The Lovely Lavender of Cherry Valley

Get your fill of the purple-pretty herb at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn.

LAVENDERS AND CHERRIES... don't necessarily appear together in too many dishes, nor designs, though they're both so beautiful and rich in scent and flavor. Both have quite the kapowza hue — lavender being, well, lavender, or even purple, if you prefer, and cherry being, well, cherry, or soft pink-red, in many cases — and both can add distinctive flavor to a cup of tea or other treat. But lavender has a way of ruling the garden, and the potpourri dish, while cherries rule our produce drawers and dessert choices. Still, lavenders and cherries remain paired in the minds of many Southern Californians, the lavender-loving daytrippers who know that some of the state's most purple-pretty sights may be found in Cherry Valley around the middle of June each and every year. And, lookie here, we've now reached that mid-point, which means that a...

LAVENDER FESTIVAL... is flowering at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn through Sunday, June 17. Look for "... various refreshing lavender-inspired favorites such as lavender lemonade and lavender ice cream," as well as an organic marketplace that's putting the spotlight on a host of "specialty items." An adult ticket? It's eight dollars. Spending the afternoon at the "largest organic lavender farm in Southern California"? Such a sweet way to bid the week a fragrant farewell. And a bonus: The weather is looking not-too-toasty, making for a fine day out. If you can't get enough lavender love in, though, look to Ojai, on the final Saturday of June, where the Ojai Valley Lavender Festival is set to bloom, with purple panache.

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