Sunflower Power: Still Number One

I’m a firm believer in one of the following two clichés:

  • Variety is the spice of life.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.

Can you guess which one?

Emerging Sunflower

Emerging Sunflower, 2013

sunflower 2012

Sunflower, 2012

Sunflower going to seed 2011

Sunflower going to seed, 2011

sunflower packet

Hope blooms from a packet of seeds

Did you guess?

I love the variety a garden affords. When you live and play in California soil, variety abounds. That said, I have three garden favorites that appear year after year: pumpkins, tomatoes and sunflowers.

My top three favorites never breed contempt. For over a decade now, sunflowers make the list. One tiny seed leads to a magnificent flowering plant, growing a majestic 5 – 12 feet (1.5 to 4 meters) or more. As they grow, they attract  beneficial insects.  They’re a huge favorite with the bees.  Sunflowers produce a mass of seeds which we generally ‘offer’ the squirrels at season’s end. The bright yellow flower is my favorite anyway, so I’m happy to share the remaining spoils.

How about you: variety, familiarity or a little of both?

sunflower collage 2013

Sunflowers, 2013

Also from gardeningnirvana:

11 thoughts on “Sunflower Power: Still Number One

  1. I love growing sunflowers and last year they were magnificent! But this year, every time a seedling appears, the geese eat them. I keep planting and they keep eating. I finally screened off one area where I planted them and sprinkled some cayenne pepper around the tender seedlings. I hope they will reach maturity. I love them too!


    • Betsy, I had the same problem last year but with squirrels. I finally devised a screen as well and they finally had a chance to grow.

      This year I started some from seed and some as starters. I have one surviving plant from seed, but the others look great.

      Best of luck!


    • Thanks, Marlene! I had a scare last week with the heavy winds. I had to strap the flowers to the back of a bench to keep them from bending at the knees. I’m glad I came home when I did.

      I’ll keep you posted.


  2. Such beautiful flowers you have! I have been trying desperately to grow sunflowers in my garden, I would even be happy with just one single sunflower to enjoy, but I have a big fat ground squirrel that always gets the sprouts no matter what I do! At least he is cute 🙂


  3. So cool, to have 12 foot giant flowers in your garden! WOW, Do you have to stake those ones Alys? I remember seeing acres of them planted in France…what a site. I’ve never planted but the birds spilt so many seeds they would self sow. I let them grow ‘oh natural’ in one spot and they looked really cute. None really super tall but I got a few good heads to dry. I’d love to watch your squirrels visiting the sunflower heads! I go for a different variety every year in my pots but my garden was mostly perennials, so I guess that was a little predictable. I guess I’m both…ha a garden enigma.


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