04 August 2011

In Praise of Sunflowers

It always blows me away how beautifully intricate sunflowers are.  Typically we see the sunflowers that are sold at farmer's markets or florists, but homegrown sunflowers are different.  Out of a small 1/2" seed, grows this 10 foot tall flower.  The seeds on this one aren't developed yet, but I love looking at the pattern in the center.  My eye makes rings out of the little seeds.  I love how the petals are kind of floppy.  Like those long, skinny, balloons, they are twisted and soft.  I also appreciate how this flower does so much for so many.  You can see the holes in the leaves.  The ants love to climb the fuzzy stalk and eat the tender part of the leaf.  As the flowers mature and the seeds develop, the birds come around...and so do the squirrels.  Last time I grew sunflowers, I came home from work to find them all toppled.  The squirrels, in trying to reach the seeds, had climbed and pulled them down.  The good part was they had knocked the seeds out, and into the ground.  They had planted themselves that year, and come springtime, I had new sunflower seedlings.

As sad as it is when they are finally "gone", it's a beautiful thing.  This beautiful flower supplies me with so much joy in its majesty.  They are always my favorite (and most successful) thing to grow in my garden.

1 comment:

anikohar said...

The sunflowers are really growing my the day - they're huge!