In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own. 

At Jo’s Farms, the scent of French lavender fills the summer evening air, bringing me back to the lavender fields  of Provence, and my memories of Provence when the hills exhale the earth’s vapors.  My reminiscing about my lifelong passion for the region, the food, the lavender fields amongst the folds of its unforgettable landscape is the inspiration for my lavender farm, flower gardens and shop. As I gaze at the field, its quiet simplicity makes me appreciate the earth. I take care of it, and it, in turn, nourishes my senses, clears my mind and soothes my soul.

“Why would anyone want to go on holiday where the vine and olive don’t grow” my family was fond of saying. My mother born in Sicily and my father, Naples, took us on trips to the Mediterranean when I was just 14 years old. It left an indelible mark on my heart, and instilled in me a lifelong passion for travel, food, nature which ultimately led me to France and the lavender fields of Provence where my passion for design, art, and flowers became the the inspiration for my business, sourcing unique curiosities and unusually beautifully objects, lighting, and textiles from around the world to incorporate into the  rooms I style and design for my clients. I love to style spaces, it’s easy when you represent beautiful things and find beautiful things to make your space feel special. A keen editorial eye, a love of design, floral artistry, color and all that blooms inspired my journey.  My beautiful lavender field with the faces of the giant sunflowers that grow along side of it that turn my  lavender landscape into a vibrant impressionist  painting, is my delight.

The life I’m living now at Jo’s Farms – whimsical and wonderfully playful – is what I’ve always dreamed of.  That’s why I am so excited to share my passion and its beauty with all of you.



Scent, Scenery and Serenity: The story of Jo’s Farms

In 2017, I set out to find a property with meandering gardens. As soon as I saw the circa 1900s adobe farmhouse in the North Valley in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was smitten. The house had an immediate feeling of having a soul.

The place had so much character (a 1900s adobe hacienda with worn wooden beams and beautiful saltillo tile floors, stained-glass windows and five fireplaces, a casita, a gun shop, chicken coop horse stables, a lily pond and an aviary) that I knew my creative spirit could thrive in this setting.

As soon as I saw the half-acre empty lot at the back of the property, where donkeys and horses were living, I knew that it would be my lavender field. My husband, Joe Ornelas, and I set about planting, with the idea to turn the charming A-frame barn in front of it into a place for my little lavender space and the casita next to it into our farm shop.

I named the estate Jo’s Farms, after my mother, Josephine, who loved the scent of lavender as much as I do, and began putting my plans into effect.

Jo’s Farms is an extension of the Lisa Fontanarosa Collection (, the business I started in 1997 to showcase the works of artists from around the world.

In the lavender field, surrounded by chickens strutting and clucking, giant, old cottonwood trees, a dahlia and cosmos meadow and flower and herb beds, I find new inspiration.

The smell of fresh lavender is a meditative perfume. It, and its colorful blooms, make me happy.

I love to wander in my lavender field cutting fresh bundles of buds for my table and hanging them everywhere in my house. 

A garden gives me  great pleasure, different views, sensations and scents and ultimately tells my story.

Now, I’m excited to be sharing with you the lavender products we make and the other artist-made treasures I’ve collected from my trips to France.

If you want to visit the farm when the lavender is in full bloom, we will have lavender picking starting the end of June through August. It will be the perfect time to pick lavender from the blooming fields.

We look forward to seeing you at the farm!

Jo's Farms

2017 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico. 87104

Lisa Fontanarosa Collection