In the Garden with Los Poblanos

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As soon as we unwrapped the all-natural, botanical soaps from New Mexico’s Los Poblanos lavender farm and inn, we were ready to hop on the next flight to Albuquerque and see the fragrant fields in person. To tide us over until we can journey out west, we caught up with executive director Matt Rembe to chat about the rich legacy of Los Poblanos and catch a glimpse of the landscape near the historic farm.

“Los Poblanos was founded in the 1930s as a progressive farm—the owners raised native species like Navajo-Churro sheep, hired New Mexican architects and artists, and built the greenhouse that we still use. Though the buildings are elegant, they’re inspired by a functional, agricultural spirit, and Los Poblanos is guided by the goal of preserving and sustaining the working farm. Today, we grow many of the ingredients for our skincare products, including lavender, roses, and honey.

The farm is home to several distinct garden spaces. Rose Greely, the first female graduate of Harvard’s landscape architecture program, designed our historical flower gardens in the 30s, drawing inspiration from Spain’s Moorish architecture. The agricultural fields are, of course, primarily lavender. Another key part of the farm is the kitchen garden. Our gardeners and chef collaborate, sometimes planning two years in advance, to raise the ingredients for our seasonal menus—from native cardoons to figs grown on a 75-year-old tree.

In summer, our landscape is dominated by the lavender fields, which bloom every year in June. Before planting, we use acequia, traditional irrigation ditches introduced by Spanish explorers, to water the fields. It’s an important practice in our region’s history, and a true marker of the growing season.”

Photography courtesy of Josh Hailey (1, 2R, 3, 4), terrain (2R), Los Poblanos (5R), Sergio Salvador (5L), and Alexander Vertikoff (6).

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