Wednesday 6 October 2010

Thumbelina and her Giant Sunflowers

Toward the end of August, the sunflowers in our garden had grown to such a tremendous height that they towered over me like I was Thumbelina in the land of the giant flowers.  I have always loved these brightly coloured flowers that seem to add warmth and happiness to any place they happen to bloom in, but it was after watching the Edible Garden's Alys Fowler grow sunflowers with such enthusiasm to attract bees and other beneficial insects into her garden, that I felt inspired to do the same.

So, into the soil went a handful of sunflower seeds and a few weeks later, our first seedlings emerged.

The seedlings were then moved to their final positions and they just kept growing taller and taller.  Three months later, when they had grown to about seven feet tall, our first buds began to form.  As a first time sunflower grower, it was a highly anticipated moment, and even more exciting was to watch as the green petals slowly opened outwards to reveal the yellow petals hidden inside.

(R-Top) Green Sunflower bud (L) Inside the bud (R-bottom) Yellow petals emerge from the bud

And these giant sunflowers in full bloom are just spectacular!  Just what you need to brighten up your day during a storm when there isn't much sun (or cheer) about. 

An impending storm is brightened up by a cheery sunflower

When this sunflower starts to wilt, sometimes what will happen is that another few blooms will spring up from the same stem.

Sunflower with one wilted giant flower and many smaller blooms

You can also harvest the sunflower seeds from the head once it has completely dried out.  We will definitely be growing more sunflowers in the years to come.

Seeds: Grown from Sunflower seeds bought from Lidl
Growing: I planted the seedlings outdoors in April
Pests: I lost a few seedlings to slugs who ate through the stems

 We are running our first ever Fusian Living Giveaway.
Closes March 30th 2013.

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