Summer’s last hoorah: Burnside Farms’ sunflower fields

Luke dipping Meagan at the sunflower fields at Burnside Farms

In “You’ve Got Mail”, Meg Ryan’s character extolled the benefits of daisies – the cheeriest flower. No disrespect to Meg, but sunflowers may just have daisies beat.

Burnside Farms is a staple in Virginia – pumpkins and markets in the fall, tulips in the spring, and sunflowers in the summer. You just haven’t summered properly if you haven’t done it here ๐Ÿ˜‰


The sunflower fields experience

It’s wonderful how painless they make this experience:

  • Walk up to the ad hoc front desk, purchase tickets via a Square terminal.
  • Hand over your keys or ID so you can borrow a sunflower umbrella and some snippers for your harvest.
  • Choose a basket for your pickings, and off you go!

It’s worth noting that there are a few different parts of the farm to explore. We were drawn to the same place everyone is, at first: the rows upon rows of 10+ foot tall sunflowers reserved exclusively for photos. They’re honestly staggering.

After those rows, you’ll find the other thing you came for: sunflowers you can pick. There are several different varieties in several different colors, so go to town. But keep in mind that they’re $1/stem and you need to purchase what you pick.

Finally, there are gladiolas and other small, colorful flowers that can do wonders to augment your sunflower bouquet.

Boyfriend Perspective:ย Pro Tip – Okay, gents, this gonna be more for your ladies than for you. So, I suggest you negotiate to get beer for you after this or resign to being a grumpy “boyfriend of Instagram.” Thankfully, there are plenty of props to help you out. But, I mean, hot summer day and an IPA sounds nice, right? She gets her pretty stuff and you get the tasty stuff. WIN-WIN.


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Sunflower photo ops

The farm provides pretty much everything you need for some fantastic photos:

  • white benches in the midst of 10 foot-tall sunflower stalks
  • small chalkboards, white chalk, and erasers
  • yellow flower umbrellas
  • baskets for days
  • an amazing backdrop

Bring your camera (or phone), a tripod, and a sense of patience and fun. You’ll be jockeying for shots with other folks, so just take your time and use your free moments to pick more flowers and come up with new concepts.


What’s your favorite way to round out the summer? Are there any flower fields like this near you?


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18 Replies to “Summer’s last hoorah: Burnside Farms’ sunflower fields”

  1. What a great place to take all those fun photos! I love sunflowers and would be all over this. The flowers are absolutely gorgeous!

    1. They really are – I hope we can get back next year, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sunflowers are such a happy flower. I can just imagine being surrounded by them at Burnside Farm.

    1. They really are, and it’s a ton of fun! Just be prepared if you’re nervous about bees at all ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. There is nothing better at the end of summer to walk through lavender fields and sunflower fields (especially here in the UK and France). There is just something about it and I can’t explain it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It makes you feel small, and like you’re part of something. At least, that’s what it does for me. And when the fields stretch for miles, or the sunflowers tower over you, it’s hard not to be amazed by nature ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oh wow, good tip! Thanks for writing about this–I definitely should add this to our list of things to visit next summer. We have family in VA so this would be a good place to stop by next time we visit.

    My husband and I love sunflowers (yes, he actually does like ’em!) and we would totally be geeking around and taking silly pictures like you guys, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You’re so welcome, and oh my gosh, yes, do it! Would love to see your pics when you do ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Ya. Sunflower fields sure provide an amazing photo op. Loved your photos. Keep em coming!

    1. Hah, yes they do, and you bet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. These photos are hilarious! It looks like you had a lot of fun taking them…

    1. Oh man, we had a BLAST – ya just can’t take us anywhere ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. Yep Iโ€™m with you that sunflowers may just have daisies beat! Iโ€™ve always wanted to visit a sunflower field โ€“ the photo opportunities look so fun! Burnside Farms is now on the list for next summer โ€“ good to note that you purchase what you pick!

    I’ll have to start thinking about some super cute outfits!

    1. It really is a ton of fun – you get to be silly, feel like a kid, and enjoy a really beautiful setting ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Haha! That sunflower garden looks beautiful and funny photos! Luke was clearly enjoying posing for the camera!

  9. travellingslacker says: Reply

    I have seen various types of farm/orchard travels but this sunflower fields trip must be the most photogenic. Great photographs. I loved the experimentation from different angles, especially the one taken from a lower vantage point.

  10. These fotos are super cute! I always adore sunflower fields but it never came to my mind to do an actual photo shoot.

    1. I’m glad you like them! We brought the GorillaPod on a whim because we’d just ordered it, and we ended up doing a full-on photo shoot because we had so much fun with it! Burnside really encourages that, though, with the little chalkboards and such. It’s a great end of summer fun day ๐Ÿ™‚

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