If you’ve ever wanted to surround yourself with spring colors, and then fill your home with them, too, we’ve got a quick day trip suggestion for you. Just about 30 minutes west of Reston is Burnside Farms, one of the world’s largest pick-your-own flower farms. They have five acres of flowers that are a springtime spectacle that you don’t want to miss.
This year their tulips are expected to peak at the end of April and first few days of May. The daffodils are at the end of their season, but still in bloom. Dutch irises are expected to bloom in May. I visited this week, and the tulips in particular were magnificent. Now I have three bouquets that make me grin every time I walk through my living room. This would be a great idea for a date, a family adventure, or a photography outing.
Burnside Farms is located in Haymarket, Virginia, just west of Gainesville on I-66. They are currently hosting their spring festival called “Holland in Haymarket.” For $4 per person, you can wander through the fields, take photographs, and have a picnic. For $7 per person, you can buy a season pass that offers unlimited re-entry throughout the spring.
You must pay for each stem that you pick; prices range from $0.50-$1.00 per bloom, depending on the type of flower. The farms offers a large variety of baskets that you can borrow to collect your flowers, so you can pick the kind that you like best for your photos.
Because it’s difficult to know in advance when flowers will be ready for picking, Burnside Farms recommends that you refer to their spring field report or Facebook page for information about their current conditions.
As part of the “Holland in Haymarket” theme, the farm offers a huge collection of wooden Dutch clogs in many sizes that you can try on. People of all ages, ranging from babies to adults, can try on these shoes. I found a pair that was just my size. In case you were wondering, no, they were not comfy.
While I was there, I saw lots of photographers and families enjoying the beautiful photo opportunities at the farm. There was even a newlywed couple posing for professional photos among the flowers. It really is a wonderful place to take pictures of scenery or people. Keep in mind two things, though:
1. I was there in the early afternoon on a Monday, when the crowds were small enough for good photos. On the weekends, the farm can be very crowded, especially during this time of year.
2. Professional photographers are welcome, but they must adhere to the farm’s rules for pro photography. Contact the farm by email to get that information.
Other things to do at the farm include a visit with a large turkey named Tom, who lives in a trailer called “The Happy Camper.” You can also browse a nice collection of vintage glass vases and mason jars; they are for sale and would make nice accents to your hand-collected bouquets.
There are also several picnic tables for lunch breaks. It’s recommended that people bring picnic blankets, though, because the tables can fill quickly on weekends.
My family truly enjoyed this visit to Burnside Farms! Check it out if you can, and then fill your house and office with your collected treasures. It’s the day trip that keeps on giving.
The 2015 Burnside Farms Festival of Spring is open daily until 6pm. They have moved to a new, larger location this year, four miles from last year’s location. Their new address is 2617 Logmill Rd. Haymarket, VA 20169. Admission is $4 per person, or $7 for a season pass.
Photo credit for all photos: Charlotte Geary. All rights reserved.