Yesterday was a busy day. We got up at 6.30am (on a Saturday, in the holidays!) to drive up to Te Horo to Lavender Creek Farm, as it was their harvest day and they had a photography competition that hubby wanted to enter. It was a fascinating trip and it was worth getting up early: seeing the rows of fresh lavender marching down the rise, interspersed with the bright green of the grass, was really beautiful. It was quite still and the scent of the lavender was rising. It's a fairly small cottage industry here, not like the huge fields of France - but standing there with the Tasman Sea in sight over the hedge, I could imagine what it might be like surrounded by hundredes of hectares of lavender plants. Wow.
The harvesting also included being able to watch as they distilled this year's crop of lavender essential oil - they mostly grow Lavandula augustifolia "Pacific Blue" but have some L. grosso as well. There's also what they call a heritage garden, which has one or two plants of most of the lavender varieties (well over a hundred) including pink and white. It was very peaceful - hardly surprising as lavender is known for its calming properties!
After we got home, I finished the painting of the back of the house while hubby gave small daughter her bath and got her into bed. I needed the space! Painting is really a very contemplative activity - one is in the present moment, concentrating on where the paint is going. I'm a pretty good house-painter, but not much of an artist!