A couple years ago, I never heard of sunflower fields. Thanks to Instagram (social media used for good), I learned about the Raleigh sunflower field at Dorothea Dix Park last year. It made our must visit list for this summer.
Of course, nothing “MUST DO” is ever that easy to accomplish! Am I right?
Yeah… I see you nodding your head. (Nah! I can’t really see you. That would be creepy!)
I bet you can relate, though!
Back to the Raleigh sunflower field
The 2019 sunflower field near me should have started blooming more than a week ago, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Growing sunflowers requires just the right mix of sun, rain and heat to get the flowers to bloom. So, while the flowers are a bit behind schedule, they have definitely arrived!
Good thing, too. Because Destination SunFest is THIS SATURDAY, July 13! And the sunflowers are the star attraction. Though, there will be lots of other fun things to do. If you want to go, learn more here.
Back to the sunflower field. We were planning to go this past Tuesday since that’s my husband’s day off. But, the flowers were still budding. And it was raining. Not a good combo! So, I waited patiently (HA! I’m never patient)… But, I waited on Mother Nature to do her thing, and finally took Ellie to see the flowers today.
Just look! I’d say the wait was totally worth it!
About the sunflowers at Dorothea Dix Park
One of the newest Raleigh parks, Dorothea Dix Park sits on the grounds of the old Dorothea Dix Hospital. The grounds feature rolling hills, lots of trees, sports fields, and, of course, the Raleigh sunflower field — at least during the month of July.
The field used to be planted elsewhere, but was not safe for the number of people it attracted. So, the city moved it to Dorothea Dix Park, which offers easy parking off of Hunt Drive near the soccer fields and historic cemetery.
These enormous flowers, excellent pollinators, support the bee population in the area. To be a good neighbor:
Enjoy the flowers.
But, please don’t pick the blooms!
The Dix Park sunflower field plays an important role in the city’s educational programs and demonstrations even after the blooms fade. City parks programs use the spent blooms in educational biodiesel fuel demonstrations. Pretty cool, eh?
Tips to VISIt the Raleigh sunflower field
The sunflowers at Dorothea Dix Park should be in bloom for another two weeks, though toward the end of July the blooms will fade.
The park is open each day from dawn to dusk. The best times to visit are early in the morning or late in the day, just before dusk. If visiting mid-day, bring bottled water to beat the heat.
Parking and admission are both free. Well-behaved pets on leashes are welcome, but clean up after them and make sure they also stay on the marked paths.
People are supposed to stay on the marked paths, too! Trampling through the flowers will break them and disturb the bees. Please stay on the paths!
And DON’T PICK THE FLOWERS! Leave them so others can enjoy these three weeks of sunflower magic! By the way, these tips are true for any field of flowers you might go visit! Check local rules about pets, though.
Even though we had to wait a few extra days to visit this sunflower garden, it was totally worth it! If you go, share a photo with us on Instagram — just tag us at #convoswithkaren!
Save it for later
If you can’t get to Raleigh’s sunflower field this summer (though you still have a few weeks), save this post to plan for next year. By the way, the tips here are great for visiting ANY sunflower field, park or natural area!