The official season of Allegra D—just kidding—sunflowers is upon us. It comes and goes quickly, but it's worth every minute and brightens up that summer-to-fall transition. Selfishly, this season is also my favorite because it's an excuse for my city-dwelling friends to come out to the country, see the sunflowers, and enjoy some R&R since many of the best sunflower mazes are right in my own backyard (or county, at least).

Part of me loves sunflowers because my dad always grows the tallest blooms in his garden. Around this time of year, the entire garden is overgrown with weeds, but the giant sunflower blooms stand prominent, looking down upon the rest of us.

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While Sussex and Warren county have several maze options, if you're looking for more of a day trip with small town restaurants and shops, the Sunflower Maze at Donaldson Farm is the place to be. Plus, they have a Starbucks right around the corner. I'll take a dirty soy chai, two shots of espresso, no water, extra foam.

Donaldson Farm has 40 acres of sunflowers that bloom from mid-August to early-to-mid September. They have one hour tours on the weekends, but once late-September hits, the sunflowers get a little droopy (as you can see from my photos), but they are still fun to walk through and enjoy.

If you work up an appetite while prancing through the sunflower field, stop by TOPO (The Old Post Office) for amazing Vietnamese food. During the weekend, TOPO serves up brunch so you can get your fill of Vietnamese breakfast and Hanoi coffee. It is BYOB, so make sure you pack your champagne and OJ before you leave...or if you're like me, Bloody Mary mix and vodka.

Happy Sunflower Season.


Photos by Jenna O'Connor Photography