Monday, July 20, 2015

Keeping a Sunny Disposition

Every year with optimism and forgetfulness I plant sunflowers.  Sunflowers are not to be grown on a whim.  They take up lots of room, shade plants, and suck up water like a sponge.  Have you ever seen a sunflower root?  Some root balls are the size of huge platters.  Yet, these sunny plants are easy to germinate from seed, come in many varieties, and this year, I even got a few volunteers that fell into pots on my deck from seeds that I had the fed birds over the winter.

Now a caution.  My sunflowers rarely get even a foot high before they are eaten by groundhogs and bunnies.  Groundhogs eat them back to the stem on a summer's eve.  Bunnies sample leaves over several days until just the stalk is left.  So, I have learned to plant them in pots on my deck, and this year, my husband generously gave me some space in the vegetable garden which is behind a wire fence.  The sunflower behind his head is actually a foot taller now and not yet in bloom like the one next to it!

Below are sunflowers on my deck.  This summer there has been LOTS of rain and I have had a reprieve from having to water these beauties almost every day on normal summer days.

I have also learned that seeds from these flowers ripen at an uneven pace and the goldfinch show up and eat about a half dozen each day...even from flowers still in bloom.

He comes each day and visits and waits patiently for the crop to come in picking here and there on an outside row while watching my shadow against the window.

Now, for a tidbit of folk wisdom.  "Sleeping with a sunflower under your pillow will permit you to know the truth of any matter."

Putting this under your pillow might interfere with a good night's sleep!


  1. What a marvelous post! I have the shorter variety of sunflower growing where bird seed dropped in the winter. The bunnies have not found them so I'm hoping the finches will when the seed head is ripe. I'll have to give sleeping with one under my pillow a try and see what truth is revealed!

  2. offer delight. I have a 6 foot x 3 foot stitchery of sunflowers on my stair landing. When Duck wanted to embroider away his smoking habit, he had me draw these lucious things. They are such happy plants. I should post a picture for you.

  3. They do attract birds.

  4. This is the first year I haven't had sunflowers in my garden and for the reasons you give.

  5. No sunflowers here, but i do love seeing them when i travel.

  6. Groundhogs and bunnies got ALL our sunflowers this year!

  7. Squirrels used to climb the stalks and eat the flower buds before they bloomed, so we stopped planting sunflowers. Last year I tried again, with success. I have planted blooms and volunteers too now. I love them.
    Great photos!

  8. I love the old sayings and pieces of garden wisdom. I imagine putting that under the pillow would result in getting a pollen beetle or two up your nose!


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.