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Sunny Fields is never the same twice. Indeed, new discoveries are made all the time. Consider returning to enjoy the ever-changing seasonal beauty!

An extensive assortment of exotic and native plants stimulate learning in an informal setting; specimens are accurately labeled. A very mixed wildlife community will fascinate everyone.

Seasonal Views

Please note, this listing of monthly natural attractions is partial and can vary with changing conditions during our growing seasons. Garden annuals have been excluded from the list, as they vary every year.

Mondragon daffodil

Narcissi (120 varieties), forsythia, spirea, pachysandra, lichens, Siberial squill, violet, poplar, willow, Japanese witchhazel, birch, maple, moss, cornelian cherry

The return of many song birds. Frog and toad chorus.

Brandywine ornamental crabapple

Ornamental crabapples (over 144 varieties), spireas, mountain ash, lilacs (over 300 varieties), fruit trees, dwarf iris, bleeding heart, grape hyacinth, forget-me-not, May apple, Jack-in-the-pulpit, marsh marigold, oak, ash, fringe tree, magnolia, viburnum, conifers (evergreens), mulberry, linden, Johnny-jump-up, lily-of-the-valley, euphorbia, pin cherry, choke cherry, grey dogwood, pyracantha, wild strawberry, yellow loosestrife, buffalo currant, gooseberry, Siberian pea, jetbead, bloodroot, trout lily, ironwood, beech, hop hornbeam, osage orange

Delightful fragrant air.

Red Prince Weigelia

Weigelia, bearded iris, Siberian iris, peony, rose, catalpa, hawthorn, Michigan cactus, yellow flag iris, baptisia, horsechestnut, daisy, orange hawkweed, mallow, corn cockle, beauty bush, late lilac, black locust, honey locust, duetzia, mock orange, dame's rocket, sweet William, penstemon, gill-over-the-ground, elderberry, blackberry, ajuga, sweet pea, walnut, hickory, persimmon, asparagus, pussy toes, hoary alyssum, Jacob's ladder, daylilies

Chirping crickets.

Gaillardia 'Goblin'

Daylilies, hosta, hydrangea, yucca, butter-and-eggs, rudbeckia, centaurea, pokeweed, phlox, chicory, Queen Ann's lace, catchfly, jewelweed, spiderwort, dogbane, St. John's wort, deptford pink, tamarisk, vervain, campanula, hollyhock, Asian lily, Oriental lily, rose of Sharon, silver thistle, butterfly weed, daylilies, catnip, heal-all, teasel, buddleia, fleabane, gold yarrow

Dragonflies, grasshoppers, and warm breezes.

Native grass

Black-eyed Susan, ornamental grass, marsh mallow, star thistle, hairy veitch, yarrow, hosta, flowering rush, false spirea, Joe Pye weed, daylilies, milkweed, mothmullien, horseweed, sedum, summer sweet, boneset, black medic, curley dock, bedstraw, bouncing bet, white champion

Walking sticks and praying mantis.

Colorful crabapple fruit

Blue vitex, seven-sons-flower, soldago, Jerusalem artichoke, autumn clematis, daylilies, sedum

Sparkling dew-covered morning spider webs.

Colorful autumn foliage

New England asters, a beautiful display of attractive fruit and seed pods, mushrooms and brightly colored fungus, exquisite fall foliage colors, unusual seed pods, migrating birds, foggy mornings, a good time to admire variations in treebark and branching

Showers of beautiful leaves cover the ground like a tapestry.

Through the seven months that Sunny Fields is open to the public, it is common for visitors to experience pleasant interaction with a variety of wildlife.

Some animals sleep during the day and are seldom seen during this time, such as bats, owls, raccoons, fox opposum, and skunks. Others, though active during daylight, avoid contact with people but are seen on occasion. These include game animals, which are given sanctuary at Sunny Fields, along with harmless reptiles and amphibians.

Many of the residents of the pond and marshy areas are difficult to see without patience. Frogs and toads are usually easily seen and heard. The majority of our bird residents are most active just after sunrise and before sunset, avoiding activity in the heat of the day. However, an assortment of fascinating butterflies, moths, and dragonflies are visible during the day. Insects are commonly seen on sunny days, especially during mid-summer.

The chain of life is evident at Sunny Fields. Throughout the year, it is obvious that both plants and animals complete their life cycles. Plants ripen their fruit, and often wither, to be replaced by sprouting seeds or spores they created and left behind. Likewise, some animals finish their natural lifespans, leaving behind young animals to take their place. Thus, at Sunny Fields, we observe the natural balance of life in its perfection.

The fall foliage colors at Sunny Fields are regionally exceptional, and usually peak near mid-October. The park closes for the season at 5pm on October 31, and will re-open April 1 of every year by appointment (810-387-2765 during season or 313-886-9343 off season). Feel free to call for foliage color updates at our in-season phone number.


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