I’ll be growing sunflowers…

Fran's sunflowersagain this year as they are one of my favourite flowers.  I haven’t done too well with them the last couple of years, thanks to slugs and the weather, so I’m hoping to do better this year.

I’ve chosen three varieties to give me a range of colours and heights.  All are attractive to bees and butterflies, as well as birds later on once the seeds have formed.

Mongolian Giant is, as the name suggests,  a 14 feet/4 metres (!) variety that has huge yellow flower-heads, and seeds that are an inch long.

Musicbox is a dwarf variety that only grows to around 30 inches/70cm. The dark-centred flowers come in a range of colours including cream, mahogany and yellow.

Valentine grows to 5 feet/1.5 metres or so with lovely lemon-yellow flowers with an almost black centre.  This variety is a popular cut flower as it has long, strong stems.

I’m also taking part in The Big Sunflower Project where the only criteria is that I’m willing to have a go at growing some sunflowers and sharing my photos and stories with the project about how I get on.

Sunflowers 'Ring of Fire'I’ll do periodic posts through the year about my efforts from sowing in the spring through to flowering during the summer and beyond.

It’s said that sunflowers (Helianthus annuuus)  bring out the happy child in everyone, and they certainly do with me!

 

Happy gardening, and have a good week!

 

[Note that the two pictures are random ones from my media library and not of the  varieties mentioned above]

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About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
This entry was posted in A good cause, Flighty's plot. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to I’ll be growing sunflowers…

  1. Sue Garrett says:

    I’ve grown Music Box for several years now. I prefer the low growing sunflowers as I’m only low growing too and also we have very strong winds on the allotment. I think I may have a change this year and grow a variety called Toy Shop also low growing.

  2. Awesome update thank you for sharing have a blessed new growing season

  3. Lovely….I had a good show last year with a packet of mixed seeds. They were the tall ones and some had the lovely orange strip in the leaves. The birds had many feasts on their seeds later on. I have saved lots of seeds to sow again this year. Looking forward to seeing your progress too. x

  4. Jo says:

    A good selection. The sunflowers I grew from seed last year weren’t very successful but I had some self seeders underneath the bird feeder from seed which had been dropped. They were a lovely surprise when I saw them growing and they bloomed beautifully. I left the seed heads and the birds have been feasting on them.

  5. Liz says:

    It will be fun to chart your progress with your chosen sunflower varieties this year. Last year was the first time in my life that I grew sunflowers — can you believe?! And, they brought such pleasure.

  6. Chloris says:

    I love sunflowers but the ones I grew last year were so huge that they needed scaffolding to keep them up. I haven’ t devised a method to keep them growing upright. I shall be interested to follow the progress of yours this year.

  7. annie_h says:

    I too love sunflowers and grow as many as I can on my plot. You can’t have too many, I also struggle with the slugs that also love sunflowers so I try and grow mine on in pots till a bit bigger and can have a bit more of a chance but it can be a bit fiddly.
    I’ve never heard of ‘Music Box’ will look into those but I have grown ‘Valentine’ which is lovely. I grew a lovely orange variety called Earthwalker from Chiltern Seeds last year, it was great, a range of orangey/bronze shades and great for cutting. Bees love them too!
    Look forward to following your progress.

    • Flighty says:

      Annie good for you. I agree and just wish I had room to grow more than I do. Reluctantly I do use organic slug pellets round mine.
      I have grown Earthwalker in the past. Me too. xx

  8. menhir1 says:

    How nice to see a sunny flowery aspect. Good luck with the project of growing your choices and the project itself. xxx

  9. Mongolian Giant sounds like it could be spectacular. Good luck, Flighty.

  10. CJ says:

    Lovely photos, and the varieties for next year sound great. Mine weren’t particularly good last year. I like dark red ones, I shall try them again this year. CJ xx

  11. Oh Sunflowers are just glorious – hope they all do well.

    … and a Happy New Year

    All the best Jan

  12. snowbird says:

    I love sunflowers too, inch long seeds should provide the birds with a veritable feast! Good luck with them, I’ll look forward to seeing how you get on. I’ve heard that sunflowers should be moved about as they poison the ground they grow in to prevent other plants competing with them. I always grow mine in a different spot each year now.xxx

  13. My niece is 5 and loves sunflowers so I have bought some Russian Giant seeds yesterday to try on the plot, will be my first time 😊

    • Flighty says:

      Annabelle hello, and welcome. I’m not surprised as most children seem to. Good for you, and good luck. They like a rich soil, beware of slugs when the plants are small and stake them well.
      Children also like the variety Teddy Bear, which being a dwarf variety can be grown in a container. xx

  14. This is such a good idea! I emailed to ask for seeds for our allotments and received a reply almost straight away. Thanks for telling us about it. xx

  15. Joanne says:

    They look good, I’d like to grow a small selection myself x

  16. Caro says:

    I haven’t had a good look through the seed catalogues yet but sunflowers will definitely be on the list of flowers to grow. Amazingly, one of my neighbours who overlooks the garden doesn’t like sunflowers – I think they remind her of unhappy times. A shame, I think, as they’re such cheerful flowers. I shall try low growing sunflowers this year, although there’s nearly always one or two very tall self-seeders that pop up. Caro x

    • Flighty says:

      Caro I think that they’re a must grow flower for most people. That’s sad as they tend to make most people smile. There’s plenty of choice with the dwarf varieties. I won’t be surprised if I get a few self-seeders appear. xx

  17. What amazing colours and varieties there are in sunflowers. I wish you lots of luck

  18. karengimson says:

    I love sunflowers. I’m going to try some new types this year too. Good luck with your growing. I look forward to seeing the photos and hearing how you get on 😉

  19. nikkipolani says:

    I do hope the weather will cooperate for you — and maybe the slugs will find something else to pester! The sunflowers are so cheery. There’s nothing like seeing them en masse.

  20. Pingback: Mike – The Big Sunflower Project

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