Sad news: City of Raleigh is not planting the summer sunflower field at Dorothea Dix Park in 2020. However, we are working to keep up to date on other sunflower opportunities in the Triangle, so please read on for a list of where to find fields of sunflowers!
Here is a statement from City of Raleigh:
For the past two years, the 5-acre field of sunflowers has drawn thousands of visitors from across the city, county and beyond. As summer approaches this year, social distancing is still recommended and there is uncertainty around when mass gatherings should resume.
With the health and safety of the community as top priority, and no way to limit the number of people visiting the iconic Raleigh sunflowers at any given time, the decision was made not to move forward with planting this year.
Dix Park’s annual SunFest summer festival, planned for July, is also canceled.
Firefly Farm, at 4911 Hunt Road, Hillsborough, is a small family-owned farm that grows a wide variety of flowers, as well as vegetables. You can visit and either buy pre-picked flowers, or you can pick your own.
They plant sunflowers in a staggered fashion so they will continue to bloom all summer, in bursts.
In addition, you can pick Zinnias, Cosmos, Black-eyed Susans and other flowers.
You can also purchase vegetables. They grow vegetables for their own family and sell the extra in their online store.
Your best bet for scheduling is to like Firefly Farm’s Facebook page. They will update U-pick dates. These are the regularly scheduled U-pick days throughout the summer. Different flowers might be available throughout this time.
- Wednesdays, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Fridays, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Saturday, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Order online for U-pick flowers or for pre-cut flowers, as well as vegetables. You probably should look at their Facebook page before heading out, in case weather or crop conditions affect any plans.
Pace Family Farms
Pace Family Farms, at 12701 Buffalo Road, Clayton, grows sunflowers, as well as a large variety of vegetables. Every year they hold a Sunflower Day (or days) when you can come and cut sunflowers to bring home, for $1 a stem. You can also take pictures in the sunflower fields. No professional photography sessions are allowed during Sunflower Days.
Sunflower Day will take place Thursday, July 9th, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You’ll find all the details here.
Dogwood Farms is a flower farm at 8096 Belews Creek Road, Belews Creek, in Forsyth County. This is northwest of Greensboro, so it’s a bit of a drive from the Triangle, but they take their sunflowers really seriously here!
The farm is open every day until sunflower season ends, from 9 a.m. to sunset.
It costs $5 to go into the fields. Age 8 and under are free, age 65 and older are $3, and veterans and active duty military members get in for free.
Sunflowers are $1 a stem and wild flowers are $3 fo ra half dozen and $5 for a dozen. This includes wrapping and cutting the flowers.
Professional photographers must pay a $25 per hour fee.
In addition to the sunflower days that are taking place every day during sunflower season, Dogwood Farms is hosting Freedom Flower Event on 4th of July weekend.
On July 4th and 5th, from 9 a.m. to dark on both days, celebrate Independence Day on the farm. Besides posing with flowers and buying stems, there will be vendors and local craftspeople.
There will be a contest for the craziest patriotic outfit. If you show up wearing anything with the American flag on it, get $1 off admission.
15 Fun Sunflower Facts
There’s something magical about a sunflower, and people can’t resist being drawn to them. Here are some interesting sunflower facts!
- They are native to America.
- They need 6 to 8 hours of sun a day.
- They “keep their eye” on the sun. Young blossoms, in a behavior called “heliotropism,” will follow the sun during the day.
- The French word for sunflower is “tournesol,” which literally means “turns with the sun.”
- Mature sunflowers face east.
- The tallest sunflower on record was over 30 feet tall, but your typical tall sunflower reaches 12 to 16 feet.
- Dwarf sunflowers generally stay under 3 feet.
- The sunflower’s head is actually made of thousands of smaller flowers.
- U.S. astronaut Don Pettit brought sunflower seeds into space in 2012, and blogged about the the gardening process.
- Sunflowers have been used in foods, medicines, dyes and oils.
- You can use sunflowers as a homemade scrubbing pad.
- Not all sunflowers are yellow. There are also red and purple varieties.
- Sunflowers can self-pollinate if no bees are around to transfer pollen to the stigma. The stigma can twist around to reach its own pollen, and in that case, will produce seeds that grow into plants identical to the one they came from.
- There are about 70 species of sunflowers.
- Sunflowers are sometimes used for biofuel.
Upcoming events (virtual and in-person)
Friday, July 10, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Friday, July 17, 2020
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020