A Purple Dream that Started with Two Girls...
We are hopelessly in love with coffee, in love with traveling, and in love with the transient lights and shadows and scents – the stories and sentiments of which we jot down with our paint brushes and music sheets!
Two girls – Grace, who worked six years at a foreign bank in Taipei, and Tiffany, a piano teacher from Kaohsiung City – had been in touch with Western herbs for a very long time before they started dreaming of having their own lavender field in a place where both the body and soul could find tranquility and peace. In order to realize this dream and pursue the simple lifestyle they had pictured in their minds, the two girls packed everything they had on their backs, and embarked for Zhonghe Village, where mountains and trees run wild…
It’s a place far, far away from the city. So far that even maps don’t recognize it; mobile phones might not get a signal here. After the your car enters Zhonghe Village, the pathway follows the murmuring stream gently upwards – you see range after range of mountains, the sun and the air wandering amid the forests and the bushes; you see plum blossoms, peach blossoms, Japanese bush cherry blossoms, mountain cherry blossoms, tung tree flowers, areca nut flowers, white gingers, gardenias, banana shrubs, and osmanthus flowers each taking their turn on stage through different seasons of the year. Meanwhile, fireflies, hares, crested serpent eagles, Chinese bamboo partridges, and Formosan whistling thrushes roam freely in the woods. The two dozen households scattered across the valley have organized a community watch team that takes the chance of patrolling to clean up rivers and ensure land conservation. Crime is extinct here – there is no need to lock the doors when you go to sleep, and anyone can leave their dogs and chickens unattended for days when they go away.
And, to literally build the paradise of our dreams (and also in consideration of minimizing building costs), we built the main structure house and garden ourselves together with help from Mrs. Wang, the owner, and her family. From weeding, site prepping, excavating, moving stones, arranging trails, planting flowers, to building the actual house – all of us took care of these tasks personally using our after-work time, from brick to brick, seed to seed, and flower to flower. Here we want to mention our special appreciation to Mr. Wang, who not only agreed for us to cut down the 50 betel nut trees that he had had on his land for over a decade, but also allowed us to replace the original betel nut garden with plots of lavender fields and vanilla plantations.
We hope that every guest that comes to our cottage place can experience the tranquility so rarely found in the modern life – and the sense of satisfaction and spiritual richness that the body, mind, and soul find after indulging in tranquility. At Lavender Cottage, you can take your time to read a book, enjoy a nice chat, or simply sit under a tree and listen to the sound of the wind, using each and every one of your senses to carefully perceive the changes in nature. Thank you for taking the trouble of traveling all the way to Lavender Cottage. We sincerely welcome you, and invite you to take a stroll along the hills, follow the wind into the woods, and listen to the tunes played by the mountains, the rivers, the grass, and the trees. Or, if it pleases you, you are welcome to try our 3- to 5-day “life in the mountains” experience, during which you will lead a simplistic life of learning about and taking care of herbs, making homemade cookies from scratch, and cooking herbal dishes.