HAPPY HUE: There many different objects that could be accurately described as sky blue: the sky, for one, or certain flowers, like the hyacinth, and even particular ice creams, like raspberry. (Question: Why is raspberry ice cream sometimes blue, people who know the logic behind ice cream?) Then there is sunny yellow, which pairs well with, spoiler alert, the sun, as well as lemons and daffodils and egg yolks. And nothing but nothing in this verdant, color-rich world is more lavender than lavender itself. And to spy a lot of lavender in one place, swaying in a breeze, plants that can be plucked and taken home, is one of the principal outdoor pleasures of June. June is, in fact, not only Lavender Month in various places, including the town of Ojai, but Cache Creek Lavender Farm, which sits northwest of Sacramento, throws a weekend-long party for the aromatic, arid-tastic herb.
OF COURSE, you don't have to arrive with the goal of picking your own, though you absolutely can. Wine tasting with Capay Valley Vineyards is part of the Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14 happenings, and the enjoying of lavender products, like lavender lemonade and lavender ice cream. Another question: With the recent fancy lemonade renaissance of the last decade or so, does your heart sink a little when your glass of sunshine lacks the herby addition? Which leads to the bigger question: Have we all become a little in love with lavender? The answer to query #2 is for sure, and that is a rather wonderful thing.
LAVENDER SUGAR: You can also purchase your own bit of purple goodness -- we mean, lavender goodness, of course -- to take home and grow in your own garden. The bees adore it, the other bloomers in the bed are complemented by the contrasting colors (lavender at top, gray-green at the stem), and you'll have something to pluck when a potpourri or soap enhancement is required. Celtic- and folk- and jazz-tinged live tunes'll be the lovely music you'll pick your lavender by, or select your lavender plants, to during the weekend. The Cache Creek site suggests things to make with your floral find, including lavender sugar, which sounds like an amazing thing to eat at the height of lavender season, in the middle of June. For more on picking your own, during the festival or another time, call upon Cache Creek here.