It was the middle of August when I picked my first bunch of sunflowers from the allotment, and that seems a while back now. I picked them then as they'd been in flower for a while and it made sense to enjoy them at home. And one month on, I'm still picking bunches of sunflowers to have at home.
It's been fascinating to watch them develop from the tiny seedlings I planted out back at the end of May. Not all of them survived, a row was swamped out by the rhubarb leaves and more were subsequently eaten by the slugs and snails community. But plenty did survive, and there's still more to flower, which is a vast improvement on the one or two that flowered last year.
Admittedly I did sow more seeds than last year, so that goes some way to account for that. But even so I've had a high success rate. On the plot I have them at all stages of their lifecycle, and I think that's right too.
I'll leave the seedheads for as long as I can so the wildlife can also make the most of them. And while I've grown most of them alongside canes, near my runner beans they're not tied into the canes. I think next year I'll grow them separate to the beans, but keep the canes.
Sunflowers are, I think the kind of flowers with personality. Don't believe me? Well, just look these two are deep in conversation!
It's been interesting to see them unfurl - and there's still a few like this, so if the weather is kind i could be picking sunflowers for a while yet.
It's not surprising though that more of them are looking aged and red (in this hot weather I know how they feel), but unlike me they're still managing to look good.
Sunflowers will definitely be on my growing list for next year. What are you definitely growing next year?