Every August Madison residents flock to the most beautiful spot in the area, Pope Farm Conservancy. What makes August so special at Pope Farm? Sunflowers! Each year a local Madison farmer leases land at the Pope Farm Conservancy and promptly plants around 9 acres of sunflower seeds. That is equivalent to nearly 500,000 sunflower plants! In August the sunflower fields begin to bloom and those 500,000 sunflowers show their breathtaking colors. By mid to late August, the fields at Pope Farm Conservancy are in full bloom and, wow, are they amazing. A sea of yellow, black, and green as far as the eye can see greets visitors at Pope Farm Conservancy. As you can imagine, this is a sight to behold! People from all over Madison and the surrounding areas head to Pope Farm Conservancy to take in the sunflower fields.
A photographers dream, Pope Farm Conservancy’s Sunflower Days is an extremely popular spot for senior photos and back to school family pictures. If you are hoping to take pictures, arrive early and plan to take your time. There are no permits required to take pictures at Pope Farm Conservancy. According to the event website, early morning is the best time to take pictures in the sunflower fields. Once bloomed, sunflowers tend to face east towards the sun. The early morning hours at Pope Farm Conservancy give photographers the best light as the east facing sunflowers catch the rising sun perfectly! Also, this time of day tends to be less busy meaning you will have fewer people to contend with when trying to get that perfect photo.
Here are some helpful tips if you are planning to attend Sunflower Days at Pope Farm Conservancy this August:
- The event takes place this year from August 12th-20th
- Admission and parking are free but parking is limited so be prepared to walk
- Pope Farm Conservancy is open sunrise to sunset but the upper parking lot at the park closes 20 mins before sunset
- Sunflower days lasts 9 days but every 3 days the sunflowers change in appearance. The first 3 days the sunflowers are beginning to bloom, the second 3 days the sunflowers are in full bloom, and the last 3 days the sunflowers are beginning to droop and die. It is best to try and catch the sunflowers in the middle 3 days.
Enjoy this beautiful Madison tradition this August 12th-20th! Hope to see you there and I look forward to seeing all your Sunflower Days pictures on Facebook!
For some extra fun, check out these interesting facts about sunflowers:
- Sunflower is the only flower with flower in its name
- On average sunflowers grow to between 8-12 feet tall but the tallest on record was 30 feet 1 inch tall!
- One sunflower can have up to 2,000 seeds
- Sunflowers track the sun. Before they are in full bloom, sunflower buds face east in the morning and track the sun as it crosses the sky from east to west. Once they are in full bloom they settle into an east facing position. This process of tracking the sun is called heliotropism.
- Sunflowers need at least 6-8 hours a day of sun to bloom (even more sunlight is better)