Now floral enthusiasts and those looking for the perfect backdrop for their next shoot have a new destination to seek out. Newly opened is Lakeland flowers, where this time of year you can swim with sunflowers and pick your own to take home as a souvenir.
Sadly, I visited during their last weekend in operation for the season, meaning you will need to bookmark this post for next year. Although in hindsight, that must mean that the fields were even more rich and fulsome then pictured here.
Lakeland Flowers is the love note and brainchild of Peter Warmerdam, born in 1927 in Sassenheim Netherlands. His is a true immigrant story as he came to Canada and purchased land in the Sumas Prairie Flats of Abbotsford, where the farm currently stands. He and his family have poured countless hours and the newest generation has made it into what it is today.
Theirs is the only place that I know of where you can wade in a sea of sunflowers, set to the backdrop of flat farmland and the buzzing of electricity lines overhead.
The farm does not come up on GPS so it is hard to find, though handwritten sides and bolded arrows do lead the way. The expansive parking lot is a good hint.
Although, as a new farm property inviting guests down there are no welcoming arches, or check in booth, no painted sign or enclosure to mark off the land. And at this point in time the flowers are not prominently on display for roadside visibility. So, you need to know where to go and must traverse from lot to fields for the flowers. There are tents set up for a clerk to check you in, if you have bought tickets online; or take payment if you wish to walk in and opt in for the U-pick sunflower option.
What sets Lakeland Flowers apart from other flower farms I have visited, is the way they have been planted. I really like how tight the rows are and how walking through them feels like a lush jungle adventure, pushing vines aside and clearing yourself a path of egress. You feel like an explorer, just be mindful not to trample on anything and that the bees will leave you alone if you don’t bother them.
To help inspire your photoshoot they also have benches, bikes, tractors and cut outs for photo ops. Here are some of the photos we took. I especially like the juxtaposition of having the electric cable towers in the distance exploring the intrusion of man and technology to nature’s garden.
As for the picking portion, you pay to pick: 10 per bouquet. Your fee comes with the necessary shears to do so, along with a bucket and to keep the sunflowers you forage feeling fresh. You can explore the thick fields and pick any that you choose. Majority of the sunflowers grow tall and straight.
I was able to discerns between 4 varieties based on the colouring and patterning: yellow petals with yellow a bulb, yellow petals with black centre, petals with a radiant maroon to yellow colouring, and dark red petals with a black centre. Any of which were in my ability to pick. Nothing is section off and there is am abundance.
In short this was a great experience and a wonderful way to create your own sunflower centre piece. Worth checking out if they plant their other seasonal flowers like the sunflowers, and if they grow just as dense and full.
39171 No 4 Rd, Abbotsford, BC V3G 2G2