Text by Vicki Ingham / Photography by Marcy Black Simpson
If you’ve purchased an herb wreath from an upscale catalog company lately, there’s a good chance it was designed and created at Creekside Farms.
In 1988, Carol and Larry Umbarger began growing lavender, yarrow, and other flowers and herbs to help with college expenses for their children. They jumped into wreath-making in 1991 when a Smith & Hawken vendor needed help filling an order. Now all three sons and a daughter-in-law work full time at the business, and the oldest five of Carol and Larry’s 11 grandchildren are learning the ropes too.
Twelve years ago, the business outgrew the Umbargers’ home ranch near King City, California, and they moved operations to a 20-acre spread in Greenfield, California. Carol missed the flowers, however, and before long, she and Larry had replanted half the home acreage in lavender . “I am totally passionate about growing the lavender,” Carol says. “I really do love it.”