Sunflower Explosion

My minor mania concerning sunflowers started four years ago when friends in Cape Cod sent a few red sunflower seeds from plants growing on the beach next to their home.  The Cape Cod plants were “generated” from seeds that fell out of a bird feeder. My first crop produced pure reds; however, by the second season, other colors started to appear and I collected and sorted the seeds.

This year I started with seventy plants and fifty made it to various levels of maturity. The rest succumbed to the snails and finches. While it has been an extremely cool summer to date, the sunflowers are thriving.

The yellow and yellow-reds are 8 to 10 ft tall with up to 25 blooms or buds at the top of the main stalk and several more buds popping out below.

  • The Cape Cod Reds and Courtway Orange sunflowers are still growing–they usually don’t start blooming until late August.
  • I am hoping that they will get tall enough for me to attempt another sunflower/flag photo similar to the one used in the header to this blog–this time with the reds in the scene.

From a bee perspective, the sunflower blooms are just in time as the bees have nearly exhausted the verbenas.  Now, they are dining on the sunflowers…

Sunflowers tend to need support, which they usually get from each other if planted in groups.  Notwithstanding, they may require some additional human intervention to keep them upright and/or out of the right of way.  

After the reds and Courtway oranges come into bloom, I may work up some macro photos for my photo blog.  For now, I offer this…

NOTE–Depending on your browser, if you click on a photo, a larger version will appear. After it opens, if you click again on the new window, the photo will expand again. Try it on the last photo and you should get a real close up view of the bees.