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SOOKE GARDEN CLUB: Cultivating lavender is a gardener’s dream

Lavender farmer Lynda Dowling guest speaker at next Sooke Garden Club meeting
Lynda Dowling in her field at Happy Valley Lavender Farm. Dowling began her love and adventures with lavender in 1987. (Contributed - Sooke News Mirror)

Cory McInnis | Contributed

There was a mature lavender in our front yard when we moved into our house 2½ years ago. It was split in the center, and the stalks had become woody.

I harvested the buds in late October and, after chatting with some of the local gardeners, found out that lavender needs regular pruning to keep it growing nicely.

My dismay increased when I saw that it did not survive the following summer after being cut back. It had outlived its natural life.

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I replaced it with a fresh, new lavender hoping to see it mature and produce many beautiful, scented stems for both myself and the bees to enjoy.

Plants like lavender can please just about any gardener. There are many varieties to choose from, and it serves a variety of purposes, making it a multipurpose addition to a garden bed. And yes, it is deer-resistant.

Lynda Dowling from Happy Valley Lavender Farm began her love and adventures with lavender in 1987. Having a 3-year-old son and a new baby on the way, in 1988, she decided the only way she could reach Provence was to create her own Provence in her backyard, which became Happy Valley Lavender Farm.

Sooke Garden Club members can join Dowling via Zoom on March 23 at 7 p.m. as she explores the many facets of this humble, loyal, fragrant plant from growing to eating it. New members are welcome. Please email

Mark your calendar: the Sooke Garden Club’s annual plant sale returns on May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The location will be announced soon.


Cory McInnis writes for the Sooke Garden Club.

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