Remember the simple joy of picking wildflowers to make daisy chains, or of gathering a simple bouquet to give to a parent? Flower picking farms let you revisit that pleasure in a very exuberant and grown-up way. U-pick flower farms are growing in popularity, in part because growers have discovered that visitors frequently select blooms that are fully open, allowing a profit from flowers that are too mature to survive transport to the market.
For best results, bring a bucket to keep blooms hydrated on the way home, and please observe an important flower farm rule of etiquette: only snip what you intend to pay for.
01 of 08
Since 1998, the Faught family has lovingly tended a u-pick flower farm on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay in Suttons Bay, Michigan. If you have a peony addiction, this is the place to satisfy it, with more than 100 peony bushes that fill the air with fragrance in June. More than 40 other annual and perennial flower varieties will bring out your inner florist; just look for the free jugs and jars in the shed, already filled with fresh water. Flower prices start at a nickel per stem!
02 of 08
Martha Stewart featured the organic flowers at this Goodlettsville, Tennessee farm on her show. Sold by the bouquet or by the bucket, it's impressive how much blooming productivity Mark and Peggy Lynn Marchetti can coax from the land using very little machinery. Perhaps the extensive apiaries, where honeybees feast on nectar-rich blossoms, has something to do with it.
Visit the farm on Saturdays from May to October to select premium roses, zinnias, and sunflowers from the hand-weeded beds.
03 of 08
Lady Luck Flower Farm
Bring a 5-gallon bucket from the first Friday in June through October and explore Mike and Katie's Leicester, North Carolina flower farm. Those with a strong connection to an organic lifestyle will appreciate that Lady Luck Farm uses no synthetics and favors local resources to grow their blooms, which include a wide variety of annual and perennial flowers like snapdragon, columbine, dianthus, amaranth, lilac, gomphrena, and celosia.
04 of 08
Just 40 miles west of Washington, D.C., Burnside Farms attracts droves of customers to its cultivated six to eight acres throughout the growing season. Early spring brings daffodils and tulips, while summer favorites at the farm include cosmos, gladiolus, and more than 30 varieties of sunflowers.
Are you a first-time picker? Check out their website for helpful photos and tips on how to snip each flower.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Imagine picking as much fresh lavender as you like, to use in soaps, cooking, and potpourri. At White Oak Lavender Farm in Harrisonburg, Virginia, you can pick 35 stems for a low flat fee, and then you can learn how to use your lavender by taking a guided walk of the farm.
Here, you will learn how to grow lavender, how to clean the buds, and how to distill the sweet essence from the blooms. Afterward, visit the lavender shop for lotions, ice cream, and more fabulous lavender luxuries.
06 of 08
This fourth generation farm in Wrightstown, New Jersey has all of the flowers you want to put in your arrangements, without any of the work: trendy craspedia, strawflowers for drying, the textural interest of coral-type celosia, and a rainbow of zinnias. Many herbs and unusual veggies are also available on the farm; locals may consider joining the market community supported agriculture program for additional discounts.
07 of 08
If you're in Portland in the summertime, make time to stop by Kruger's Farm for a bucket of u-pick flowers, followed by a farm to plate dinner under the farm's 200-year old oak tree. Flower selection is best in July through September and focuses on annual favorites like dahlias, cleome, bachelor buttons, and marigolds.
08 of 08
You won't find any pesticides on the flowers of this Donahue, Iowa flower farm. Cathy and Cliff Lafrenz started with a 20x20-foot flowerbed in 2002, and now plant an acre with more than 8000 annuals for cutting. From June until the first hard freeze in October, stroll the garden rows and fill a one-gallon bucket for approximately $20.