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For the love of lavender

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Heber, AZ
Intermediate X Lavendula Gros Blue

The Windy Hills Lavender Boutique in Heber is a locally grown business – literally! About 10 years ago Lois Hunt and her daughter-in-law Cindy Schooley came to son/husband Bryan Schooley

Heber, AZ
Bryan Schooley took a break for a picture from harvesting Gros Blue lavender in the newest garden at Windy Hills Boutique.

and said, “We want to plant flowers and make things out of them.” At the time Bryan laughed … but he’s not laughing anymore. In fact, their idea has changed all of their lives as they now own a thriving lavender business with a lavender farm that they harvest and formulate 134 products. They also have the retail store in Heber, an online store located at whlav.com, and products sold in Gilbert Ortega’s in Scottsdale.

Bryan was cutting the blooming lavender in the new garden area southeast of the Boutique.

They already owned property north of Heber, which is considered high desert. They planted their first crop of lavender doing everything on an organic basis. No pesticides were ever used – just hard, old-fashioned weeding by hand. While Lois and Bryan were learning everything about growing lavender, Cindy learned how to formulate the various types of lavender into different products and they eventually bought their own still to extract the essential oils. Their products, which also include their home-grown herbs and native plants are certified organic.

 

The trio now has a new dream for Windy Hills Boutique that they have put into action this past spring. The plan is to establish fields of lavender on the property surrounding their retail store in which people can experience walking and spending time in blooming lavender fields. “We have listened to our customers,” Bryan said. “Many have expressed the same desire, so we are working to bring that dream to reality. We plan on designing walking paths with benches to make it a lavender experience destination.”

Heber, AZ
Area of the new future garden behind and to the east of the Boutique.

This past spring they planted a field of lavender just to the east of and behind Windy Hills Boutique. The plantings include Intermediate X Lavendula Gros Blue which is used for sachets, bouquets and for its essential oil.  The second type is Augustfolia English Lavender Edelweiss, a culinary lavender with white flowers. These plants are only six months old but are obviously happy in their new field as they have begun blooming. Bryan said the third variety to be planted in the fall will be Storch Red. So, when flowering, the field will be red, white and blue.

 

The next phase of the project will include planting on the east side of their building from the back of the property to the front and will surround the wood sculpture of the eagles flying through lavender fields. From there, the planting will continue on the west side again from the back to the front of the property. “Mary Tenney has given us an easement to plant lavender up the side of the hill,” Bryan shared. (Mrs. Tenney owns the building where Lawyers Title is located just to the west of Windy Hills.) Bryan also has a plan to carve out an area into the hill adjacent to their flagstone patio for another lavender garden. 

West side of the property where the hillside will be planted behind the utility building.

Lois, Bryan and Cindy are excited for this new venture. Their hard work brings value and is a welcome addition to our community as well. Their lavender essential oil has been recognized in the industry as one of very high quality and to know it’s something that loves to grow in this tough terrain is an amazing development. If you’ve not shopped here before, you need to stop by – if even to breath in the luscious lavender aroma. They’re located just off Highway 260 at Stone Bridge Trail.

 

Here is the list of classes for August:

August 11, Bath Bombs Class. Learn to make those popular bath bombs and take one home with you, $20.  11 a.m. at the Windy Hills Lavender Boutique, Highway 260 and Stone Bridge Trail, Heber. Complimentary Lavender Sugar Cookies and Lavender Ice Tea.  Register online at WHLAV.com or call 928-240-2273.

August 18, Soap Making Class. Learn how we make lavender soap from scratch, $20.  Enjoy complimentary Lavender Sugar Cookies, plus you’ll each receive a bar of soap to take home.  11 a.m. at the Windy Hills Lavender Boutique, Highway 260 and Stone Bridge Trail, Heber.  Register online at WHLAV.com or call 928-240-2273.

September 1, Lavender Afternoon Tea.  This is a repeat of the Lavender High Tea class we had earlier this summer. We’ll be sampling all kinds of goodies made with lavender, plus lavender tea, of course, and learn a lot about the history and uses of lavender. $20.   11 a.m. at the Windy Hills Lavender Boutique, Highway 260 and Stone Bridge Trail, Heber.  Register online at WHLAV.com or call 928-240-2273.

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Barbara Samples was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and has called Heber-Overgaard home since 2008. She is married to Larry Samples, who is co-owner with her in L & B, Inc., owner of the Mogollon Rim News. They have four (grown) children and two grandchildren. Barbara serves as the Editor.