Is there any plant more rewarding, that gives you most bang for your buck and puts a bigger smile on your face than a sunflower? If roses can be expensive, utterly time consuming and at times make you want to cry bitter tears, then a border of happy sunflowers is the antidote. Every summer I grow sunflowers, and I like to try a different variety and/or mix each time. This time I purchased the flash blend (see link at bottom of page) from Botanical Interests and, as you can see from the pictures, they grew quite tall (one was measured at over 9 feet) and the yellows were the most dominant hue. For 3 solid months they bloomed their little faces off, and were the hub of activity for birds, pollinators and naughty squirrels. Intermingled with a colorful blend of zinnias, this border was so vibrant you could see it from blocks away and cars would slow down when passing our house to get a better look. Did you grow sunflowers this summer? What is your favorite variety?
These seeds were purchased from Botanical Interests. We didn’t have a border already prepared so I took my usual lazy route, i.e. I laid down cardboard and newspaper right onto the turf and spread about 8 inches of compost on top of that. The seeds (started first in little pots) were planted into the compost when they were about 6 inches high and packed in tightly. This mix includes branching varieties of sunflowers so there were many, many blooms. I had to remove the border this weekend, even though they were still blooming, because they were starting to look very ragged and were missing a lot of seed heads (the squirrels!) but I’m sure they would go strong all the way until frost if I let them.