Sunflower crazy

I made the happy mistake of wandering onto an online seed catalog recently and unintentionally set the target for 2011 – we’re going to have lots and lots of sunflowers growing in our garden in a few months!

It was pretty amazing seeing how many varieties of the flower there are – from dwarf to giant sizes, single to multi-flowered and plain to multi colours. Having just succeeded in growing the normal sunflower, my appetite was whetted for more…much more. So, after traipsing through a couple of online stores, I’m all set to grow sunflowers of all heights and colours…

The differing heights of the various sunflower plants I intend to try growing. Did you know there was such a variety of them available? I didn't! :o

Yes, folks, it’s official – I am a sunflower fanatic! :D My first round of planting these varieties will be to see if and how they grow – I’ve heard some are quite temperamental, but I’ve got to try! After that… well, we’ll see! I’m still committed to my other plants, but the idea of a garden full of sunflowers is so appealing! Especially with the sheer variety of plants selected.

When a sunflower finishes blooming, the head droops and the flower starts drying up as the seeds continue ripening in the flower head. You have to wait if you want to harvest seeds.

The downside is, of course, the period after the flowers bloom and we’re waiting for the seeds to ripen. Watching the plants die slowly isn’t such a wonderful sight, so those that can will probably be planted in pots that can be moved around, and those that can’t will be inter-planted with more long-lived plants to conceal their dying state. I should be able to pull that off – and I want to, because I intend to harvest the seeds. To do this, you have to allow the seeds to ripen on the plant, and this happens even as the flower slowly dries up. It looks ugly, but, hey, some of those seeds are edible! (And the rest can be planted!)

It took about 2-3 weeks from placing the order for the seeds to arrive. They were all packaged neatly, and came with growing instructions for each set of seeds. I was absolutely fascinated by the sizes of the seeds – ranging from just 5mm to 15mm “big”. And the range of colours was intriguing, too – plain white, black, gray & white stripes, shades of brown… lovely! You just know I was playing with those packets for quite a while… ;)

Sunflowers: The Next Generation (Part 1)... Taiyo, Ebony & Gold, Music Box and Velvet Queen

The good news is (for me, anyway), I’ve got more seeds on the way! I guess placing the first order was like opening Pandora’s Box for me! :D That’s why I decided to go all out and try the range of sunflowers that I eventually chose. It is going to be so much fun!

Some planting has already been done (although I really should wait for less rainy weather …but I’m impatient!), and of course you will get updates as we go along.

In the meantime, here’s wishing you all a beautiful, bountiful 2011 – Happy New Year! 8)

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Sunflower crazy — 12 Comments

    • I’ll get creative later in the year. First round will be to see if/how they grow here. ;) Wouldn’t it be great to be able to coordinate it so all of them are in bloom at the same time? *swoon* :D

    • I’m sorry, my friend, but the seedlings in the picture were wiped out by caterpillars :( You have to bide your thieving time while I get new plants started… :P

    • Yup, I want to find out which variety they are, too. Seems like the weather is beginning to improve, so I should start the seeds soon!