Yes, I'm a little obsessed with sunflowers. But I don't like the ones on the giant stalks that have to be removed from the garden in the fall by using a chainsaw to take down the stems. In recent years I've been growing a variety called "Ring of Fire" that grows about five feet tall and is a bit more manageable when it's time for the compost pile.
This year I planted a new variety that was touted as being a "bush" sunflower. Apparently, some of the seeds didn't get the memo as the plants seem to be reaching for the clouds high above.
Here's a shot of the sunflower bed over and through a couple of other beds. That's a bed of green beans in the foreground, then the hoop trellis of Scarlet Runner beans and then the bed of the new sunflowers. Can you spot the very first blossom peeking out at you?
This is the first flower to open fully day before yesterday. Last night I spotted three more almost open.
I love to bring in sunflowers where I can enjoy them even more than in the garden. This flower from the "bush" (ha!) measures 8" across.
Gotta try new things, but next year I'm most likely going back to the "Ring of Fire" variety planted in the field garden.
I love your sunflowers! The big ones really are hard to handle. I just made a new header for my blog using sunflowers and putting my little Anna Ireland sunflower in the middle. lol
Have a wonderful Sunday, Mama Pea! xo Diana
That's so bright and cheery! It's very "August / September" feeling. -Jenn
Let’s try that again and see if I can spell this morning LOL. I absolutely love it I love the symmetry of it and I have a granddaughter who will be in love with the blooms. They really make a statement and the place is being able to get them into the compost pile good job MP.
May I inquire where are you obtain the seeds?
Your sunflowers are very bright and cheery. Maybe I will try planting some next year. Not that you were asking for opinions, but I think the pump would look nice with a black pail hanging from it. Ranee (MN) (north of the cities)
oops - wrong blog. Sorry. Ranee
Perhaps its a 'thing' with sunflowers this year. My "5'" plants are twice that, and now have blooms way up top where one would need a tall step ladder to harvest them. I use binoculars to look at them!!!! One of them crashed during a windy night a while ago, so I stripped the leaves and tied it to the climbing bean fence. Waste not, want not! Your garden looks so lush and green, and I love the Scarlet Runner hoop trellis. What are you growing under the hoop?
Your garden looks so good! I love that.
Dan grew sunflowers this year. It's been years since I grew them (tired of the birds eating all the seed!) but he planted to rows in the front yard and they look really good. Such a cheerful flower.
NanaDiana - Oh, my! Your little Anna Ireland is the most beautiful little "sunflower" there ever was!
Jenn - I always wish the sunflowers would bloom earlier, but you're right. They do seem more like an autumnal blossom.
Goatldi - The "bush" sunflowers are called "Big Smile" advertised as 12" to 24" high. (Ha!) I got them from Johnny's Selected Seeds. The "Ring of Fire" variety I've planted in the past are available in lots of seed catalogs. I think I even once saw a packet of them on a rack in a Menard's store.
Rae - What a cute idea for our hand pump on the well! Also, I really should give the pump a good cleaning and new coat of red paint. (I'll put that on my list!) ;o)
Rosalea - Did all sunflower seeds get a big dose of steroids this year?? Early this gardening season, I had radishes planted in the bed under the hoop trellis. After they were harvested I had planned on seeding more radishes because I thought the Scarlet Runner beans would be thick enough to provide the shade and coolness the radishes would need. Didn't happen because the bed is still in bright sunlight! :o(
Leigh - Yep, whenever Papa Pea sees sunflowers in the garden he asks if they will give us seeds for the birds. Each time I have to remind him that our short season never allows enough time for the heads to form mature seeds. And can you imagine how many sunflowers you'd have to plant to get the equivalent of a 50 lb. bag of sunflower seeds??! Oy.
Love the scarlet runner bean trellis. I grew those in the 70's, must do that again. I plant the sunflower seeds we buy for birdseed. They grow beautifully, and are super inexpensive, LOL
Granny Sue - Sometimes it's such a simple idea that most of us might overlook! Planting the sunflower seeds we buy for the birds . . . who woulda thunk it? (Not me, obviously!) How tall do yours grow?
Hello Mama Pea, I just happened to stumble onto your blog, and read some of your comments, then noticed that you live in northern Minnesota. I also live in northern Minnesota, near Walker, Zone 3b. The grow season up here is very challenging.�� I've always gardened and processed my own food when my children were home but then got out of it as it was just me for quite a few yrs. Now with covid19, I had my new husband build me 3 8x3 raised beds that are waist high as I'm not getting any younger. My fresh veggies are doing well and we've had enough to can and freeze, the only problems I've had is the squash and pumpkin did not do well. I ended up getting 2 spaghetti squash and 1 pie pumpkin, and not much corn. I companion planted them in the same bed. My corn was awesome till some masked bandits decided to try and eat the corn back in July and knocked it all over, it just never came back after trying to stand it back up. Mental note for next yr. No corn or squash. Green peppers didn't do so well either. Jalapenos, tomatoes,beans,snow peas,cukes,zucchini,carrots,lettuce and potatoes did and are doing well. Anyway good luck with the rest of your harvest and god bless, stay safe!��
Anonymous - We're Zone 4 so have the gardening a little easier than you do, it would seem although some years it's a challenge to talk anything in the garden into maturing! Your waist high beds sound wonderful! Just the other day my daughter was picking the last of the beans with me (our raised beds are built right on ground level) and asked if I've ever thought of putting in some beds like yours. I can see how that would be extremely comfortable. Good to hear you've gotten back into gardening and, my gosh, you've done well this year. I hope you stick with it and add a couple more beds next year. You've definitely still got a green thumb and have put it to good use! Thanks for commenting. I'm sending good wishes to you for the rest of your harvest and to stay healthy. All that good homegrown food will go a long way toward that very thing!
Those Ring of Fire flowers are really nice! Cool photo of that one opening. And omg, I had no idea, really? A chainsaw? I didn't know the stems could be that thick and hard to cut!!!
Rain - No, a big exaggeration to say we've needed a chainsaw to take down the sunflower stalks. (But maybe closer than not!) I've actually used an axe to chop up the stems before putting them into the compost. The taller sunflowers are fairly easy to dig out after the season is done because they're rather shallow rooted. But there sure can be a lot of stems and leaves to dispose of!
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