The final (unexpected) leg of our day trip landed us at Castle Creek Farm for the Lavender and Thyme Festival. It was about 3:30 when we arrived. The festival lasted until 5:00, but again, it was a nice, small event. (Such a lovely place!)

We chatted for a few minutes with the lady at the entrance, and she informed us that they were just starting the “Victorian Language of Flowers” discussion. We headed over to a little nearby tent and took our seats with about a dozen others. Susanna Reppert Brill, the hostess of the talk, explained to everyone what a tussie mussie (or nosegay) is and why it was used during the Victorian era. In case you don’t already know, it was used to camouflage the smell of the masses. Frequent bathing wasn’t quite a thing yet, and the bouquets, which could either be held, worn in the hair, tied about the waist, or pinned on one’s clothing, made socializing a bit more tolerable to the nose. Also, the choice of flowers used in the tussie mussie doubled as a way to convey messages during a time when single men and women weren’t even allowed to be alone in the same room together.

We passed around various examples of holders (in modern times also called tussie mussies) as she explained the meaning behind some of the herbs and flowers that could be used to create the bouquet and showed us how to put one together. Aside from being used frequently for wedding parties, these petite arrangements make simple gifts for a number of occasions or just a way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. If you want to express a particular message, it’s easy to find flower meanings online or, as Susanna suggested, make it up as you go.

After the discussion ended, we wandered over to look at some of the vendors, discovering a number of wonderful teas and other products. My friend picked up four or five different types of tea between the tables as well as some raw honey. I bought two lavender and mullein smudges (only $2 each!) and three herb plants (spearmint, purple sage, and grosso lavender only $1 each!). We also made it a point to try some lavender ice cream, specifically lavender black raspberry. It was amazing, and I highly recommend trying it given the opportunity. (I almost forgot to snap a picture before we finished it off.)

We spent the remainder of the time enjoying the landscape, chatting with some of the event coordinators, who were all very friendly, and looking at the alpacas. We were informed that they could be petted “at your own risk” and opted against the attempt. They were too cute, though!

On our way back to the car, we agreed that the Lavender and Thyme Festival was worth the extra drive and that we would definitely be attending next year. If you happen to live in the Dillsburg, PA area or don’t mind a little driving adventure, I would encourage you to stop by and take a look around. Peaceful, relaxing, and enjoyable. Tasty things to eat, and… just look at those alpacas faces! Who could resist?

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