Less than an hour from Round Top, you’ll find a farm where lavender rules. Jim and Debbie McDowell, the husband and wife owners, bought the 23-acre rolling farm in 2003 and have been lovingly cultivating it ever since.

What began as a raw piece of land has transformed throughout the years into a scenic farm with fields of aromatic purple plants.

After buying the farmland almost two decades ago at Jim’s suggestion, the McDowells went to go visit a couple of Texas lavender farms outside of Austin. Buying a few plants, the McDowells were curious to see if the lavenders would take on their land. The couple found that the finicky plant grew well on their farm’s incline. This launched the lavender farm and they began their first season with 600 plants.

They added 600 more the next season and every season since they’ve added more. And more. Now, there are some 4,000 lavender plants on the farm.

Pick fresh lavender to take home (photo by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm).
Pick fresh lavender to take home (photo by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm).

“Here we are now you know after how many years?” Debbie McDowell says. “We’re still hanging in there and doing it, but we enjoy it. And that’s kinda where it all began.”

Lavender Forever

This year, some exciting new additions have been added to Chappell Hill Lavender Farm. A major changes comes in the deck that’s been built and attached to the gift shop. The deck serves as a natural meeting place and will also be where the farm’s seminars (also a new addition) largely will be held.

The large deck is covered and boasts both fans and electricity, letting people cool off and enjoy a picnic or just hanging out in the the shade.

“We’re really pleased with that because the shop is so small we haven’t really had a place to meet or do anything,” Debbie McDowell notes. “So this has really been needed.”

The entrance to Chappell Hill Lavender Farm (photo by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm).
The entrance to Chappell Hill Lavender Farm (photo by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm).

The unique experience of coming out and picking bushels of fresh lavender under the vast Texas sky is available in the spring and late summer. For in-between lavender seasons, the McDowells planted fruit trees that are available for picking when in season.

You’ll find peaches, figs and blackberries depending on the time of year.

Animals roam here, too. Miniature goats live at Chappell Hill Lavender Farm. Dogs are welcome too — as long as they’re on a leash.

This one unique purple wonderland — not far from Round Top. Chappell Hill Lavender Farm’s season started March 6 and its runs through November. It will be a popular side trip during the frenzy of the spring Round Top Antiques Show.

“We get a lot of different people that visit, a lot of families,” Debbie McDowell says. “It’s good for everybody. All ages.”

Chappell Hill Lavender Farm is located at 2250 Dillard Road in Brenham and is open Thursdays through Sundays. Entry to the farm is free and tours are available for large groups even on days when the farm is otherwise closed.