Sarah Berringer Bader has always been drawn to lavender. In 2000 she purchased a five-acre farm south of Portland, Oregon, and after visiting the Sequim Lavender Festival in Washington and seeing rows and rows of this wondrous herb, decided to create a test plot of 365 plants despite knowing nothing about planting lavender. She learned through trial and error, helped by a little-known society of lavender pioneers who had dedicated their careers to cultivating, growing, and preserving the true species of lavender. Soon she purchased many varieties of lavender from a seasoned grower in Oregon who had propagated starts from his own extensive collection acquired over a twenty-year span.
In 2005 she planted almost 5000 lavender plants with more than ninety cultivars and began propagating her own starts from cuttings. She opened her farm to the public and began holding the classes that inspired this book. Sarah and her farm, Lavender at Stonegate, have been featured in regional publications, on television and radio, and in Grower Talks and Country Gardens magazines.