No Sunflowers this Year

Months ago as Karen Messick and I were planning our summer classes, I called the McKee Besher Wildlife Management office and was told that they would be planting sunflowers in two fields this year,  just down from the main field. But recently I began hearing reports from different people that there were no sunflowers planted at all.

I figured the only way to find out for sure to go see for myself.  So the other day, with camera in tow I drove out to area -  keeping my fingers crossed the whole way.

Last year we had a beautiful field so I stopped at that one first and immediately my hopes were dashed - in place of sunflowers I found a tangle of overgrown grasses and various other plants.



Trying not to be discouraged, I continued down the road.  At another great field in a previous year, I find nothing. Darn! I continue to look making my way all the way down to the Potomac River. The only thing I found were overgrown fields and fish two men fishing for catfish.

The only thing I found was overgrown fields and…


So, the sad truth is that the rumors are true. There are no sunflowers in the McKee Besher area. Many of us are disappointed but let’s not be too discouraged. There are many beautiful flowers to shoot at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.  

Water Lily

Open Lotus


Pink Lotus


  1. Claire Gardiner says:

    I CAN’T believe there are no sunflowers…that’s so sad….! :-(  Thanks for keeping us all posted Marie!

  2. Marie Joabar says:

    You and me both! I know there are many disappointed photographers out there. We’re going to shoot at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens instead, it is just beautiful there.  If you haven’t been there you need to make a visit to this special place.

  3. Claire Gardiner says:

    saw another post on FB….that they aren’t planting until late June and the bloom will take place in Early August….see here:

  4. Alina Ichikawa says:

    Thank you for the update!  I was so disappointed when I heard the news but now I know i just have to wait till August.

  5. Alina Ichikawa says:

    Does anyone know of another area to take photos of sunflowers?

  6. Marie Joabar says:

    Hi Alina,
    It’s so disappointing for everyone that was looking forward to them. I guess we’re a bit spoiled, I never gave it a thought that they wouldn’t be planted.
    There’s no other place that I know of but if you find out something, please let us know.
    I know you had your heart set on Sunflowers but if you’ve never been to Kenilworth, it’s really a special place worth a visit.

  7. susanne says:

    There’s supposed to be a huge field of sunflowers (300 acre) at Clear Meadow Farm, north of Baltimore in Harford County “The most florid fields are at Jarrettsville Pike and Hess Road, Baldwin Mill Road at Route 23 and Route 439 about three miles east of Interstate 83.”

  8. Marie Joabar says:

    Hi Susanne, Great information, thanks so much for sharing it. I had heard the Jarrettsville Pike location bloomed in September, do you know is the Clear Meadow Farm also a late blooming field?

  9. Sandra says:

    I wish I would have seen this post.  My family and I with our cameras in tow headed there at 6:30 this morning just to find nothing there.  Hour there and an hour back home.  My kids and I were so disappointed!  Maybe next year.

  10. Marie Joabar says:

    Hi Sandra, I sorry to hear your story, I can imagine your disappointment! When the fields are full it’s truly a sight so I hope you’ll visit this special place in the future and find what you set out for.

  11. Photographer Friend says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, you just saved us a wasted trip tomorrow.  We will go to Kenilworth instead.

  12. Vien says:

    Made the call, so the flowers will be in bloom the next few weeks, I dont expect months smile So it would be around Mid-August.

  13. A photographer says:

    The fields are supposed to have sunflowers by early Aug. Has someone been there lately?

  14. Marie Joabar says:

    I’m not sure if they have bloomed yet. I posed a question on my Facebook page just now and hope to get some info from my Fans. Watch for the responses at

  15. Rachel says:

    Went this morning, nothing at all. Very disappointing considering their website advertised blooms in early August.

  16. Marie Joabar says:

    Thanksfor sharing Rachel, I posted this on Facebook yesterday.

  17. Meg says:

    Good news, everyone! There are actually ARE sunflowers at McKee-Beshers—lots of them—but they’re not in the same field as previous years. I was there last night (some of my pictures are here) and the field is still very green, but many sunflowers are peeking out. The flowers were planted late this year, as many have probably gathered, but they are coming up! If you go in the next two weeks, you’ll probably find them much higher than they were yesterday.

    After driving around the property for a half hour last night trying to find these mythical flowers, I’ll spare everyone some grief: they’re in several fields off Hunting Quarter Road. If you look at this map, park at the “P” parking lot directly beneath “River Road” and walk toward the Potomac. You’ll see a clearing after just a few minutes, and the sunflowers are on either side of you.

    My family and I made lots of new friends as we all drove around trying to find the sunflowers yesterday . . . there were several cars full of photographers, like us, and we drove two-plus hours to get there. I might gently suggest they mark the fields somewhere on their website to save others the chaos of trying to find the sunflowers before losing all the good evening light.

    Good luck!

  18. Marie Joabar says:

    Hi Meg, So happy to hear your news and I’m sure others will be as well! Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ll post this on Facebook so others will know.  Feel free to share any photos by posting them on the Facebook page,

  19. Dennis Govoni says:

    There is a better field right now at the sycamore landing and river road intersection which is at the west end of McKee. Go now as they are peaked

  20. Marie Joabar says:

    Thanks so much Dennis, I shared this on the Facebook page so others would know. Did you get any photos of the flowers? If so, feel free to post them on the CPC Facebook page.

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