Howard County Times
Howard County

Sunflower fields signal the end of summer at Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City

A sea of brightly colored sunflowers, some reaching 6 feet tall, are signaling the end of summer at Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City.

Each year, the farm allows visitors to walk paths lined with red and yellow sunflowers in late August through early September to take photographs and enjoy the colorful display. What began three years ago as a small patch of sunflowers at the farm has blossomed into a 2-acre plot of land with thousands of sunflowers. Peak bloom is expected to last through Sept. 5, according to Martha Clark, owner of Clark’s Elioak Farm.


“We just wanted to do something before we opened with our pumpkin patch, [and] we thought that the sunflowers would be bright,” Clark said.

Clark said the sunflowers are replanted every year and grow in about 45 to 50 days. Steady rain and mostly moderate temperatures this year have made for good growing conditions.


“This year we’ve had some hot spells that always stress plants, but we’ve had nice, ample rain all year and no drought conditions,” she said.

On a sunny weekday morning at the farm, visitors walked the narrow paths among the flowers. Toting babies and holding the hands of small children, many stopped to pose for photos.

Richard Stafford, 67, of Derwood in Montgomery County, and his granddaughter, Ellie, 9, went to the farm as a way to get outside on a nice day.

Stafford said they spotted the sunflowers while riding the Enchanted Express Train, which runs through the farm, and wanted to take a closer look.

“[The sunflowers] are pretty and it’s kind of amazing to see so many of them all in one place, and they’re so nice and bright right now,” he said.

Colin Determann, 51, of Columbia, took his son, Nathan, 6, to the farm for the first time as a way to bond with him before the end of summer. Determann said the sunflowers add beauty and color to the farm experience.

“[The sunflowers] are gorgeous and it’s great picture taking and it’s always an indication that fall is just right around the corner,” he said.