A Little About Sunflowers

yellow sunflower poster

Sunflower Poster

Soon the sunflowers will be popping through the soil and by mid-summer their happy blooms will decorate the garden landscape.
Sunflower plants can be tall or short. When mixing varieties be sure to leave enough space between them as they all need lots of sunlight. Seed packs will describe which is which.

Besides bright yellow the petals can be rusty redish orange as in the Autumn Beauty
variety.  (I don’t know what variety this red sunflower is, but it’s pretty.)

red sunflower

Photo by eponaspirit @ Pixabay

I used to plant sunflower seeds until I realized that the squirrels were digging them up as fast as I could plant them! My gardening space is very small, so I don’t need many sunflowers, but a few are nice to have. Because I feed sunflower seeds to the birds in winter, I always have a few volunteers that grow on their own. All I have to do is weed out the ones that are too close together and let the others survive. Of course they don’t always sprout where I would prefer they live, but I can’t be picky. It’s that or no sunflowers, and a summer without sunflowers is just not right!
Here is a picture of my garden last year.

backyard garden scene

My Backyard Garden – 2014

My ‘Celebrity’ tomatoes looked so wonderful right up until they developed late blight, just as they were almost ready to pick, and I never got to eat them.  It was very depressing.
I like the fact that sunflowers grow beautifully on their own.  Usually they mature and have plenty of seeds to feed the birds.  The goldfinches love them.  Although, I have had squirrels climb the stalk and chew off the stem to steal the entire flower! Those little buggers are a real nuisance. Now that I have cats prowling the yard, I haven’t had that problem.
I did however have big green grasshoppers chewing on the flowers. It’s always something. But they were so interesting that I let them eat and got some photos.
grasshopper eating a sunflower

Pictures of Pansies

pictures of pansies white

White Pansies by kapa65 at Pixabay

One of the favorite cool weather flowers is the little pansy.  The pansy is hardy and easy to care for.  In spring they are in all the local stores and are sold like made.  Everyone is ready to brighten their lives with some color after a cold gray winter.  Pansies come in hanging baskets, urns, peat pots, and arrangements.  They are presented just about every way possible.

Many pansies are purple.  And many have purple petals mixed with other colors.  But these happy face flowers come in yellow, orange, white, lavender and red, and combinations of all those colors, as you can see by the pictures of pansies below.

yellow and purple pansy

Photo by ckindschuh at Pixabay

purple and orange pansies

pansy red pansies

Photo by bineshab at Pixabay

pale pink peach pansy

Pale Pink Pansy by Shirley at Pixabay

lavender blue violet pansy

Potted Purple Pansies by cocoparisienne at Pixabay

orange pansies pansy

Orange pansies by bykst at Pixabay

white purple pansy flower

White with Purple by wmope at Pixabay

All these pansy photos are free for use and can be found at the Pixabay site. Many thanks to the photographers for capturing the beauty and variety of these little flowers.

Cold Weather Crops: Lettuce

lettuce growing garden

Growing Lettuce

Some of the best cold weather crops include lettuce. I sprinkle the seeds into my raised bed where I don’t have to worry about disturbing the ground unintentionally. Tomorrow is Saturday and I’ll be outdoors cleaning up the yard a bit. There is a lot to do. I live downhill from the road, and my front yard is right on the road. What this means is that all the sand and salt from the winter plowing and snow-blowing is covering some of my gardens and lawn. There is always a lot of raking to do to remove the old leaves, and the sand along with them. The wheelbarrow has been buried, but I think it’s reachable by now.

I’ll check at Job Lots and see if they have seed packs. Lettuce is easiest to grow from seed. I had good luck with the mixed lettuce seeds last year. I grew some in Spring and Fall, cutting off the small leaves as they grew.

5 Free Pictures of Blue Hydrangeas

Because my blog is mainly about hydrangea plants and flowers, I thought I’d bring to attention some pictures of blue hydrangea flowers that are free to use as you please. Download any size on the Pixabay site  (click on the image to view the page at their site) and use on your blog, website, stationery, and printables. These pictures can also be used commercially, with no need to give credit to the photographer, or site. Of course they would love it if you do.
I’ll also do other colors like green, pink and white. (Coming soon.)  In a few months I should have some photos of my own to add.
Here you go.   Click the image if you can use it yourself.   Continue reading

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