Friday, July 5, 2013

Totally Texas -- Embrace your fragrant bliss

Now that the scent of explosives from Fourth of July fireworks is history for another year, consider treating yourself to a sweeter, gentler aroma. The aroma wafting from the fields of the Snyder family’s lavender farm, Savannah’s Meadow, about an hour’s drive northeast of Dallas.

I’ve been searching for pick your own flower farms in North Texas since hearing “slow flower” advocate and author Debra Prinzing speak at the Dallas Arboretum last year. Especially flowers I can’t grow in the shade and heavy black clay soils of my inner city yard. After reading about Savannah’s Meadow recently in the Dallas Morning News, I had to see it.

For me, just getting away from the suburban sprawl of the I-75 corridor is always a revelation. Soon after turning east off I-75 near McKinney, the landscape changed to fields, woods and farms. Several turns onto farm to market roads later, I feared I’d missed the lavender farm when the small sign for Savannah’s Meadow appeared.

I recommend rolling down your windows as soon as you turn into the drive to get the full impact of the aroma. The farm’s front field is planted half in lavender “Vera” and half in the hardy perennial French lavender “Provence,” famous for its use in cookery and perfumes.

Although Vera has been slower to bloom, the Provence plants were covered in aromatic blooms. Simply cutting the stems will scent your hands. A single bunch ($5) will fill your car with fragrance all the way back to Dallas.

When you arrive, park and check in at the gift shop in front of silo, a reminder of the farm’s long agricultural history. There’s no charge for entry, or for a complimentary cup of owners’ Gwen and Mike Snyder’s complimentary lavender lemonade. Visitors can follow several walking trails winding through a fairy forest, herb gardens, past a lake and into a shaded outdoor kitchen suitable for picnics. And of course, through the lavender fields.

The gift shop supplies small scissors to cut the flowers, and rubber bands to bind them. (Due to shrinkage when drying, rubber bands hold the stems better than string.) You can also choose from an array of dried lavender and scented crafts.

Especially if you’re traveling with small children, you’ll appreciate the stroller-accessible restrooms equipped with lavender soap in the gift shop’s adjacent restrooms.

Savannah’s Meadow is located at 4473 FM 903, outside Celeste. Its normal hours are 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Outside those times, the working outdoor kitchen is available for special events by appointment. For reservations, contact Ms. Snyder at 214-668-24299 or
For directions and additional information, see the farm’s website,

(For more about “slow flowers,” see Debra Prinzing’s site,


  1. That sounds wonderful. I'm not sure we have pick your own flower farms over here. What a lovely way to spend a day. You're so lucky, Melissa

  2. Thanksfor the reminder, Deb. Sometimes Texas gardeners spend too much time complaining about what won't grow here, instead of what will.