Jeannie Ralston, author of the new book, The Unlikely Lavender Queen: A Memoir of Unexpected Blossoming, will be in Blanco this weekend for a series of events—at Breiger Pottery and Hill Country Lavender—to coincide with the Blanco Lavender Festival, which she and her husband helped start when they lived in Blanco County.
The book, which was just released nationwide in hardcover by Doubleday Publishing Group, is the story of growth and maturation, both the personal and botanical variety. After a stimulating former life as a magazine writer in Manhattan and Austin, Ralston reluctantly moved to Blanco as part of a bargain with her husband. A few years later she took over the lavender farm he started (also reluctantly) and built it into a successful business—in the process transforming herself and giving Blanco an economic boost.
“Becoming a lavender farmer was the last thing I would have imagined for myself,” says Ralston, “but it ended up being the best thing for me. What I hope readers will take away from this book is that sometimes the most unexpected curves in your path can be the most rewarding.”
The first event is a book party at Brieger Pottery on the Square on Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate the new book with Ralston, her husband Robb Kendrick and their two children, Gus and Jeb. Wine, hors d’oeuvre and lavender lemonade will be served and Ralston will be signing copies of the book.
During the festival itself, Ralston will be doing readings and signing books at Hill Country Lavender farm, which is located 3.5 miles north of the light in Blanco (behind McCall Creek Farms). In addition to picking lavender and shopping in Hill Country Lavender’s store, which stocks 72 lavender-related products, guests will be able to listen to Ralston read excerpts of the book, which talks about how the lavender industry in Texas was founded. The readings will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, Ralston will be discussing her book and the origins of lavender in Blanco at the festival’s Speaker’s Pavilion in the Old Blanco Courthouse at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
To learn more about the book, visit www.jeannieralston.com; for a schedule of events at Hill Country Lavender, see www.hillcountrylavender.com.