Grab your camera: Ooltewah sunflower blooms peaking now
The sunflowers in Ooltewah at Smith-Perry Berries are peaking now.
The blooms will continue to be beautiful through this weekend for photos and picking.
READ MORE | It's sunflower time in Ooltewah!
Before heading out for the scenic view, how did the sunflower get its name?
A sunflower has a similar appearance to the sun and its rays. Plus, it follows the sun through the sky.
When the plant is still growing before the flowers open up and bloom, it tracks the sun.
The sunflower head begins the morning facing to the east and swings to the west during the day. Then, it turns back to the east at night.
"Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning they follow the sun. So, when a sunflower is small, it's looking for the sun. As it grows and the heads fill with seeds, it locks in on the sun," Bill Perry, Partner in Smith-Perry Berries & Ooltewah Sunflowers, explained.
The bloomed sunflower locks onto the sun in the east facing direction, and no longer shifts during the day.
Facing east allows the flower to receive morning sunlight, warming it up. This warmth attracts pollinating insects, such as bees.
"I saw bees and flowers," said 5-year-old visitor Blake Coker excitedly.
The bees are good, so don't let them scare you from entering the fields.
"The good bees are good. The bad bees, I don't like them," said Blake. We asked, "Are there bad bees here?" He replied, "Some are bad bees. A lot of good bees."
The pollination from the bees helps the flowers flourish.
You can happily roam the sunflower fields to take photos, pick flowers, or simply enjoy nature. Come with family and friends.
"I've used them just for memories. That's basically why we are here is to make memories," visitor Jessica Jones happily said.
In addition to the flowers, they have antique tractors and painted hay bales for additional photo-ops, but the flowers are the main attraction.
"I love yellow, and I love how big it is. It's just cheerful, and in the summertime, you want bright colors. You don't want dreary, dark, dull colors. You want to be surrounded by life, beauty, and that is why I like sunflowers," Jones stated.
There are fields particularly for photos. Then, a separate you-pick area where you can cut your own sunflowers and fill a bucket for $15.
"As you come up to the field, you'll see now that they get to that size, you'll be looking at a sea of sunflowers all facing east. So if you get up here and you get lost, look to where the sunflowers are pointing," said Perry.
The sunflowers are peaking right now.
They will look good through the weekend, but you'll need to check with Smith-Perry Berries on Facebook after Sunday for updates for next week.
Hurry out to the field to enjoy this summertime treat. Their address is 9626 Ooltewah Georgetown Road.