Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Year of Sunflowers

It feels like months ago I started reviewing this year's garden photos, deleting the excesses that digital photography seems to bring with it.  And here I am still, slowly working my way through the images.  I looked at my posts throughout the summer and compared it to the photos.  It seems I took far more photos than I actually posted.  Lots of time spent with the camera but not nearly as much spent writing about the goings on in the garden.

Ruby Eclipse sunflower
A good portion of my photos this year were of sunflowers.  I've never had a garden sunny enough to grow these before and I was thrilled to grow my own for the very first time.  Apparently I photographed them every step of the way.  Starting with the shoots that immediately grew gigantic heart shaped leaves.

Those shoots then formed buds which contained massive spikes encasing the jewel inside.

Slowly emerging

into a flower

The flowers with the red center are called Ruby Eclipse and formed many flowers on each plant.  The yellow flowers were a breed called Giganteus.  Only one large flower formed on each stalk.

Much taller than me at 5 feet 6 inches but not so high the bees can't reach them.

And then the petals began to fade and fall

Leaving behind seeds which the birds plucked and ate.

Some of the blooms were left to fade in the garden and sprinkle their seeds

Others appeared in mysterious locations


  1. I loved seeing the life of a sunflower in one post! I can see why it was a photographic favorite.

  2. Sunflowers are one of my favorites. I love that the birds found yours! Wishing you many more garden triumphs in 2012!

  3. That's beautiful. Your inspiring me to grow more varieties of sunflowers next year. When you went to Powder King was it called that or was it Azu? I've been skiing there with my family for 15 years. We went there again on Christmas Eve. I agree, it is a great place :)

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  5. Lovely. We tried sunflowers one year but with no success maybe next year we should try again. Your pictures are so pretty.

  6. Love your sunflowers!
    Best wishes for 2012

  7. Is it any wonder why Van Gogh painted the sunflower so many times? When you think that all of that glory started with just one seed - it's miraculous indeed!

  8. Great photos of a fabulous flower. Like it's life story in this post.

  9. What a nice tribute to a beautiful flower we all love.
    Now you have really gotten me in the gardening mode so I may plant some mini sunflowers in pots and see how well they do on my windowsills. Right now I have a beautiful pink orchid (superstore parted with them for $10.00) and a couple of poinsettia's.
    The colours of your Sunflower was very pretty. Have you ever tried Autumn beauties? They are also colourful.

  10. Holley - I didn't realize I had taken photos from start to finish but when I finally reviewed the photos I realized how captivated I really was with these plants.

    Karin - it was surprise as with few trees and shrubs we don't have a lot of bird activity but every time I went down this end of the garden I seemed to disturb birds feeding on these seeds.

    Melanie - I'm very tempted to try a new variety or two myself. These guys are addicting!

    Johanna - I think the trick is lots of warmth and light. I remember trying them in my mom's garden which was slightly shady and they just rotted away.

  11. Lea - best wishes to you too! looking forward to exploring new virtual gardens in the new year.

    Jane - and how small really the seeds are! Those giant flowers really are giant, it's amazing to stand next to them. I cut a couple down with a small saw.

    Kentish - very true. To me it's like watching the summer pass looking at these photos. I waited so long to see those blooms and was sad when they came as I knew the warm days were coming to an end.

    Witch - you're reminding me I need to repot my orchid!! must get that done, it's long long overdue. I am really tempted to buy teddy bear sunflowers this year and I've seen those autumn beauties, the russet colour is fabulous.

  12. I really love the Ruby Eclipse sunflower. It's so pretty! I always let a few bird seed sunflowers grow in the garden. They seem to epitomize summer.

  13. Deb, I think you need to take about 50 OK photos for every great shot---the proportion could be even higher. But you are right, slimming down the leftovers is onerous especially if you see the good in all things. The sunflowers series turned out beautifully. Happy New Year, Carolyn

  14. I am not sure where Deb came from---could you change it to Marguerite---brain overload.

  15. I loved how they appear in mysterious locations. Birds have finally found my neighbor's stash. All gone in one day.

  16. I, too, have been growing sunflowers here. They do very well, except when slugs and chipmunks and squirrels steal the seeds and demolish the seedlings!
    Great pics!