I know what you’re thinking…“Sunflowers?! In Florida?!”
Why, yes, the dream of frolicking through a field of sunflowers has become a reality! Vanessa and I found ourselves traveling about an hour away from Lake Nona to explore a field of flowers as far as the eye can see!
Roses, carnations, and peonies cannot compare to the beauty of the flowers at Lancaster Family Farm. This quaint little field of sunflowers is located in Center Hill, Fla., and is owned by the Lancaster family. In 1988, the father of the family, Brian Lancaster, began preparing the land outside of his home as a crop field. He had the idea of planting sunflowers, along with sunflower hybrids, as a way to nourish the ground for his crops. As soon as the flowers began popping up, the family knew planting the flowers would become a yearly tradition.
Going on their third year in the sunflower business, the Lancasters began tending to the field and preparing it for visitors when their neighbors and friends suggested how scenic it would be for photos. Not only is the field planted yearly by the family, but each member of the Lancaster family has a part to play in maintaining the crop and business.
As Van and I embarked on our one-hour journey toward sunflower heaven, we had our fingers crossed that the moody Florida storm clouds would hold out while our dreams came true. The sky abruptly opened up into a beautiful blue array around our last 20 minutes of the drive, and we knew from that moment that we were headed toward heaven (flower heaven, that is!). As we pulled down an unfamiliar dirt road, the moss-covered trees guided our path toward the farm. We were immediately welcomed with warm smiles and helpful faces but could not resist staring at the colorful blooms. The field stretched out as far as the eye could see and had pre-cut paths marking different trails through the flowers. Several trails were heavily cut to allow large families room to walk through together. Props covered in botanical goodness hid amongst the flowers, almost like a scavenger hunt to find the intentional photo decorations.
Van and I were drawn immediately to the wooden swing they had placed in the front left corner of the field. This swing is perfect for senior photos, engagement sessions, professional headshots, or even family photos. We also enjoyed posing against an antique door prop that included a chair nestled by vintage suitcases decked out with more flowers. Not only did we find a “sunflower stand” prop, a rustic bench covered in blooms, and an old tractor hidden in the sunflowers, but we also found the most beautiful blue bike carrying a basket full of colorful greenery.
Talk about a photographer’s playland! The family allows visitors to schedule an appointment to bring their own photographer or fancy DSLR camera for a fee of $40 an hour. A high-res camera or professional photographer is definitely not a must if you are looking for stunning flower photos. Visitors can explore the fields and take stunning photos using their own camera phone for free (I mean, who doesn’t love a good portrait mode?).
These vibrant blooms are without a doubt a beautiful backdrop for photos of every kind, as well as the perfect centerpiece for your dining room table. The family allows visitors to pick a flower for $1 apiece, making it possible for each family member to take with them a memento that is both beautiful and economically smart.
After speaking with the mother of the family, Missy Lancaster, and daughter, Ashley Oliver, we discovered that sunflowers are strictly a summer crop, in which the blooms only last for a few months from spring into summer. Unfortunately, these beautiful flowers are only in season for a little while, but the family has other crop opportunities for the fall and winter months. Now that the sunflowers are retired, the family will begin planting and tending to a wheat crop to create a fall maze. They will host a fall-themed event beginning in September and carry out the fun into December with a Christmas-themed field.
Overall, Van and I rate this magical field of sunshine with five stars, a 10/10 experience and lovely, heart-warming service.
Check out everything they have to offer and learn more about their business by visiting their Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/LancasterFamilyFarm/ or book your appointment now at (352) 457-5229.