There's no feeling quite like the one you get when someone gives you flowers. Whether they're store-bought or picked fresh from a garden, it's so nice to know that someone's thinking about you and wanting to bring you a little joy. So why not do something to give yourself that warm and fuzzy feeling?

Thanks to a farm in Massachusetts, you can, and boy oh boy does it look like a magical experience. 26-year-old Emily Paquette and her long-time boyfriend Dana Prouty started their journey in the world of flowers five years ago when Prouty, the owner of Clover Hill Farm in Hardwick, "reclaimed a field" below the couple's home and planted sunflowers. Paquette said she comes from a long line of dairy farmers and grew up showing cows, but when she got together with her boyfriend, a fifth generation, full-time crop farmer, she knew she wanted to "find [her] niche on the farm."

"I had a tiny little stand and sold flowers for like $1 a stem," Paquette said. "Two years later we decided to expand the operation.  We got a greenhouse and I started planting different annuals for transplant outside in the late spring."

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Paquette launched Lone Birch Blossoms and began selling wrapped bouquets, building relationships within the community through a CSA and even booking weddings. But then 2020 hit, and with COVID came a need to shift operations on the farm.

"Last year hit [and] it was supposed to be the year of weddings," Paquette said. "When that all came to a halt I was trying to think of an idea. This is where 'Cut Your Own' came about."

Courtesy of Lone Birch Blossoms
Courtesy of Lone Birch Blossoms

Paquette and Prouty decided to welcome visitors onto their farm by offering u-pick opportunities, where people could walk among the flowers, cut as many as they wanted and craft their own bouquets. The couple even traveled to the Finger Lakes region of New York to visit a fellow grower for inspiration, and reopened earlier this month for visitors ready to pick.

Upon arrival at the farm in Hardwick, visitors will be able to take in the stunning scenery of eight rows of more than 20 flower varieties, from sunflowers, cosmos and strawflowers to forget-me-nots, gomphrenas and so much more, all nestled along the backdrop of the surrounding cornfields and the Ware River. Guests will pick between two sizes of containers, priced at $20 and $40, where you'll be able to pick and take as many flowers as you can fit.

"I provide you with scissors, a container with water, and off you go to fill the container until your heart's content," Paquette said. "You can take your time, take photos and enjoy the view."

Courtesy of Lone Birch Blossoms
Courtesy of Lone Birch Blossoms

Dogs are welcome as well, as long as they are leashed, so feel free to bring your furry friends along and snap a few pics of them among the flowers.

Lone Birch Blossoms will generally be open weekends until frost this year, but because of ever-changing weather conditions, will be posting dates on a week-to-week basis for the time being.  The farm is also planning on visits from The Hardwick Winery to offer guests the chance to sip a glass of wine during their flower-picking visit. You'll want to keep an eye on their website for the most up-to-date information and dates.

The farm is located at 1800 Lower Road in Hardwick, and will be open this upcoming weekend on July 31 and August 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

 Looking for a u-pick sunflower field closer to the SouthCoast? 100 Acre Farm in Swansea is welcoming visitors for a couple days of u-pick fun this weekend, and Lakeville's Golden Hour Tulip Farm opens its gates for u-pick experiences starting August 5.

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