In 2003 artist Danny Flanagan became intrigued with the prospect of cultivating lavender after a chance meeting with a lavender farmer from the Texas Hill Country. Upon researching the idea, he learned that the sandy loam soil and dry conditions at his in-laws ranch in Scurry County would be ideal for the sun-loving lavender. He introduced the idea to Cherisse's parents, Gary and Jerilynn Yungblut, and the idea took root. Soon they were joined by Scott and Pam Yungblut and Casey and Traci Kidwell, and Joyce Lavender Ranch was born.
The test plot was carved out of dry soil in the spring of 2003. We experimented with five different varieties of lavender before settling on the fragrant Provence and brilliant Grosso. That fall we planted 500 of each but were disappointed when the temperature dove to 22 degrees a few days later, crippling 80% of our first big crop. Not easily deterred, we regrouped and replanted in the spring of 2004. Those plants produced their first blooms later that summer and will soon be in full bloom again, along with another 1,500 lavender plants and a few rows of rosemary.
So, who is Joyce? The Joyce Ranch, established in 1894, has been part of the same family for five generations. Cattleman R.E. Joyce came to Scurry County from Marshall, Texas, and became well known for his registered Herefords. In 1898 he married Laura Sturdivant, daughter of an old Scurry County family, and they later had seven daughters. Cattle buyers came from all over the country, and people still talk about the calves bought from Mr. Joyce that they raised as prize show calves for F.F.A. and 4H. Granddaughter of the Joyce's, Jerilynn McPherson Yungblut, remembers the joys of riding around the pastures to feed the cows. She remembers fondly that "Granddaddy Joyce" had a special name for each of the cows and they even came when they were called!
Each of the seven Joyce sisters felt a strong connection to the ranch and their heritage there. The older girls were raised in the house near the old barn with a governess brought in for their schooling. The ranch house, used by migrant workers for many years, finally burned to the ground in the 1960s. Today seven hundred acres of the original five section ranch are still owned by Joyce descendants. The lavender fields are located near the windmill and the old wooden barn which is one of the oldest wooden structures in Scurry County.
For generations, our family has worked and played on this land, introducing each new generation to the joys and surprises it brings. It was this love of the land that inspired Gary to embrace the idea of cultivating an alternative crop. This endeavor achieves an important goal for him to bring his children and grandchildren together to give them a tie to the land.
Now we bring all of this history and our collective talents together to bring you a most unique West Texas Ranch experience. We invite you to come out and walk among our beautiful lavender and experience the heady aroma for yourself. You may also enjoy watching the cattle grazing, horses running the fence line, or watching your children discover the joy of the occasional horny toad sighting!
Hope to see you soon!
Joyce Lavender Ranch
Phone: (325) 673-7430
650 Tamy Court Abilene, Texas 79602
Payment Types Available:
Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, Paypal
Shipping Options Available:
UPS, USPS, Fedex, 2 Day Air, International
Return For Any Reason:
Return Time Frame: