A field of a million suns
A field of a million suns … that’s how organic farmers Archie and Maggie Stewart describe their latest diversification journey, a unique pop-up sunflower walk.
The Stewarts, who farm at Cliftonhill near Ednam, decided to plant a field of the iconic flowers as a break crop, and are giving Borderers the chance to enjoy the superb views and wildlife during their walk.
The couple are among the founding members of Flowers Grown In Scotland, a movement to buy locally grown flowers.
Maggie, who also runs holiday cottages for visitors, told us: “It is a fantastic walk around a field of a million suns, with activities along the way.
"It really is a sight to behold … perfect for all the family, whether it is a romantic stroll at sunset or a family outing.
"Children can spot the birds and animals on the different trails and enjoy the zig-zag bee trail, before playing in the games area.
"It is the perfect place for a couple of hours of entertainment, with fresh air and beautiful flowers."
Tickets for the walk, costing £6.50 per adult, with no charge for accompanied children, includes the walk, activities and three pick-your-own sunflowers to take home with you.
There are also other flowers in another patch for visitors to cut and take home.
Maggie added: “We’ve always grown some flowers for the birds and our holiday guests, and this year we decided on a whole field for everyone.
"It’s a break crop, as we are organic farmers and you need to have a break from growing oats … and it’s a change from grass.
"We have also grown linseed in the shape of a saltire, and that was lovely until someone thought it was for the SNP.
"We planted the sunflower seeds two weeks later than normal, then we had a drought, then cold, then floods, but then that tropical spell arrived and they just went crazy.
"They just exploded, and they really are breathtaking.”
Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.flowersbyedenvalley.co.uk/flower-walk.
There are good grass pathways around the walk, but it’s advisable to wear sensible shoes, boots or wellies.