Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Sunflower trees in the garden this year

Sunflower trees, 2009, tied to the fence
Day 182
The Daily DuBrule

Every year my garden is filled with sunflower trees that I don't plant. The birds plant them. It is a never-ending cycle. In August the sunflowers blossom and set seed. The happy goldfinches flit from plant to plant, singing their joyous song, brightening my world and making me smile. As they eat, they drop extra seed on the ground. Next year, this seed will sprout and grow more sunflowers to feed the goldfinches. I just have to allow it to happen.

This year the sunflowers have gotten so big that they are trees in my garden. Earlier in the season I thinned many of them out and kept a select few. I removed many of the lower leaves to allow light in to the vegetables below. All was going well until we started having intense thunderstorms. The gusty winds have started to topple my sunflowers. They literally twist and fall over at the waist. I don't have a stake big enough or strong enough to stop this from happening. My only option is to cut off the flowers and put them in a vase and then saw down my sunflower tree trunks. 

The goldfinches are still here and I still have sunflowers but they must be wondering what the heck is going on. They adore the 'Lemon Queen' perennial sunflowers as well, and I have lots of them, so there is no danger of them going hungry or moving on to greener pastures. But, I hate to see these magnificent, stately beauties crash to the ground.

This happened once before, back in 2009. My courtyard was new and I had very few plants in the ground. I let the sunflowers sprout and they became massive trees. I tried staking them but eventually resorted to tying them to the fence with heavy twine in order to enjoy them for the entire season.

I expect this sunflower cycle will continue as long as I garden on this land. Despite the challenges, the goldfinches and I are enjoying the bounty. May the circle be unbroken.

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