I'm glad I decided to give sunflowers another try this year. Several years ago when I was first getting into gardening, I bought half a dozen different varieties of sunflower seeds one spring: red ones, frilly ones, white ones, brown ones -- I went a little overboard. That's the same year I learned that something (rabbits? deer? woodchucks?) likes to eat sunflowers when they're just starting to take off -- small enough to be tender, but large enough to make a decent meal. At least that's how I remember it.

I  know the sunflowers were a disappointment that year. So I gave up on them, thinking it wasn't worth the effort. This year though, I tried again, using a different strategy.


Instead of putting them all in one place in the garden where a herbivore can get its teeth on all of them at one time, I've spread them around. Some in pots on the deck, one in the driveway border nestled among other less-palatable plants, one in the fenced veggie garden. I only planted two varieties this year: one tall type, one dwarf type. No fancy colors -- just plain old dependable yellow sunflowers.

They've only just started flowering, but they're already lighting up the garden! Take a look:

(These are all photos of the same flower head, as it's the only one open so far.)

The other great thing about sunflowers is they really attract the bees, which stay relatively still while feeding upon the hundreds of florets packed together in these flower heads -- instead of frantically flying off to the next flower. This means more bee photo opportunities soon, and I love taking photos of bees!

Are you growing any sunflowers this year?


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (August 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM)  

THANK YOU for this post. I so regret not growing sunflowers this year. Your post gave me a much needed fix.

Cat  – (August 22, 2012 at 12:08 AM)  

No but I hope to next season. A friend gifted me some native seeds that I'lll plant this fall. Beautiful images of your bloom!

M  – (August 22, 2012 at 1:30 AM)  

Did the heat put your sunflowers back a month or so?

Alan  – (August 22, 2012 at 7:27 AM)  

M: not sure, as I planted these relatively late. They were in the seedling stage during some really hot weather, and I lost about 1/2 of the dwarf variety then.

M  – (August 23, 2012 at 1:09 AM)  

Makes sense then, I wondered why they where just starting to flower so late. They look great.

Christine  – (August 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM)  

Wow these are gorgeous photos! Barbie gave me some seed from hers and I'll be planting Sunflowers for the first time this year - if Spring ever decides to come ...

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