Today I thought I’d write about sunflowers.
I love gardening but alas my thumbs are black. I am sometimes able to coax plants to grow, but most of the time, I get to the point where I feel too busy or too lazy or too hot to go out and water them. Sometimes we get really strong rains and my plants drown. On the other hand, we also get heatwaves. And when the temperature reaches 29 deg C and up, I just couldn’t stand going out.
We recently had a heatwave here in Ipswich (highest temp we recently had I think was 43) and all hopes of having a lot of flowers in my garden were dashed, which is too bad because I spend money on plants (who am I kidding? I always wait for them to go on special or clearance!). But still, right?
Anyways… WARM. HEAT. SUN. Ergo, sunflowers. Eh? I know, doesn’t make sense but humour me as I just want to write about my sunflowers.
I first tried to plant KING SUNFLOWERS in 2009. They were at their biggest in March which was right in time for my daughter’s birthday party at home 🙂 That time, I just planted them at the backyard so not too many people noticed them, except the parents and the children who were at the party. I was startled by how gorgeous they look, and most importantly, how HUGE they are. I would go as far as to say the flowers can be bigger than a person’s face (of course there are also times the flowers are embarassingly small for a king sunflower). And did I already say they are gorgeous? Because they are!
Although they do attract bees so you better be careful when you are around them if you don’t want to get stung. But they also attract PARROTS! Yep, parrots!
In my 2011 batch, they paid me a visit. Too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo of the couple of BRIGHT RED PARROTS that were on our fence trying to peck at the sunflower seeds. I was awefully awed by the sight of the bright red and the bright yellow I could only freeze and stare. Such a lovely sight.
The photo on the left shows the flowers and you will notice that the ones at the corner are all facing backwards. Why? I don’t know! I really don’t know — I just pretend that they are embarassed by the weeds growing beside them hahaha.
With a packet of seeds costing only about $1.50 at a discount store, it’s worth the effort. Well actually, not much effort is needed. Just bury a seed underneath some soil, water and in a few weeks, you will see them start shooting up. I know, it feels like forever waiting for them, but it is worth the wait. Believe me.
And when the flowers start to dry up, I normally pull the whole plant out, cut out the flowers, dry them in the sun, pluck out the dried petals, and voila, hundreds and hundreds of more seeds to plant! Isn’t that amazing!