susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Dog Days of Summer

I’ve spent (most) every morning this summer
at my vegetable garden,
before it gets too hot to work outside.
The flower garden has been on its own,
save for some deadheading of blossoms.
(It is called ‘survival of the fittest’ 🙂

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Helianthus is a perennial sunflower
that grows at my house
as tall (or short, depending on your view) as I am.
Many years ago, I ordered it from a catalog.
The original location had its flowers attacked by bugs,
so I divided my plant and
moved part to the other (south) side of the house.
Bugs have not discovered these blossoms,
and the plant has flourished.
On the other hand, the rhizomes are quite invasive
and it is a battle to keep this plant contained.
* * * * *

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Sunflowers in my garden.
I planted 2 packets of shorter sunflowers,
but none came up.
Was I surprised to see these volunteers
come up in a corn bed.
The sunflowers dominated corn seedlings
at a very early stage of growth.
As the flower matures,
petals drop off and seeds start to develop.
Long-stemmed flowers look beautiful in a vase,
but a few days later pollen falls and makes a mess.
(Just a forewarning!)
* * * * *

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Rudbeckia or Black-Eyed Susan are prolific
late-summer bloomers.
Their rhizomes are also invasive,
as I dig them out from other plants annually.
They are beautiful cut flowers and last a week in a vase.

 


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Sunflowers Attract

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The bees and wasps love these late flowering gems.

Like ‘brothers from the same mother’, the seeds of these plants came from the same envelope.

I will not cut these flowers to bring inside, but leave them to go to seed so the birds can enjoy them later in the season.

Here is a photo of the sunflowers in their beds:
(they are very tall)

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Red Sunflower with Bee

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I attended a party recently where someone brought about a dozen budded sunflowers to share.  Of course I took one home to plant in my garden.  What a cool surprise when it bloomed red-orange.  The bees like it a lot, also.  This is not near as tall as a yellow sunflower with a giant head full of seeds that grows 8 to 10 feet tall.  The flower pictured above is about 3 feet (one meter) high, at most.


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Helianthus Lemon Queen, a Sunflower

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The sunflower family includes so many flowers, from giant heads to very tiny.  From short to very, very tall.  This particular example is a perennial with showy blooms just a few inches across.  Deer find them tasty, so they grow in flower jails (cages) on my property.  Some insect also finds the blossoms delicious, as the petals are very uneven and often disappear before the bloom is finished.

I purchased starters for this plant from a mail-order catalog, a rarity for me.  Years later in my flower gardening path, I found the catalog and can see how the company makes money on this and many others they offer for sale.  They multiply easily.  I have shared this plant with as many people as I can get to take it.  Though it is pretty, it can definitely take over an area.