The crescent garden behind the garage was intended to become a perennial flower bed. Best laid plans and all that... I haven't managed to put a single perennial in this bed since it was created three years ago. Instead it has become an annual flower bed. Dahlias, cosmos and sunflowers filled the space this year.
|Dahlias bookend a bed filled with orange cosmos and bright sunflowers|
I decided to spice things up this year by growing a variety of sunny blooms. In early summer the first flowers to emerge were Ruby Eclipse.
These pretty blooms feature red centers fringed with yellow. The plants stand approximately 5 feet tall. I found the actual stalk and leaves on this plant to be rather sparse. Not so pretty in the garden then but perfect for cutting. I had a similar issue with Chianti.
These were also early blooming and stood around 5 feet tall. The plants were rather skimpy looking but the dark red blooms would be stunning in a bouquet.
Once the cosmos began to bloom the bed became a sea of orange and yellow. I wasn't paying close attention and almost missed these.
Teddybear sunflowers have very large blooms on a very tiny plant. Mine only grew about a foot tall. I had no idea they would be so small which explains why I almost missed them.
The teddybear in the photo above is standing off to the side so he was easy to spot but many of the teddybears got mixed in with the cosmos and became completely hidden from view. Maybe the cosmos are just too tall?
From the shortest we go to the tallest. The big blooms come right at the end of the summer season.
|Giant sunflowers and dahlias decorate the far field in late summer|
A new addition this season was Mammoth Grey Stripe. At 10 - 12 feet high these are some of the biggest flowers I have ever grown.
I had to hold my camera up as high as I could and shoot blind to get this photo.
Of all the varieties I have grown the giants are my favourite. They are the classic sunflower. Tall plants with big smiley flowers that I can see from my kitchen window, an acre away. In the fall I love watching bluejays arrive to pick the flowers clean of seeds.
Do you grow sunflowers? What's your favourite variety?