The brightest spot on the farm.
The birds are chirping, bees buzzing, visitors giggling. The hills of southern Illinois are alive again with the sounds of summer.
In Alto Pass, a field of zinnia flowers is blooming for all to enjoy.
From floods to flowers, Michelle Sirles, owner of Rendleman Orchards, said it’s a welcomed sight after a wet, dreary spring season.
“As soon as that was over and the sun started shining and it started warming up like typical summer temperatures our zinnia field just bursted into bloom,” Sirles said.
Michelle and her husband Wayne planted a full acre of colorful zinnia’s this winter in hopes they would bloom in time for peach season.
Little did they know then, it’d bloom into the brightest spot on the farm.
“They’re so colorful, they just say sunshine,” Sirles said.
Hundreds of butterflies dance from flower to flower.
Pictures of the zinnia field just don’t do it justice.
“You just can’t know what it’s like until you actually experience it and you’re walking out in the field and among the blooms,” Sirles said. “… just seeing the bright colors and all the different shapes and sizes are breathtaking.”
The field is now open for visitors to enjoy.
Walk along the blooms, pose for a picture, or enjoy a sack lunch overlooking the scenic spot.
You’re even allowed to pick a bouquet.
For $5, you can snip 12 stems.
Sirles says the most important thing is to take time and enjoy it.
“I’ve had three customers come up to me and tell me inside our Farm Market that they were just in awe that they felt like they were walking through a Monet painting,” Sirles said.
On the weekends the zinnia field attracts visitors from all over the area.
It’s a sight Sirles says she hopes to share with as many people as possible.
“Our family has always looked at this farm as a gathering place for us, a place that we have a passion for,” Sirles said. “… and so we wanted to offer that to the general public. We want this to be their farm too.”
The field is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Of course, don’t forget to fill up some of southern Illinois’ juiciest, tree-ripened peaches.