Don’t bother looking at the calendar, because Mother Nature isn’t following it.
Lavender by the Bay, a lavender farm in East Marion, is seeing an earlier than expected bloom this season.
“It’s coming in early this week,” owner Serge Rozenbaum said. “I don’t know what happened, I don’t have a clue!”
On Wednesday morning, rows of faint purple lavender bushes swayed in the sunny breeze, some further along than others.
“It’s coming so early that the bees are going crazy,” Mr. Rozenbaum said. “The locust trees are blooming at the same time as the lavender, that’s never happened.”
The farm grows several kinds of lavender. The easiest way to differentiate English lavender from French is the English stalks are shorter than the French ones. It’s the English Lavender that’s coming in two weeks early. The French lavender remains green, for now.
But that could change, as Mr. Rozenbaum said, nobody’s sure why this is happening, though he has his ideas.
“We had a warm winter, it could have been that,” he suggested.
Mr. Rozenbaum said he will try to keep the flowers for as long as he can, but will cut the lavender at the end of the first bloom so it comes back for a second bloom in the fall.
Marie and Larry Brown, of Baiting Hollow, had no idea the lavender was blooming early. They just decided visiting the farm would be a fun way to spend part of the day with their one-year-old granddaughter Leah.
“We’ve never been to the farm, so I thought what a perfect day to come out,” Ms. Brown said. “Even though it’s not in full bloom yet, its still so pretty.”
Lavender By the Bay predicts the English lavender, which usually peaks in late June or early July, will now peak two weeks earlier. The farm is also closely watching its French lavender, which usually peaks later in July.
Lavender By the Bay is now open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The lavender fields close at 4:30 p.m. During the full bloom there will be a $5 charge for visitors to enter the fields and picking lavender will only be allowed Monday through Thursday from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Lavender By the Bay is located at 7540 Main Road in East Marion. For more information call (631) 477-1019 or visit lavenderbythebay.com.