Summer Sunflowers by Lynn Kirkland
For 20th October
Now is the time to think ahead to clear
blue skies, warm temperatures and the
buzzing of bees.
If you would like the bees to buzz around
your sunflowers then now is the time to
start the first plantings.
Seeds can be sown from this month and
over the next few months. I have successfully
grown these heartwarming sunny flowers
right through until even June one year.
The key is to plant a few of seeds each
month. Mark your calendar with a little
sun icon to remind you of this garden
We save our own seed which always germinates
readily. If you buy the hybrid sunflower
seeds that have been bred to be pollen
free then these will be sterile and it
will be no point saving these seeds.
Sunflowers are regarded as herbs because
they have several uses to people.
Naturally they have great value as an
ornamental herb in the garden.
Sunflowers can be single headed, multiheaded,
tall; dwarf and the flowers can range
in colours from sunshine yellow to bronze.
Colour combinations with your plantings
can be fun too.
Try planting them in with red roses or
pink echinacea for a bright and happy
colour combo. Sunflowers do not have to
be planted along a fence line, but can
be of course.
Sunflowers have economic value as they
are grown commercially around the world
for seed production and for oil.
The leaves make good stock food and for
the lifestyle farmer with a few chickens
try giving the leaves to your poultry.
Rabbits enjoy the foliage as well.
The stems have been used for fibre and
if you let them try they become as hard
as wood and are excellent on the fire.
Medicinally the action of the seeds is
diuretic and expectorant and in Mrs Grieve’s
much respected herbal “A Modern Herbal”,
published in 1931 she has the following
recipe for bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary
affections, coughs and colds and whooping
“Boil 2ozs of sunflower seeds in 1qt
of water down to 12 ozs.
Add 6ozs of good Holland Gin and 6ozs
Give in doses of 1-2 tsps three or four
times a day.”
This is shown for historical interest
and not as a prescription for those with
So think of summer coming and how joyful
a garden can be with sunflowers in it
and think about succession planting so
you can have the joy of them over many
Grove Road, RD10