Here Come the Sunflowers

Can You Find the Bee?

I really like sunflowers.  For one, they grow two crops: first flowers and then birds (when our avian co-residents come for the seeds).  Jim and I like the flowers, and the cats like watching the birds.  Actually, we humans enjoy watching the birds, too.  Good all around.

If you look closely at this picture, you can see that the bees also enjoy the sunflowers.

This year, we discovered another reason to appreciate sunflowers.  Almost by chance, we planted some at the far western end of one of our raised beds.  Once they got started, we realized that, with their large leaves and thick stems, the sunflowers were providing a sun screen that ameliorated the temperature in what had been, to that point, one of the hottest of our beds.  As an added bonus, the stems are providing a natural trellis for the tepary beans.

I’m already making plans for expanding this natural sunbreak to another bed next year.

But for now, we’re quite happy just to enjoy what we have.

(P.S.  For the gardeners among us, the variety in the photo is called Candy Mountain Hybrid.)

4 Responses to “Here Come the Sunflowers”

  1. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    Bees and sunflowers 🐝🌻 two of my favorite things! I have taken a lot of pictures of bees, sunflowers, and bees on sunflowers.

    I really should plant some on the east side of my house, outside my bedroom window to filter some of that blazing morning summer sun! Thanks for the reminder that they provide great shade.

  2. Jane Says:

    My sister plants sunflowers. She had to be more careful this year. Last year they got out of hand and she had too much shade. Some of hers got to 8.5-9′ tall. Cutting them down in the fall took some work! They do look great. She enjoys the birds that come in for the seeds too.

    • janelindskold Says:

      That’s terrific. I’m not completely sure there is such a thing as too much shade here… Ours are currently about 8 feet high. The wild variety gets much taller, and the stalks are sapling sized. Plants are AMAZING.

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