There's nothing like the bright and happy face of the first -- glorious SUNFLOWER to put a smile on any gardener's face!!!
Cue: Sesame Street...
This is actually a "volunteer" in the Bird Family Garden this year. Because -- after all - once you plant sunflower seeds for the first time? You're ALWAYS going to have sunflowers -- whether you like sunflowers or not. Think of sunflowers as the "gift that keeps on giving."
You'll never eradicate them all -- so put down the blowtorch son.
I must admit -- they do tend to brighten up the yard on a sunny afternoon. There's nothing quite like a morning or get-home-from-work greeting from a sunflower in the backyard. They are always there.
Check that: Most of the time -- they are always there.
You see -- gardeners might have a hard time eradicating the many "volunteer" sunflowers that pop up here and there in the yard. But Mother Nature? She can be quite cruel. One day after blessing the backyard with a bright display of sunflower color and cheer -- the winds kicked up.
Since we live in the Natomas Basin -- aka "wind alley" -- with little in the way of a natural windbreak -- the winds get quite ferocious out here.
Not even a sunflower can stand up to one of nature's sneezing fits -- and we've got a whopper of a windstorm today.
Wind and sunflowers don't mix...
Cue: Funeral March
This is the first sight that greeted the wife and I as we headed out into the Bird Back 40 today. Our shining sunflower? Gone. No -- the wind didn't bend it down. It was a lot worse than that. A sunflower can pop right back up after getting knocked flat by a strong gust.
Unless that strong gust turns into a sustained gust of 30+ MPH -- which is just about enough to snap a sunflower in two.
Unfortunately -- our sunflower -- which was just starting to open wide for the summer -- snapped at the base of the plant.
No more sunflowers for us. Not off this plant anyway.
I have to say -- this will have to go down as one of the strangest growing seasons on record. We didn't get much in the way of a spring in the Sacramento Valley. And just when you think that summer is going to bust out in the month of June? We get the kind of ferocious wind that is normally reserved for March.
I just hope the June Pride peach tree -- which is straight in the path of this blowtorch of a day -- can take it. It would be a shame to lose that harvest -- and would also bring tears to the eyes of a certain gardener in North Natomas...