Ok so today’s post is a bit of a cheat because I was due a plant of the month post, but I figured I didn’t say this week had to ONLY be about the garden renovation, so… My blog, my rules!
This month I am honouring the beautiful SUNFLOWER, and my goodness isn’t it bea-u-tiful!!
These sun worshipping giants come in many varieties and all are super easy to grow and look amazing when they are in full flower.
The seeds can be sown from March to May (some varieties can be later) and can be grown pretty much anywhere. If you have limited space like a small garden or balcony, they can be grown in pots. They like a nice spot along a wall or even on an allotment. Mine are currently being supported by canes, they will flop if their long stems don’t have anything to grow against, so a bamboo cane in the ground, trellis or wall is perfect!
Because they are sun lovers, they will turn to face the sun – so if you are sat in the garden with them all day you will see that they move from East to West as the sun rotates around our great planet. Most flowers show “heliotropism” (a tendency to move with the sun) but the larger size of the sunflower makes it a little more obvious to see! This does mean however that they don’t love shade, you make sure you find them somewhere the sun reaches 🙂
They don’t all come in giant size either, my sunflower babies are about 4ft tall and thats as big as they will get, you can also get dwarf varieties which grow up to about 12 inches. So there is really a sunflower for any space.
These beauties are also HEAVENLY for Bees – yes! SAVE THE BEES! So if you are looking for a wildlife friendly plant, the sunflower is the one for you!
Finally, if you are health savvy, sunflower seeds can be dried and eaten as a tasty snack… Also can be used in baking and other recipes. Did you know that sunflower seeds are nearly 25% protein… Whaat!? You will know the seeds are nearly ready when the flower heads start to droop. This means the seeds are ripening, when the disk on the back of the flower head darkens to a brown/black, the seeds are ready to harvest. All you have to do then, is beat the pesky birds and squirrels to them!
So if you aren’t interested in how stunning sunflowers are (weirdo) at least you can eat them.
So go on – grow some sunflowers of your own, get your kids involved, grow loads! They are stunning, easy peasy to grow, edible (partially) and good for our wildlife! Winning!
Chat tomorrow 🙂 xx