My Sunflower Journey
I wonder now why I never tried to grow Sunflowers. I have been a flower grower in the past – we had a Gerbera growing business a few years ago, and I’ve done well with a range of orchids too. I’ve driven past acres of Sunflowers too but never thought of growing them. And how I did, was an “accident”.
Woolworths, the supermarket chain, had a promotion on plants where shoppers were given a tiny “kit” with seeds and planting material. I did little with them initially, but I planted some. (I was going to give them away, but everyone seemed to have plenty!)
There were tiny cards with the name of the plant, but I found that when I watered them, the names faded and disappeared, so I had to wait and see what was growing. One plant, with no name, sent up a single stem, which grew nearly 2 feet (60 cms), and a few leaves along the stem. Initially, I did not know what it was. Then at the top, as the leaves deteriorated, one bud erupted at the top. It was a Sunflower.
A Field of Sunflowers
As I write this, we are in lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I can’t wait for it to be over so that I can drive out and see fields of Sunflowers. As I have cancelled several events that I planned to attend, I think I will just get into my car and drive to the nearest fields of these flowers. Here is something to watch. Click here.
Where will I find them?
It may be too early in the season to see Sunflowers in bloom, but when lockdown ends, I will make some inquiries. I’d love to go with my camera and take some shots.
The flower was bright and happy for about five days, and I noticed bees were visiting it. There were several that happily wandered around the centre of the flower before flying off and being replaced by another one. It wasn’t easy to take a photo of the visiting bee, but I did so.
I have since chopped off the withering flower, and now will watch and wait to see if there is any more growth or flowers.
On my shopping list for Bunnings is “Sunflower Seeds” but in lockdown, it is not consi9dered an “essential” reason to shop there, so I will wait for this time to end and race out to get some seeds. Articles tell me that if you soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting them, they will flower around 6-10 days later. So looking forward to that!
It took a while to open, and I had my camera at the ready for any changes. Getting an image showing a bee was challenging. The bees were clearly camera shy and kept in the air for most of the time, but I achieved my goal.
I was surprised to see that Sunflowers were in the bouquets given to winners at the Olympics. And I found out the story, which you can read here
“The Olympic victory bouquets are made of flowers grown in prefectures affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which devastated the country back in 2011. There are sunflowers, gentians, eustomas and Solomon’s seals. The blooms are sourced from the three prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate, which are still undergoing recovery efforts to this day.” – this is some of the wording from the article.
Now I will have to find out about the flowers called gentians, eustomas and Solomon’s seals.