Fields of Flowers, a pick-your-own flower farm located in Purcellville, Virginia, is open with blooms ready to pick. Right now, visitors can enjoy hydrangeas, snapdragons, veronica, heliopsis, verbena, bee balam, yarrow, gomphrena, coneflowers and other blooms. Additionally, Hound Haven Honey is available for purchase.
Profile on Field of Flowers
In October of 2013, husband and wife Nat and Patty Craley acquired a beautiful property in Western Loudoun County. Though they only bought the home and land, with it came a business centered in their very own backyard.
Robbie and Dennis East, the originators of Fields of Flowers, began the operation in the 1990s. When the Craleys bought the property that housed the farm in 2013, they finished out the three weeks that were left in the season, and then debated the future of the business.
“Over the winter, we tried to scratch our heads and decide, are we going to keep this up? How are we going to do it? We didn’t come in with any experience, but we decided that we would try to keep a go of it,” Nat Craley recounted.
May of 2014 marked the Craleys first season operating Fields of Flowers. Each year since, they’ve worked routinely to continue the legacy of the business, while also infusing their own personality, the mark they will leave on the business as their time at the helm comes to a close.
Nat Craley said, “we’ve taken her idea, which she did as a hobby originally with friends and then extrapolated into a business, and we’ve expanded that. We’ve added more rows and some different types of flowers and just made it our own.”
Though the flowers are beautiful, what really sets Fields of Flowers apart is the component of self-service, and the tranquility that comes with it.
Instead of workers and people, signs decorate the front of the facility. They direct entering visitors where to park, to a variety of containers and clippers and explain how the system works in the fields. From there, it’s all up to the visitor to roam the farm and collect as many flowers as they’d like. Prices depend on container size, and payment is completed upon exiting, all on the honor system.
The Craleys emphasize relaxation and enjoyment of nature for visitors while on the grounds, which is elevated by the self-service approach.
“They’re invited to relax and enjoy their stay while they’re here, to take their time. Many of them stop and chat and visit with other people that they’ve met while they’re here. Others just come and grab a few flowers and they’re done, but it’s all up to their own speed and there are no reservations required. We’re open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, nine to six. As long as they’re here within those timeframes, they’re welcome anytime,” stated Nat Craley.
A typical season for Fields of Flowers begins in mid-May and lasts through mid-October. The available flowers vary throughout the season, but visitors can expect peonies early in the season and dahlias, zinnias, hydrangeas, cosmos and scabiosa flowers rounding out the fall, amongst a multitude of others.
After October, the business closes, but countless tasks remain for the Craleys. They work the entire calendar year to maintain the farm and flowers.
Nat Craley described, “we cut and pull and prime and plant and do all kinds of things all in the offseason. But all of that kind of takes place behind the curtain, and then in May when we open the curtain, hopefully there’s flowers for people to see.”
And flowers are not the only products you can find at Fields of Flowers. The site features goods from other local businesses, including honey from Hound Haven Honey as well as pottery at periodic craft sales.
Fields of Flowers will open and operate on their regular schedule this season, dictated by the flowers’ blooms. With the conclusion of the season in October will also come the ending of the Craleys’ business.
While reflecting on their time operating Fields of Flowers, the Craleys are grateful for the connection they’ve been able to draw to their community.
Patty Craley says, “Being here has opened doors to seeing other things, you know, and meeting other people. I think if we had just moved here, I’m not sure what would have involved us in the community, something would have, but this definitely has brought people around.”
More than flower sales, Nat and Patty Craley have created an ambiance of peace for guests and planted a sense of community into their fields for nearly ten years. As the last chance to witness the Craleys’ scenic business, a visit to Fields of Flowers is a must for Loudoun residents this summer.
Loudoun Field of Flowers is located at 37879 Allder School Rd, Purcellville, VA 20132, United States
By Layne Sheplee