Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Here Comes the Sun

I plant sunflowers every year and I am hooked! There are so many kinds in amazing colors and a range of sizes. Some branch and offer more than a single bloom. Though I do make sure to always plant sunflowers that have pollen - for the bees. I have even taken to growing perennial sunflowers though their blooms are much smaller - like tiny sunbursts. I usually plant the annual seeds directly into the ground come Spring. I cannot convey how awesome it is to watch those tiny sprouts grow into big, towering tree-like stalks with their large heart-shaped leaves - and this even before flowering. You must try it for yourself if you have never planted sunflowers - they are easy going just like a sunny day. And even after the sun sets, the birds enjoy their seeds. It is fun to watch the antics of chickadees, finches, black birds and even woodpeckers snacking among their stems into the fall and winter.

I thought, being such a fan, I should know the origin of sunflowers. Sunflowers are native to North America, first cultivated by Native Americans. Sunflowers were a valuable staple in the Native American diet when the first European explorers arrived and were also used for medicinal purposes. Explorers introduced Sunflowers to other parts of the world. Sunflowers will lean and stretch towards the sun, a unique behavior known as phototropism. They are appropriately named because of their resemblance to the sun - their petals like rays of sunshine. They certainly cheer me up, brighten even a cloudy day, and offer sunny sentiments. Just see for yourself ...


  1. Oh, I love the orange colored sunflowers. I have grown sunflowers for the first time this year and I so totally hooked :-)

  2. OHHHHH!! Your sunflowers are amazing!! The pattern in the center of your last photo is breathtaking! I really like the orange colored bloom...so sun-kissed!

  3. I love sunfowers, but haven't had the opportunity to grow them. It is neat to learn that they turn toward the sun.

  4. Beautiful sunflowers. I try every year to grow them, but something eats the seeds and or seedlings before they have a chance. The one year I did get some, the squirrels chopped off the flower heads and dragged them away!

  5. I love sunflowers too, in fact it was my first tattoo! I'm from Kansas, and it's the state flower. I grew up singing a little "I'm a sunflower from the sunflower-state" song.
    Beautiful photos and thanks for the edumacashun on 'em!

  6. Thanks for commenting! I hope if you're not already hooked on sunflowers, you will be. Bonnie maybe you could try starting the seeds indoors - in a peat pot (or just cut up paper towel or toilet paper rolls) and then plant the whole pot in the ground - they don't like to be moved. Or, maybe try some perennial sunflowers - though not as large a flower - the squirrels shouldn't chop off the heads of those. Prairie Moon Nursery has quite a variety for sale.


Thank you for joining me in my garden in the making!

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