Driveway crack sunflowers

Every year some sunflower seeds that fall from the birdfeeder over the driveway escape detection from the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and whatever else eats seeds, and grows in the cracks of my driveway.

Since this is a corner of the driveway that the cars don't pass over, I let them grow.

I've never had great success with purposefully-planted sunflowers, as it seems the rabbits love them when they're small, and the deer love them when they're big.

So I let the plants grow in the crack.

They won't reach full size, especially since the deer do seem to find the main stems early on and chomp them off, resulting in all of the secondary flowers being produced instead of a big main one.

I don't know that the plants could support a large flower head anyway, since they are growing in a small amount of soil.

I assume that their roots are actually making it to the soil that's under the concrete, but that can't be the best soil around. It's got to be hard-packed clay with a lot of gravel in it, but I suppose it's better than the inch or two of soil that's in the crack (it's a wide crack).

If you've never grown sunflowers, please give it a try. The blooms are so happy and bright.

The bees love them too.

Be prepared for finches pecking apart the heads though, well before the seeds are ready. Finches are impatient birds, as I see them pecking on Rudbeckia ("black-eyed Susan") all summer long. Perhaps they're just checking for seeds. Anyway, back to sunflowers...

Most sunflowers do not make good cut flowers because they produce a lot of pollen which will readily fall and dust your home. There are special sunflower varieties that have been bred that are "pollen-free". Birdseed sunflowers are NOT one of these varieties, as you can see.

Although the middle of the driveway is not the ideal place to grow sunflowers, sometimes you have to take advantage of opportunities and grow plants wherever you can (wherever the other inhabitants or visitors to your yard will let you). As long as they keep growing here, I'll keep letting them, because sunflowers give me  a nice early summer burst of sunshine!

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