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The History of Lavender in Blanco

 

 

For many years, visitors to the Texas Hill Country have enjoyed the beauty of the rough landscape and winding rivers. Much of this rocky limestone land, however, hasn't been highly sought after for its agricultural use.

In 1999, Robb Kendrick and his wife, Jeannie Ralston, pioneered the way for a new agricultural industry in the area. Kendrick, a National Geographic photographer, while shooting a story for the magazine in Provence, France, noticed that the hilly terrain and the scorching hot summers there were similar to that found at his land near Blanco in the Texas Hill Country.

In 1999, the Kendricks planted 2,000 plants, paving the way for the current Blanco lavender growers, many of who were inspired by seminars conducted by the Kendricks.

The Blanco Lavender Growers Association has remained a united group, building upon the experiences of the Kendricks. These pioneers have endured periods of non-stop rain and periods of non-existent rain, each time more committed to this new agricultural crop. They readily share each new experience with each other and with guests to the Texas Hill Country who share their love of lavender.

In 2005, the Blanco Chamber of Commerce hosted Blanco's First Annual Lavender Festival, setting the stage for this popular annual event. Seeing the vision created by huge attendance at this event, Charley Pemberton was instrumental in gaining Blanco's official designation in 2006 as the "Lavender Festival of Texas." This designation has been significant to the success of the annual Blanco Lavender Festival.

Charley and his wife, Ganell, were among the first growers in the area to attend a Kendrick seminar, inspiring them to start their new farm in October 2000. In 2006, Charley obtained the LAVENDER CAPITAL OF TEXAS ® service mark and generously bestowed that as a gift to the town of Blanco in February, 2007.