a seek and find challenge and make some simple crafts. There will be also be presentations, demonstrations, and the occasional fairy visit throughout the weekend. (You can view the full schedule here.) Picnics are encouraged, so pack a lunch and some sunblock and plan to bask in the lavender-scented breeze for a spell. Water and soda will be available for purchase, along with lots of handcrafted lavender-based products. Can’t make it next weekend? Imagine Lavender will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays after the festival through the end of June.

From my neck of the woods in far NW Austin, the drive to Blanco was just about an hour. I’d encourage you to stretch your visit to the Blanco Lavender Festival into a full-day adventure. Stroll downtown, tour one or both farms, then add on a stop at one of these nearby gems: Blanco State Park (Adults: $4; Children 12 & under: Free); Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park (FREE! Donations are gratefully accepted.); or Pedernales Falls State Park (Adults: $6; Children 12 & Under: Free).

Things to know before you go:

  • Festival hours are Friday, June 13, 2014, from Noon to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, June 14, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, June 15, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • No pets are allowed at the festival or the farms.
  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes, sunblock, and water are a must if you plan to visit the farms.
  • Admission to the festival and farms is free.
  • Info on free downtown parking can be found here

Blanco Lavender Festival

Grounds of the Historic Old Blanco County Courthouse
300 Main St
Blanco, TX 78606

Imagine Lavender Farm at Rocking L Ranch

7048 N US Hwy 281
Blanco, TX 78606
(830) 833-1166

Hill Country Lavender

4524 North Hwy 281
Blanco, TX 78606
(830) 833-2294

In her life before kids, Emily held jobs as a zookeeper, a middle school teacher, and a tour bus driver in the wilds of Montana–not one of which prepared her for the adventures of motherhood. Now she’s living the good life in Austin with her husband, two sons and a Great Dane. When she’s not off gallivanting with her boys, you might find Emily baking up a mean batch of cupcakes, recalling obscure 80s song lyrics, or dreaming of peace and quiet.