G'day flower people,
I finally went to a Sunflower Farm! I'd been wanting to visit this particular Sunflower Farm for years... I signed up to get email notifications and each time I received one it just wasn't good timing. This January however, after daily checking for updates on the Sunflower situation, I booked our accomodation and blocked out a couple of days so we could travel to Tamworth and finally get to see them.
It took about 6 hours (probably more because we made some stops along the way). If we were gonna travel all that way I at least wanted to do some exploring and so we did. Once we arrived at our hotel, we headed over to the Golden Guitar (it's a tourist must right?!) and then to the Oxley Lookout. It was pretty beautiful and the lighting was just right and the weather was hot hot hot!
A little sunset viddy:
With grumbling bellies we went in search for something to eat and out of the corner of Brendan's eye, he spotted Williamsburg Burger Bar which we highly recommend. Excellent food. I think we mostly ate here and then tried The Pig & Tinder Box. Excellent meal choices for any foodies out there!
The very next day we made our way to Horton Falls. What a gorgeous little spot. It was about 40 degrees and people were swimming in the water. We didn't though as we had Sunflowers to get to before we ran out of sunlight. It's a bit tricky to get here but after a couple of attempts to find the right track, we made it!
You can read more about the Barraba Silo here. It's pretty fascinating!
A little viddy of Horton Falls. I loved the drive. You could see the silvery Eucalyptus shining through as you drove through. Not quite sure you can see it clearly in video form but it was magical!
One of the last things we did before heading home was visit the Botanic Gardens (not very much there) and Marsupial Park. Marsupial Park is free and great for families to bring their children to play at the park as well as have a look at the various animals around. The cockatoos were our favourite and their personalities shone through very quickly!
A little viddy of the animals we saw. I'm not sure how they got here but they seem to be well looked after despite being in cages.
THE Sunflower Farm
This little Sunflower patch I believe is different to the regular patch. A guy named Ian planted this crop specifically for visitors to come and enjoy. You get the directions by going to the Liverpool Plains Visitor Centre. It took us a bit to find where we needed to go but we got there in the end. We wanted to see them at Sunset and boy were we racing against time, but we made it thankfully! I definitely wouldn't recommend leaving it for your last night in town hahaha. Amateur mistake for sure! Go as many times as you like and make a donation and snip a stem or two to take home. Some of the Sunflowers were as big as my head! I recommend signing up for the email notifications as they'll give you a rough time for the life of the Sunflowers. We got there just in time but they were definitely on the decline. So I recommend going within the first couple of weeks or so to get them at their best. I had my lovely take the pics of me and I took the Sunflower pics. I heart them!
The first two rows are iPhone pics and the rest are all DSLR. I'm seriously considering growing a huge Sunflower patch myself ... need land first though ... but a girl can dream!
A little viddy of the small patch:
Growing my own Sunflowers
In this video, I go through what I did to start growing sunflowers. I had read that it's possible to grow them in early summer for an Autumn crop and that the seeds were best grown directly into the dirt and where you intend to grow them. My seeds are about three or so years old (eek!) but I wanted to test them out anyway and if it all goes wrong I can always replant them in the same way with some fresher seeds haha. You'll see in the video that I clearly didn't dig up all the roots from what was in the dirt before haha but I'm sure it's also normal for that to happen.
What I would've done differently is put popsicle sticks in where I had sown the seeds hahaha it has been difficult knowing if what I'm looking at are in fact the Sunflowers I'd planted. I've never done this before and so this would've been a great help! In any case, there are several that look the same and sort of have a sunflower leaf feel to them and so I have my fingers and toes crossed that these ones have survived! I'll keep monitoring them and only time will truly tell if I'm nurturing sunflowers or not. Brendan chuckles when I tend to them because I could be tending to some other plants haha. Caterpillars are now starting to munch on them and I go out there every morning and night to check on them and so I hope they are! It'd be hilarious if they weren't though haha.
I hope you enjoyed this! If you've got any Sunflower growing tips I'd love to hear them :). Next week is the first week in March, which means One Design Posies are available. You can pre-order here to get your flower fix or send them to someone who needs some extra love :). Have a fantastic rest of the week!