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Carriage House Lavender, located on the outskirts of Sherwood, provides many products containing lavender

SUBMITTED PHOTO: CARRIAGE HOUSE LAVENDER - Carriage House Lavender offers lavender-based products in a tranquil locationA Sherwood man has discovered the beauty and fragrance of lavender plants and is providing lavender products from his home, which is essentially a re-modeled old barn that was once used for miniature ponies.

He calls his business Carriage House Lavender, which is located at the outskirts of Sherwood at 17300 S.W. Parrett Mountain Road, just an eight-minute drive from Highway 99W.

Dave Murray, a longtime resident of the Sherwood community, took ownership of the old weed-covered structure and, over the years, made a number of improvements.

"Over the last 12 years, I've just been slowly remodeling it," Murray said. "It used to be a barn. It was dilapidated and an eyesore. The building was overgrown with weeds at one point. Barn doors were falling off."

He said one-third of the Carriage House makes up his living quarters, while two-thirds make up an entertainment center, complete with polished floors and attractive woodwork.

Murray fondly remembered that he came up with the idea of calling the barn the Carriage House as he was sitting on the patio one summer afternoon.

Then came the idea of growing lavender at the property.

"I used to plant pumpkins," Murray said. "Pumpkins were great up here. They were big, healthy. Then the deer started to figure out this was a food source for them, and by the end of each season, there weren't any pumpkins left."

Murray continued, "I started looking into plants that deer don't like and discovered lavender."

Murray planted 10 lavender plants the first year, and as time moved on, his lavender business was born.

"Five years ago, with the help of friends and a dozen or so Sherwood High School students, I put in the first 600 plants," Murray recalled. "Four years ago, I put in the remaining 1,400 plants. Right now, I have about 2,200 lavender plants."

Today, Carriage House Lavender offers many products that contain the soothing lavender aroma.

Murray makes many of the lavender products, which include shower gel, gardener's hand therapy and shea butter crème.

Pre-pandemic, Murray attended local events to become known in the community, but last year was tough, with the pandemic in full force.

"Our business was really, really, practically dead last year," he said. "There were months we didn't sell anything."

Murray continued, "We started doing some advertising this year, and things are picking up. I hired a marketing company to help me out on some things."

The smell of lavender is relaxing, something many of Murray's customers seek out.

"Lavender helps you sleep better," he said. "We're in the process of developing a product for acne treatment, but I don't have it ready yet."

Murray is getting to know his customers in the Sherwood area and his property has a park-like setting with a gazebo, cobblestone walkways, a picnic area, meditation areas and a great view of Mt. Hood. There's a patio in the middle of the lavender field.

With Carriage House Lavender, Murray's eventual goal is to turn his property into something resembling Butchart Gardens in British Columbia.

"I've got a long way to go," he said, noting, "It's beautiful here when the lavender is in bloom. It's absolutely gorgeous."

Carriage House Lavender's May hours are Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be found on the Carriage House website at carriagehouselavender.com.


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