Walking carefree through acres of heavily scented lavender at Warrington Manor is an unrivaled treat to the senses for those who visit the five-acre farm near Cool Spring, just a few miles west of Rehoboth Beach.
There’s the immensely bright colors to take in, the unmistakable scent of hundreds of blooms, even the sounds of birds chirping and wildlife scurrying about. This is Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor, a hidden treasure in coastal Delaware that is truly one-of-a-kind.
What owners Marie Mayor and Sharon Harris have created on their southern Delaware farm is indeed a beauty to behold. From the obvious draw of being the state’s only lavender farm to their wide variety of lavender themed items in the gift shop, Lavender Fields is a stop that should be on any visitor’s list of things to see and do at the Delaware beaches.
And today, we thought we’d take you on a virtual tour of the historic property here on our blog page at theoldfathergroup.com. But where do we start?
Well, let’s begin our tour by meandering through the farm’s entrance, admiring the scents and beauty of the lavender blooms to the right and entering the quaint building on the left that will seem eerily familiar to many who have grown up here at the Delaware beaches.
Do you recognize it? Can you place it?
If you’re a baby boomer, you may recognize the building as the former Queen Anne’s Railroad Station, which for years rested on King’s Highway and welcomed visitors from upstate Delaware, the Philadelphia markets and many other locations. But these days, the station makes it’s home at Warrington Manor, and the lady owners of the farm are indeed putting it to good use.
Part of the former train station is today used as a commercial kitchen where Marie and Sharon make products for the six local farmer’s markets they participate in. Products for sale at the market include lavender scones, lavender pound cake and lavender lemonade.
Sounds yummy right?
The rest of the historic station is used, in a tradition befitting the name of Warrington Manor, for afternoon high teas, held by reservation only. Any group can rent the building for such a purpose, with English teacups and saucers already at your service.
Take a 3D tour of what the station looks today by clicking on the image below. We think you'll like what you see.
Call 302-684-1514 if you or your group is interested in holding a “high tea” at Warrington Manor. Marie tells us up to 15 people can comfortably be seated for such an event.
Resting near the tearoom is really the key structure on the grounds, and that is the extensive gift shop. But before we get to that, let’s take a short stroll through the French themed labyrinth and head to the back of the property where you’ll find something that will surprise many visitors to the five-acre Sussex County farm.
In the back left corner of the property rest the inhabitants of another of Marie and Sharon’s pet projects, namely about 87,000 honey bees that work hard for their masters in producing many of the farm’s sweet tasting creations.
Though they lost two hives during the winter of 2016, five more are still active. Bees feast on the nearby lavender and wild flowers and produce hundreds of pounds of flavored honey each and every year. Yum!
Now back to that gift shop we were talking about. This quaint little room, with rocking chairs on the porch and a wide selection of lavender themed gifts inside, is the pseudo gathering place on the grounds and smells…well, it smells about as good as you would expect a gift shop on a lavender farm to smell.
There are tons of soaps and lavender samples and other goodies available for purchase in the gift shop, but the farm’s best selling product may surprise you. It’s not soap, it’s not the lavender flavored food items and it’s not even the sweet tasting honey that the bees dutifully produce every year.
No, the farm’s best selling produce is, in fact, a product called “bug away.” This natural bug repellent made with lavender and eucalyptus sells in the hundreds of bottles and is even sold in the Lewes and Cape May ferry terminals, as well as on the actual ferries themselves.
Marie tells us that, in addition to adults and children, you can also spray your dogs with this sweet smelling bug spray. Just not too heavily on the pooches.
And speaking of man’s best friend, Marie has another useful trick that she shares with dog owners. She reveals that by putting stems of lavender in your dog’s bedding, it will make your dogs calmer and keep the bugs away while they’re sleeping. Wow, who knew right?
Check out a 3D tour of the gift shop by clicking on the screenshot below. Pretty cool stuff, right?
Other features of Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor include a drying barn, an abundant vegetable garden that includes tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers and more, and a soon to open “woodland walkway” near the vegetable garden that will include a few eye-catching water features.
In all, 13 workers are now employed by Marie and Sharon’s farm, and there is even a thriving e-commerce site now, in addition to the products sold on-site and at the area farmer’s markets.
A whopping 30 different kinds of lavender are grown at Warrington Manor, which again is Delaware’s one and only lavender farm.
And just a brief history lesson on the farm before we conclude. The farm that today is known for its lavender was in the Warrington family from 1776 to 1946 and once included 3,400 fruit trees over 1,000 acres, and was deeded by William Penn.
Around 1950, it had been reduced to 171 acres that then included where many of the Lewes Dairy cows roamed free. The property today includes a home that was built circa 1840 and the barn that we mentioned above.
We here at the Oldfather Group highly recommend a visit to Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor. If you need directions to this hidden gem of Sussex County, or to learn more about the farm, please visit Marie and Sharon’s website at www.lavenderfieldsde.com or give them a call at 302-684-1514.
And visit us again soon here at theoldfathergroup.com, when we will focus on yet another locally owned and operated business here in Sussex County.
Have a great day everyone!