When I return home from a trip away, I always look forward to seeing what surprises the garden holds, as a lot can change from week to week with some plants dying back and new ones taking their place.
This week, I was delighted to see the sunflowers were in full bloom. Sunflowers are the ultimate "feel good flower", symbolising happiness, strength and faith. They reflect the look of the sun and its energy and, like the sun, provide nourishment and vibrance.
This is the first year I have successfully managed to grow sunflowers because the slugs always get to them first - but this year I discovered the secret. I have been growing them in a large pot by the back door - and the pot has a band of copper tape which the slugs or snails don't dare to cross (because even with their tiny brains, they soon learn that if they try to cross it, they will receive an instant "electric shock" and so they have now learnt to leave the sunflowers alone).
However, I was more than happy to see the bees feasting on the flower heads
The type of sunflower I decided to grow is called Earthwalker. This is partly because I loved the name, but also because it tends to produce several blooms on one stem and last (but certainly not least) because of the rich, range of colours the flowers grow into. They can be anything from bronze,yellow, orange, rust, red, chocolate and each flower can be one or a combination of shades - they are a constant surprise.
So, we have our Earthwalkers sitting right outside our backdoor where we can gaze at them from the lounge. And come the Autumn, once the petals have fallen and the seed heads dried up, the chickens will a have a lovely supply of seeds to enjoy - one of their all time favourite treats. What is there not to like about sunflowers?