When Lavender By the Bay announced over the Fourth of July weekend its French lavender crop was blooming, the magnificent occurrence — coupled with beautiful weather — is a combination the farmers believed could draw a crowd.
But more visitors than in previous years descended on to the East Marion farm to see — and smell — the bloom, including many Asians from New York City.
Lavender By the Bay owner Serge Rozenbaum and his son, Chanan, said Sunday they weren’t quite sure why the bloom was so popular within the Asian culture until a visitor explained how a popular movie has made the fragrant bluish-purplish-violet flower all the rage.
A Hong Kong romance called “Lavender” from 2001 is a love story about how an aromatherapist named Athena, played by Kelly Chen, wallows in loneliness after her boyfriend is killed. (Amazon Prime members can stream the movie for free).
Summer Yuan — who came out Sunday to the lavender farm from Queens for the first time with her friends Jing Chen, Joy Zhang and Sophia Lu — described the movie as an emotional flick where lavender symbolizes love.
As Lu looked out onto the farm and inhaled, she described Sunday’s bloom as “romantic.” She said she visited Lavender By the Bay last year and recommended it to her friends because she wanted them to experience it as well.
“It’s great — fantastic,” said Yuan, cradling a bundle of freshly cut French lavender. “I love it.”
Chanan Rozenbaum said he couldn’t say for sure how many visitors came for the bloom over the weekend, but estimated over a thousand probably stopped by.
When asked if that was a record for his family’s farm, Chanan said: “Definitely.”
“Last week, we had a large turnout,” he said, “and a lot of people posted pictures and told their friends about us.
“It’s been great.”
The Rozenbaum family has operated Lavender By the Bay for about a dozen years in East Marion and currently grows more than 60,000 plants of both French and English lavenders on nearly 17 acres, according to the farm’s website.
The French lavender bloom is “the best time to visit because this bloom is the most impressive” and usually takes place in early July for about two weeks, the website states.
Click the tab below to see photos shared on Instagram taken at Lavender By the Bay over the weekend.