As we emerge from the long winter and lockdown, many of us need nature to restore our spirits. What better place in TBL to achieve this goal than to visit Joie de Lavande. What you will find is a dream made real.

In 2006, Alison and Chris Marks had come to that crossroads in life when their children had grown up, and their formal work lives were coming to an end. How were they to fill this space? Lavender was Alison’s dream. They had visited the lavender farms in Provence, seen the endless fields of purple plants, and inhaled their scent in the hot summer air. They wondered, could they make lavender their future in Canada?

There were many problems to solve. Attempts to grow French lavender in Canada had a 100% failure rate. But the Marks’ found a breeder that had produced a plant that will survive our winters. This gave them a source for plants to grow and sell. But the acreage required for essential oils was beyond them. It requires 400 kilos of plant material to make a litre of oil. They would have to find another source for products such as oils, soaps and sprays. They discovered such a source in the United States.

Next, they needed land that had full sun in the summer. This they found in 2007, yards from downtown Knowlton at 50 Mont Echo. The last hurdle was the soil. The land they had bought was clay.. Tons of gravel had to be shipped, and spread to provide the lavender with the rocky soil they needed.

In the summer of 2007, they opened Joie de Lavande. The business has grown steadily since then, and the property has become ever more beautiful. So beautiful that couples have used it for their weddings. Since 2020, COVID-19 has been both a curse and a blessing. The large plantations in the US, that provide the oil for the products, could not bring in their normal Mexican workforce last year, and so product was hard to source, but COVID-19 also brought a compelling desire to get out of the house into nature. The year 2020 was a banner year for the farm as people basked in the beauty, and bought plants.

You too can spend an hour or more in this idyllic setting, and then return home to your loved ones with a gift that is universally liked, lavender.

Here is the Joie de Lavande website: http://joiedelavande.com/home.html