Allure of lavender: Annual festival arrives as plants peak

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Head out of town up Highway 126 and you'll find yourself at McKenzie River Lavender Farm.

"There's a phrase that people say," owner Carol Tannenbaum said. "There's the allure of lavender."

Tannenbaum said this is the prime time that lavender blooms in Oregon.

"It's a joyful color, it's a rich color," she said.

Her farm is part of the annual Oregon Lavender Festival: the second weekend in July, around 30 farms across the state open their doors to the public.

"I've never been to the festival before," said visitor Dianne Fuller. "I've got a couple of lavender plants in my yard as well, and I just love the scent. It's so relaxing."

"This is what I retired to do," said Helen Winter, who owns a lavender farm. "Sit out here and look at the lavender."

Tannenbaum said lavender is much more than just a pretty plant.

"The herb also has medicinal properties, so it's very good for burns, cuts, abrasions, bee stings, insect repellent," she said. "You can go on and on about the medicinal properties of lavender."