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The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 1

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

I don't grow the big, annual sun-loving sunflowers. Instead, I have Helianthus Strumosus
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=hest

This is a perennial plan that does very well in shady places such as woodlands. It has rhizomes that spread out aggressively.

Right now, the blossoms are starting to open. They'll keep opening for a few weeks. The bees love them. I love not having to lift a finger to make them grow. I planted them in 2016, and their clump has grown larger every year. They're genetically so similar o Jerusalem Artichoke that the two species can and do pollinate each other.

I hate the taste of Jerusalem Artichoke, but I may be thankful for my sunflowers someday, as their rhizomes are quite nutritious. smiley - ok


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 2

Rosa Baggins, (see LOTR appendix Hobbits Family trees for more information)

I have a giant sunflower plant which has not flowered yet. I got it from the help of the birds dropping sunflower seeds in my raised beds. I have another one next to it, which has only appeared two weeks ago. I am look forward to the flowers appearing. It is at least 6ft tall.


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 3

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

Letting the birds plant your sunflowers for you is great, isn't it?


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 4

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

A Hollyhock (Alcea Rosea) emerged at my gate in spring. They usually grow up to be 2 meters high (six feet) here, but I'm guessing this one is twice as high smiley - yikes

I shall remember to measure it before it lies down to die in a few weeks from now.

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 5

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

Hollyhocks can be biennial or perennial. No one seems able to agree on which. smiley - huh

So, good luck with planning for its care in future years.


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 6

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

The pavement in my driveway needs to be redone, but I'll try to save seeds and make them grow somewhere else next year smiley - smiley

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 7

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

That sounds like a good plan.

Alas, many of the best flowers won't blossom the first year. That includes most hollyhocks and foxgloves.smiley - sadface

If you wanted some that would bloom the same year you planted the seeds, you would need to plant in early Spring. You could try cultivars such as "Indian Summer" or "Marjorette." These may only live one year, though
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/hollyhock-varieties-bloom-planted-60884.html

But if you're happy with the cultivar you've got, you could try starting the seeds indoors to give them the four months they'll need to get big enough to flower
http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Hollyhocks

Good luck. smiley - goodluck


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 8

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

Thanks, but I've been thinking of something else: Digging up all of my backyard - smiley - dontpanic it's only 100 square meters smiley - winkeye - and plant a lot of different willow trees and let them take care of themselves - thereby creating a small wilderness for insects, birds and alley cats. No more lawn mowing! smiley - smiley

First year I will sprinkle a mix of lots of different summer flower seeds inbetween the willow seedlings. If they survive for years to come it will please both me, the insects and the birds. If not, what have I lost? There's only grass now - and weeds, of course.

I hope to do this in a month or two. We'll see.

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 9

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

Willows are a good choice if you hope to have butterflies in your yard. smiley - smiley


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 10

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

I read an article about a guy who did something similar and claims it works wonders for the environment - not only my 100 square meters smiley - smiley

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 11

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

The down side is:
"Willow roots spread widely and are very aggressive in seeking out moisture; for this reason, they can become problematic when planted in residential areas, where the roots are notorious for clogging French drains, drainage systems, weeping tiles, septic systems, storm drains, and sewer systems"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 12

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

I am aware of that and my willows will not be planted near anything they might destroy. In fact they will most likely send there roots the opposite way since there is an area near by where the ground water is quite close to the surface smiley - geek

And anyway I don't see those roots causing problems in my lifetime smiley - whistle

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 13

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

Good points. smiley - smiley

My backyard is now a sea of yellow. smiley - flyhi


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 14

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

"send there roots"? smiley - yikes How could I make such a stupid mistake smiley - wah

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 15

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

It's a shame we can't upload photographs smiley - erm

But congrats on the yellow sea smiley - ok

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 16

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

When my New England asters bloom (soon, I hope), there will be huge amounts of purple mixed in with the yellow

http://www.google.com/search?q=new+england+asters&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=NuZ6SJm3y8Mf2M%253A%252CLmvrZr0D3lqnVM%252C%252Fm%252F043rf9&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kTq5R4XrZL8Dqk0_NuDQ4rJstVSpA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiU54iLhorkAhUqm-AKHbXMDfcQ_B0wCnoECAoQAw#imgrc=NuZ6SJm3y8Mf2M:


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 17

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

a sight for sore eyes smiley - bigeyes

smiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - bigeyessmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petuniassmiley - petunias

smiley - pirate


The bees are going crazy over my sunflowers

Post 18

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

We have some patches of asters along our entrance ramp. They grow to be six or seven feet tall, and when they are in bloom, they look like huge purple clouds smiley - flyhi.

The asters were a low-cost solution for our gardens. I grew them from seed in four biodegradable pots on my windowsill. Now they're gigantic.smiley - magic


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