Since that first summer in our own home in the mountains, when my dad planted them for an early autumn crop in our new garden, I have grown to love sunflowers. I find them beautiful, interesting in every stage and from every angle.
I keep making plans to grow a version of Sharon Lovejoy's sunflower house, but I never follow through. This year I got so far as to start seedlings. Two trays and at least three varieties, but alas, I never planted them in the ground. I just let the birds get them.
The birds didn't carry them all too far, though, because we ended up with several volunteers in our entry flower bed. Same place as last year, different variety. This one wasn't as tall but had more flowers, blooming a bit earlier and lasting a tad longer.
As the heads droop, I've been cutting them off and lining them up on our porch railing to dry, thinking I would save the seeds for finally planting that sunflower house next year. Lately, however, I've stepped out there to find seed hulls and sunflower detritus littering the floor.
Finally I caught in the act our gang of sunflower seed thieves and was able to surreptitiously photograph them through the door window (dirty door window I might add, which accounts for some absence of clarity).
A family of Goldfinches.
I can't really blame them. After all I have feeders full of sunflower seeds just on the other side of the house. They must think it's a bonus buffet, like the midnight offerings on a cruise ship.
I suppose I could share...