Sunflower plants are insects beloved.
We have discussion over improvement of our small backyard landscape every year after the summer season.
Last year, I planned to design a flower field display for this year's spring season. I bought all the spring flowers bulbs and did according to the planting timetable.
However, early this year when the winter almost going off; my husband changed his mind as his mind was still busy with the water ponds projects.
He wanted to move the backyard pond; and he created a brand new backyard idea. So, my small spring flower garden was partially affected; and some of my costly spring bulbs were disappeared with his spade. I was a little disappointed.
Since spring flower carpet dream was not successful; I wanted no extra work (no dig and no till garden); low cost; but a lovely showy flower screen for this coming summer.
While I was granting through our annual plants; and list of flowers collection; suddenly, some great ideas sparkled in my head; a field of tall sunflower trees were shinning in my mind.
Last year we had 3 dwarf sunflowers, so I bought a different packet of sunflower seeds called "Evening Sun (Avondzon Zonnebloem in Dutch)".
When I looked at the picture shown on the package; I thought they are all in one colour. Surprisingly, they came with 5 different colours; and they were in the height; range from 150cm to 350cm.
How to Grow from Seeds
1. Sprouting can be done in a small greenhouse or in-house (picture 1).
2. When the young plants are strong, you can move them outdoor together with the stakes; and give them each one a ring (picture 2) to protect them from the strong winds; the cut worms; and the garden snails or slugs.
3. Cover them to protect them from the cold; if the weather is unexpected. In this way, they can grow happily (picture 3-6) without unnecessary disturbance.
4. When the stormy wind arrives; the tie must be kept strong and must leave a gap between the stem and the stake. Otherwise; the stem would be injured.
We have planted seven plants at the right edge of our backyard garden; three plants were planted at the back of our goldfish pond; and one was growing in a pot; in our green house.
We discovered this pot plant prefer a wide container; not a deep pot. Because it can grow to a meter tall in a 12 cm (about 5 inch) earth pot; with a slender body.
Among all of them I love the most is this very first bloomed sunflower (picture 7-10). She was in the combination of bright maroon; brown; purple; yellow; and orange.
She was fortunate: when she came out from the flower bud; there were slight shower and sunshine everyday. When she was half opened the temperature went high.
If you watch their blooming progress; you will be amazed!
When they grow taller; a longer and stronger stake should be used. We staked them with our maximum height of 200cm bamboo and recyclable and re-usable plastic sticks (picture 5).
Obviously many insects will feed on sunflower foliage, and cabbage butterfly will lay eggs too. However, they were simply too tall to reach. So, we left them to the nature.
If you watch them closely; you will discover that, the sunflower plants would grow very fast after a couples of soft rain falls and the continuous moderate sun power.
Regardless of the weather condition; the bees (picture 11) will be there; they will be busy pollinating; and happily collecting their nectar.
There were eleven sunflowers (picture 12) on this 260cm tall plant. The biggest flower (The leader) diameter is about 6 inches (15.5cm). The rest were slightly smaller.
The sparkling "Ring of Fire" would appear when the strong sunlight shines on the back of the flower head (picture 13).
My friend said the sunflower will always follow the direction of the sun; so it will turn its head to the East first and adjust itself later according to the movement of the sun; and it will return back to the East in the evening.
However, our plants were blocked by the roof of our house; which is at the East. They were facing North and South all day long.
We have harvested and hung-up three sunflowers, when a few small birds appeared on the plants. We left the rest to the little birds.
Instead of having only one giant sunflower on one plant; you can have more medium sized flowers. Moreover; eleven flowers are more than enough for a sunflower arrangement; or a fresh cut flowers vase; or a sunflower wedding flowers bouquet.
Bring your warm feeling sparkling organic sunflower pictures to cheer someone who needs the warmth and the sunlight; in this coming winter season?