They Follow the Sun

My sunflowers have started blooming and as I look at them, I realize I didn’t put much thought into planting them.  I made random decisions about the type of sunflower seeds I planted and as a result, I have a disappointing row of sunflowers this year.

One type of sunflower I planted was called “Ring of Fire.”  I planted this variety because I like the Johnny Cash song “Ring of Fire.”  I used poor logic in selecting a sunflower variety.  People make bad decisions based on bad data every day; I’m glad it was only sunflowers at stake and not a week’s pay.

Sunflowers are easy to grow.  They will grow just about anywhere; they thrive in rich soil and poor.  There are many varieties ranging from 5 inches tall to 14 feet tall.  There are single stem sunflowers, which produce only one flower per stem; there are branching sunflowers which are like shrubs with lots of flowers on multiple stems.  The classic sunflower face is brown with yellow petals.  A yellow-faced flower with yellow petals is beautiful too.

Sunflowers have “heliotropism”, meaning their heads turn from East to West each day, following the sun until they reach full maturity and stop growing.

Tithonia is a Mexican sunflower and Helianthus is sometimes called a “false” sunflower.

Vincent Van Gogh painted sunflowers.

One of Uncle Bob’s friends left a flat of sunflower seedlings in the garden this spring.  I was skeptical because sometimes, Uncle Bob’s friends play jokes on him, but I planted most of them in my home garden and 2 of them in the Hampton Victory Garden anyway.

I don’t know the official name of these sunflowers, but they are tall, single stem sunflowers.  They haven’t opened up yet, but it looks like they will have yellow faces and petals.  The ones I planted in The Hampton Victory Garden are currently 12 feet tall!

Sunflower trees!

I’m studying sunflower facts, properties, and varieties right now.  I want to make good decisions next January when I order my seeds.  Thank you, Mr. Nadeau, for leaving such a simple and wonderful gift for me this spring.  At least I’ll have a few decent sunflowers this summer.

How are you sunflowers this year?

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