Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sunflowers


I planted sunflowers the first year that I started my garden at this house and I have never had to plant them since. The birds do a wonderful job of spreading the seeds all over my garden. In the spring I just move them where I really want them to grow. Most of my sunflowers are plain yellow variety (most likely from the black oil seed that I feed the birds. But there are also plenty from that original variety which was a multi-tone flower.

Sunflowers have always been one of my favorite flowers. I use sunflowers in my garden to create a screen to block out the view of the street and the alley, as well as giving our gazebo a bit of privacy. They also provide a little shade for some of my plants that do not prefer full, all-day sun. And they are fantastic natural bird feeders. I usually leave the plants in place all winter so that the chickadees and nuthatches can pick at them. I have never tried to collect the seeds for myself since the birds will eat them while they are still green and usually have the flower heads all picked apart by time the seeds ripen enough for me.

I don't see a lot of gardeners grow sunflowers. I'm not sure if it is because they don't like them or they think they are too tall for their gardens. Maybe they think that they have to have full sun. I have sunflowers of all heights and I even have a few growing in mostly shade! I didn't plant them in the shade, they just started growing there. I am going to try to collect the seeds from these to get a shade tolerant variety that maybe other people could grow in their garden.

11 Comments:

Blogger crazygramma said...

Lucky lucky you try as I might I cannot seem to get them to grow. I even purchased one already started and it looked great for 3 days and now I think it has given up the ghost.

7/20/2005 9:23 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Have you tried the black oil sunflowers? Those seem to be easy growers. You can get the seed in any wild bird food mix. It might be our area. I don't think they like a lot of rain. So if you get a lot of precipitation, you might want to try adding something to your soil to give it even better drainage.

7/20/2005 10:47 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I love sunflowers but unfortunetly so do slugs. I've tried for several years and it just wasn't meant to be. Bummer!

7/21/2005 12:29 AM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

I love sunflowers and grow different ones every year. They rarely reseed themselves because the birds and the squirrels get all the seeds. Just as I intended. My kitchen "theme" is also sunflowers!

7/21/2005 1:07 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Sandy- sounds like you have army slugs! They swarm by the millions across your garden devouring everything in their path!

OldRoses- My kitchen theme is sunflowers too!

7/21/2005 8:43 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I have serious slugs in my yard. They don't mess around. We have a wet area behind our place they use as base camp. They move in for attack during the wee hours.

7/21/2005 9:41 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Sandy- Maybe you could surround your house with Margueritas- if the salt doesn't get them the alcohol should. And if they don't go for them, you could just drink them yourself to forget about the anguish of losing your garden.
Mmmmm...Margueritas!

7/21/2005 5:10 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Mmmmmm....Marqueritas! Yummy! A smashing idea!

7/21/2005 7:52 PM  
Blogger crazygramma said...

Ah Sylvana now you're talking

7/21/2005 9:50 PM  
Blogger Zoey said...

Add me to the list of "like 'em, but just can't grow 'em". I tried last year to grow the miniature multi-colored ones from seeds in my large double decker containers. A few bloomed, but they were scraggly...darn ugly to be more precise.

7/22/2005 8:10 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Zoey- Containers are a great idea for those that live in wetter areas!

8/01/2005 8:23 AM  

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