The wonderful thought of getting lost in a forest of sunflowers is bringing thousands of Melbournians into Moorabool.

That’s what happened in early 2020 – and it’s happening again.

Greendale Sunflowers opened to the public this weekend – with reports of early morning queues on Saturday.

🌼Flower Power🌼 blessing your feed, yet again. These are our stunning winners for today. 😍😍😍😍 Don’t they look…

Posted by Greendale Sunflowers on Thursday, February 25, 2021

** Pick-your-own-Sunflowers in Dunnstown has also been doing a roaring trade – after an overwhelming response this time last year.

It opened for picking earlier in the month and organiser Laiken Britt said the Navigators-Dunnstown Rd field was a hit with young and old.

EXTENDED OPENING HOURS FOR THE LAST DAY OF SUMMER ☀️ SUNDAY 28th FEB WE WILL HAVE TWILIGHT NIGHT for the last day of…

Posted by Pick your own sunflowers on Friday, February 26, 2021

And while the ticketing calendar may look a little sparse at the moment, she said the sunflower season was far from over – and next week’s yet-to-be-announced sessions would include the chance to pick-your-own-corn in a neighbouring paddock.

“It’s been amazing – really fabulous,” she said.

“We’ve been busy scanning tickets all day and I’ll be doing this til 8 o’clock tonight (Sunday).”

** In Ballan, a mini-sunflower maze has sprung up in Caledonian Park, north of the town’s caravan park.

Organiser Kate Grigg said after a very ordinary 2020, her family got planting in November, wanting to spread what she called “some sunshiny love”.

Over the the last month, the tiny flower field has become one of the most-photographed features in Ballan.

What a beautiful display in Ballan. These sunflowers are super stunning! 🌻 Find them at Caledonian Park at the end of Jopling street.

Posted by First National Rayner on Saturday, January 30, 2021

** Secretary of the Moorabool BizConnect networking group Moira Berry said sunflower farming was bringing tourists into the region at a time when international and interstate trips were not always an option.

“I spent Saturday at Greendale Sunflowers on Ballan-Greendale Rd and it was wonderful. There were 30 to 40 people there when I arrived and you could stay as long as you liked,” the Moorabool councillor said.

“Some of the sunflowers are 2m high. You could easily get lost in it. The kids had a ball.

“At first I thought I’d get a bunch of 10 or so, but the sunflowers are a lot bigger and heavier than you expect. I’m not sure I could have carried that many!”

Cr Berry said the operators were able to supply secateurs, but ideally people needed to bring their own. She also urged people to buy a drink or meal at businesses nearby.

“The sunflower farms are so worthwhile. Good on all these people for bringing something different to Moorabool.

“Let’s encourage new ideas and tourism in our shire. We really have so much to offer.

“With COVID19 settling down, I’d really like visitors to check out some of our backroads and beautiful scenic spots.

“We’re really growing as a tourism area and I think the arts tie in with that.

“I went to the open of the Bacchus Marsh Arts Council exhibition at the old ambulance station (on Friday) and I’d encourage people to have a look at that as well.

“I’d also like people to comment on Moorabool’s creative strategy as well because our shire has so much potential.”

Looking to the future. This is important if the Arts is ever to be a sustainable, community-affirming sector in Bacchus Marsh! Get involved and engage with this project.

Posted by Bacchus Marsh Arts Council Inc on Thursday, February 18, 2021

** Meanwhile, fellow east ward councillor Tonia Dudzik also hit the road to Greendale, collecting 28 sunflowers for family and friends.

“We filled the back of the ute,” she said.

“My recommendation to visitors is to walk in and have a good look around, then cut your flowers on the way back to the car.”

Cr Tonia Dudzik at Greendale

RELATED STORY: Call for comment on changes to Melton & Buninyong seat borders

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Main image: The mini sunflower maze at Ballan’s Caledonian Park. Photo: FB Kate Grigg

Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

Online, radio, TV and print journalist since 1993. BA (Hum) majoring in journalism Deakin University. Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/MooraboolOnline I'd love to hear your news tips 🙂 Email -- news@mooraboolonloine.com.au OR send us a message via Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/MooraboolOnline