This Instagram Trend Is Killing Flower Fields Around The World

By Krista Conrad on February 12 2020 in Travel

@rachelbarkman via Instagram.
@rachelbarkman via Instagram.
  • 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram every day.
  • The Netherlands produced two billion tulips in 2017.
  • More than 250 people worldwide died taking selfies between 2012-2018.

It seems simple - find the perfect light and location, snap a photo, and watch the likes and comments flow in.

Instagram is a host of colorful floral or architectural backdrops as social influencers take to nature as their photo studios. But the search for the ideal location for a selfie shoot is having an adverse effect on the environment and taking its toll on a few picturesque flower fields as crowds of social media followers take to the trend and hunt down the same fields seen on their insta feeds.

These are the top four times innocent selfies got out of hand, and caused bedlam in the communities and fields that didn't see Instagrammers coming.

4. The Terre Bleu Lavender Farm

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A post shared by Toronto Blogger (@travelbugbecks) on Oct 5, 2019 at 12:31pm PDT

A farmer near Milton, Ont., pleaded with visitors to Terre Bleu lavender farm to stop trampling the plants in pursuit of the perfect selfie.

Strikingly purple lavender is planted in long rows in grassy fields at Terre Bleu, dotted with unique icons like a bright yellow door standing in the middle of the farm. It's Insta-perfect.

The owners say they love when people enjoy the lavender and take photographs among the purple blooms, but often selfie-takers trample flowers and crush bulbs in their wake, leaving the lavender unharvestable.

Terre Bleu has gone so far as to post guidelines for photographs and hopes to encourage people to visit the farm more for a connection to nature than for just the beautiful backdrop.

3. Tulip Fields Around The Netherlands

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A post shared by Celina 🌙 (@celinavic) on Apr 15, 2019 at 7:08am PDT

Well-known for its fields of tulips, the Netherlands has been attracting selfies for years.

But damage to tulip fields has prompted the Dutch tourism board to restrict visitor access, with signs in English and Chinese reading "Enjoy the Flowers, Respect our Pride."

There won't be any tip-toeing through the tulips for selfies except at specific cutting gardens, where visitors are permitted to walks amid the flowers and even pick some blooms to take home.

To avoid people trampling flowers or spreading disease to the fields, the country has asked photographers of all kinds to stick to the perimeter of the fields and shoot from the outskirts.

2. Bogle Seeds

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A post shared by Lauren Dam (@lauren_dam17) on Aug 20, 2018 at 3:18pm PDT

When Bogle Seeds in Millgrove, Ont. opened its gates to social media users in 2018, the owners had no idea what they were getting into.

They invited the public to enjoy their 1.4 million sunflowers, charging $7.50 per adult for the privilege of photographing themselves among the bright yellow flowers.

On the second weekend, they were bombarded, the parking lot (which holds 300 vehicles) overflowing. People parked along highways and were crossing four lanes of traffic to access the fields, which were being trampled and abused by the tens of thousands of visitors who showed up in an estimated 7,000 vehicles on July 28.

Sunflowers are fragile, and if the leaves on the lower stalk are damaged it can be susceptible to disease and drought.

By the end of the day, the Bogle family had closed their farm and sunflowers to the public forever.

A farmer in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) also had more than 2,000 visitors show up to his farm the same weekend, trampling his sunflower fields, as people had seen the trending photos on their feeds and tracked down a local field.

1. Super Blooms (California)

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A post shared by Gypsy Photographer (@callmemiele) on Apr 10, 2019 at 11:32am PDT

Walker Canyon, 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, has turned orange the past two summers as its valley sprouted "super blooms" - poppies in bright orange and red hues.

Masses of Instagrammers descended upon the valley and while striking their poses or finding the perfect grove of flowers, they trampled the valley and left a wave of destruction in their wake. The fields were rolled in, laid in, slept in, walked in, and the delicate poppies couldn't handle the attention.

Days of constant traffic saw the poppy fields shut down after huge crowds killed flowers and caused mayhem on area roads.

It was a similar situation near Sacramento, Cal. where "Daffodil Hill" was overrun with visitors taking in its bright-yellow splendor.

There, people parked vehicles wherever they could (illegally in most cases) and walked over narrow roads to access the hill, crushing thousands of daffodil blooms as they snapped and posted their ideal photos.

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