WOODSTOCK, VT (June 30, 2021) – Merging a passion for gardening with a degree in architecture and landscape design, Master Gardener Benjamin Pauly of the Woodstock Inn & Resort has crafted a 20,000 square foot sunflower house on the grounds of the nearby Billings Farm & Museum. The Instagram-worthy must-see opens July 31 peaking in mid-August with blooms through early September.
Entering its third year in bloom, the 2021 floral footprint is double the square footage of last year’s sunflower house, making it the largest sunflower house in the United States. There are also twice as many varieties of sunflowers, 100 total, for a kaleidoscope of colors, sizes, and blooms.
Thousands of sunflowers were planted in a maze-like structure to form various rooms and hallways for exploring, and nearly endless photo opportunities for #SunflowerSelfies. Visitors can walk, weave and wander through the bright, bold flowers ranging in height from 18 inches to a towering 14 feet.
On Sunday, August 22 at 9:00am the Billings Farm & Museum will host a free guided meditation walk leading guests through mindful moments while surrounded by the radiant sunflowers. After meditating and yoga stretching, light refreshments including herbal tea infused with herbs grown on the farm will be available for attendees.
For more meditation experiences at Billings Farm & Museum, Mindful Mondays will take place starting July 12 through August 30. From 10:30am to 12:00pm a meditation expert will lead 20-minute mindfulness programs at 10:30am, 11:00am and 11:30am. When purchasing entry at the ticket desk, guests will receive a mission focused mantra and instruction card to use while mindfully exploring the grounds and sunflower house.
As a certified Bee Friendly Farm (BFF), the Billings Farm & Museum is hosting a Pollination Celebration on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29. Leading up to the festivities, the Woodstock Inn & Resort will serve a themed Pollinator Cocktail at the Red Rooster and Richardson’s Tavern. The Kelly Way Gardens Bee’s Knees is made with Barr Hill Gin, Kelly Way Garden’s honey, fresh lemon juice and a lemon twist.
The farm’s Pollinator Garden is dedicated to growing produce that assists Vermont’s star pollinators. Some plants are more pollinator-friendly than others, like oregano, lavender, and broccoli. Other onsite gardens include a Pizza Garden, with red pepper, basil, garlic, and more, as well as a Victory Garden that mirrors the historic gardens of World War II, and an Heirloom Garden.
In addition to exploring the sunflower house during the Pollination Celebration weekend, guests can learn backyard garden tips to support pollinators. Locally crafted honey ice cream made with honey from Benjamin Pauly’s bees will be available for purchase from the Dairy Bar. On Sunday, August 29 Trail Break Taps and Tacos food truck will be on site from 11:00am-4:30pm serving a variety of tacos, quesadillas, street corn, chips and salsa, plus a beer garden and refreshing non-alcoholic options.
“From building a bee bath with clean water to creating small stick houses for laying eggs, there’s a lot to learn about attracting pollinators,” said Benjamin Pauly, Master Gardener of the Woodstock Inn & Resort, and the architect behind the sunflower house. “Although it’s popular for its picturesque structure, the sunflower house serves the greater purpose of providing native flowers for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.”
Benjamin Pauly also spearheads the Woodstock Inn & Resort’s Kelly Way Gardens and is commonly known as the “Tomato Whisperer.” Among his many gardening talents, Ben grows nearly 60 types of tomatoes each season at the resort’s 3.5 acre, certified organic, Kelly Way Gardens. He also crafts a Gourdwalk measuring 135 feet long and nine feet high. The trellis archway becomes covered in 17 different varieties of hanging gourds.
The Billings Farm & Museum is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Admission rates, hours, and events can be found by visiting www.billingsfarm.org.
About Billings Farm & Museum
Located in Woodstock, Vermont, the Billings Farm & Museum is an operating Jersey dairy farm that continues a 150-year tradition of agricultural excellence with programs and exhibits that explore Vermont’s rural heritage and values.
About the Woodstock Inn & Resort
Located in idyllic Woodstock, Vermont, the Woodstock Inn & Resort defines country sophistication in one of New England’s most charming and popular year-round vacation destinations. The 142-room, AAA Four Diamond Resort, and a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX Collection, offers award-winning dining in two restaurants, ranked among the finest in New England. The Woodstock Inn & Resort is owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation, Inc. Proceeds from Resort operations support The Woodstock Foundation and Billings Farm & Museum education and conservation programs. For more information about the resort visit: www.woodstockinn.com.
About Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 750 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. Through its five global collections, Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travelers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their life and style preferences for each occasion. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high-quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The I Prefer™ hotel rewards program, Preferred Residences℠, Preferred Pride℠, and Preferred Golf™ offer valuable benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.