Couple goes big with sunflowers

Deanna Bonn

It’s sunflower season and thanks to Diana Burress and her husband Walter, who plants these beautiful flowers each year and opens their field to the public for free, many family photos and senior portraits will be taken during the 10 day window that the flowers are in bloom.

Diana Burress points to her favorite sunflower on the silo painted on her farm.

But this year sunflower lovers have a new photo backdrop to enjoy. Last year the Burress’ decided to hire someone to paint an old forty foot silo on their property.

“My husband wanted to see sunflowers from the front porch of our house so he put out a call for painters. While we had many people interested in the project, they wanted to charge a lot of money,” said Burress.

“We couldn’t afford to do it,” she said, “so I thought I can do this’ and voila.”

To find the field, take SW Thunder Road southwest of Augusta to SW 115th Street, and a half mile west. 

Burress began painting the silo as soon as sunflower season was over last year and it took her from mid September until the end of October to complete.

“My kids call me the crazy sunflower lady,” said Burress. “I love sunflowers. They are my favorite flower and it is also the state flower,” said Burress, a Realtor located in Augusta, Kansas.

“Over 15 years ago my husband planted a few sunflowers around the house for me to enjoy and I would invite my clients and their families to come and take pictures. “

“After a few years, he started planting out in this field and more people started coming, just by word-of-mouth,” she said.

Burress keeps her clients and the public informed when the field is in bloom through her Facebook page “Diana Burress - B Realty Realtor/Broker.”

“They are almost ready,” said Burress. “I think by [Labor Day Weekend] the field should be in bloom.”

“They are only good for about 10-14 days. By day 10 they start to look raggedy,” she said.

The sunflower field, located Southwest of Augusta off of Thunder Road and 115th Terrace, is free and open to the public.

“This year we have a couple of different things going on as well,” said Burress. “ We will have signs with QR codes that will link you to my site so you can post your pictures on there. We love to share the pictures so we encourage people to do that.”

“We also have a QR that will link you to the Marketplace 67010,” she said. “I have some memorabilia there. Some t-shirts, postcards, and sunflower seeds for birds will be for sale.”

“Last year Walter planted 143 acres of sunflowers,” said Burress. “They are the black oil sunflower seeds for bird feed. The seeds will also be available at Schneider Feed, Lawn & Supply.”

“We want everyone to come on out to the field,” she said. “We don’t charge people to come and take photos,” said Burress “it’s a goodwill gesture.”