Hi, I'm Chris, creator of La Bastide des Lavandes and a native of Southern France . Passionate about plants and all things natural, I grew my native land's plants in the Carolinas, where I lived for over 26 years.
With the support of my wife Jackie, we planted in less than six years over 6,000 plants and trees on our property in York County, SC, comprising over 650 species (including over 65 varieties of Lavender) and ultimately creating:
We created in 2010 a truly unique place where visitors felt like they had traveled to the South of France. The lush and unique gardens were a testament to the ability of many Mediterranean plants to grow and thrive in the Southeastern US (following specific techniques), contrary to popular assumptions.
The newly created botanical garden was even featured in Horticulture Magazine in 2014 and numerous newspapers around the US.
Our Mediterranean farmstead offered the perfect setting for an authentic Southern French immersion in the heart of the South Carolina countryside.
From 2011 to 2017, we shared our passion and knowledge with well over 1800 people during our educational tours and workshops with a French flair, inspiring many.
Living in harmony with Nature, respecting the land, observing and learning from our natural environment, using sustainable growing practices, teaching authentic and proven methods, utilizing Nature's therapeutic gifts to enhance our natural products, providing an idyllic environment for pollinators, and sharing traditional age old natural concepts and ideas have always been at the center of our philosophy.
We sold our York, SC lavender farm and botanical garden in 2017 and moved to the South of France 🌞 where we are pursuing our lavender and nature adventures in a magical region, between mountains and sea.
🌱We now grow over 112 varieties of lavenders and over 60 varieties of rosemary from which we extract essential oils and hydrosols.
🌱We have started a line of natural wellness products [Senteurs du Minervois] using our naturally grown plants as well as wild plants harvested in our beautiful countryside.
🌱We run Casa Lavineira, a peaceful and elegant vacation home located in the picturesque medieval village of La Livinière, famous for its numerous world class winemakers🍷, and its unique byzantine style stone church.
🌱We offer wellness retreats and different experiences to help guests relax, get closer to nature, and deeply rejuvenate themselves, with Chris' energy healing center, Zen Minervois.
🌱We started a local non-profit, Florir, to safeguard, enhance and promote the natural, historical and architectural heritage of the area we live in.
🌱Our future projects include the start of a micro-nursery specialized in Mediterranean plants, and the creation of another unique botanical garden.
Our village is located among vineyards and olive orchards and has over 20 wine makers and 4 olive oil makers. You can also find there dozens of hiking trails.
It offers breathtaking views over the Black Mountain (la Montagne Noire), the Pyrenees Mountains and the Minervois valley.
Unlike Provence, the magical region we live in is still preserved from mass tourism, yet offers dozens of opportunities to explore history, architecture and the local culture.
We look forward to seeing you soon, in our magical part of the world !
© zen minervois