Sunflowers Under Cover

A few years back, I had to plant my sunflower seeds three times.  The first crop, lovingly planted with my son, disappeared.  I’m not naming names, but I saw this little fella in the neighborhood around the same time.

grey squirrel

Doesn’t he look guilty?

I planted the second batch indoors, then transplanted them, but they were leggy and weak.

Refusing to be outsmarted yet again, I came up with a solution after wandering around the hardware store.  I bought small screens, designed to be placed in windows for about $6 a piece.  Any money I saved buying seeds instead of starter plants went out the window that year, but since then, they’ve proved to be an investment.  I even loaned them to a friend off-season to rabbit-proof one of her plants.  You can read my screen saver tutorial here.

This year, I simply planted the seeds and immediately covered them.  Within two weeks, they’ve sprouted and grown.  Once they’ve set true leaves, I’ll uncover them and off we’ll go.

mouse on deck screen savers

Screen Savers protect this year’s crop

They’re not pretty, but they get the job done and they are only there temporarily. Mouse keeps a close eye on things.

screen savers

Screening allows air and water to circulate

sunflower seeds under screen saver

Budding sunflowers

I planted two varieties this year, both from Botanical Interests®: Sunflower Snacker and Sunflower Florist’s Sunny Bouquet, both Helianthus annuus (hybrid). The Snackers, planted in the back row, will grow 6′ – 8′ tall (1.8 – 2.4 m). The Florist’s Sunny Bouquet are a shorter variety, reaching 4′ – 5′ tall (1.2 – 1.5 m).

Please pop by again for updates. Meanwhile, how do you outsmart the foragers in your neighborhood?

Screen Saver, Garden Style

If you’re looking for a screen saver for your tablet or PC, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong post. If you’re a bit of a klutz like me, however, this post is for you.

I’ve walked into our screen door on more than one occasion, with the full force of my being.  I’m always completely stunned each time, as if it’s never happened before.  Last summer my son’s friend hit the screen with such force that it tore out of its frame.  I felt ever so slightly vindicated. His friend wasn’t hurt of course, and they both laughed it off, but our screen has taken a real beating.  We’ve had to replace it at least twice in the past several years, and didn’t even bother to repair the current one when the lower corner came loose.  The cats immediately claimed it as their own.

After the most recent screen crash, my husband applied a strip of black electrical tape at eye level and called it a day. Though lacking in aesthetics, it was a brilliant idea. It worked.

I’ve tried attaching clever little pins in the past or stickers from my stash, but they never stay put.  Then I found these:

magnetic screen savers

Magnetic Screen Savers

They’re mirrored magnets.  You place one on the inside of the screen and attach the mirrored magnet to the outside.  I think they’re fun in a kitschy sort of way and they get the job done.

Problem solved: screen saver, garden style.**

**Disclaimer: they don’t work when you have a cat snoozing across the door’s threshold. =^..^=

cat in the doorway

Have you every walked through a screen door? You can tell me. I promise not to share it with anyone other than the internet.