Sunday, June 28, 2015


The Bodacious of the most bodaciousness:  Sunflowers!

As I was reading a newsletter from the California nursery of Annie’s Annuals, she had so many varieties of sunflowers I wanted them all.  Sunflowers can bring a joy to your gardens in many ways and I'm all about joy. 

They are an especially easy to grow annual.  Throw out the seeds and they barely need to be “planted”.  Sprinkle a little soil over them to keep the birds from eating every one and they’re good to go.

All these little bees have legs packed with pollen.
They need little water after they have sprouted and here in the Midwest nature will take care of enough water to get them going.

They provide pollen for every bee we have in our gardens.  As a side note:  When bees are busy gathering pollen they won’t bother you unless you bother them.  It’s a fun experiment with children to stand and watch them packing that yellow stuff on their hind legs.

In the fall, they provide seeds for a variety of birds but it’s especially fun to watch Goldfinches boldly hanging upside down plucking a mouthful of seeds for lunch.

Sunflowers like rich soil and full sun.  Perfect for a border on a vegetable or flower garden.  If you have the room, an entire “patch” filled with sunflowers is a wow factor and will also attract more birds and insects.

Sunflowers come in a large variety of heights, flower sizes, branching, color and seed configuration. 

If you feed sunflower seeds to birds, taking a handful of seeds and throwing them onto disturbed soil will produce enough sunflowers to satisfy the child in all of us.

I let the volunteers from my bird feeders live
most anyplace they don't shade perennials.
Buying seed packets and planting a deep red flower, bi-color, lemon yellow or orange is especially beautiful.  Besides all the volunteers coming up from bird seed, I bought "Mammoth" sunflower seeds from Burpee.  I put them around my raised bed.  

There are huge flowers up to one foot across, doubles that look like a cheerleader’s pompoms and smalls like we see along the roadsides.

Let’s face it – sunflowers are happy flowers and as Annie says in her advertisements, “Sunflowers are really bodacious.”  

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