Sunflowers and More!

I  never know what will happen when I throw seeds in the ground in the spring.  This year I was pleased with the sunny sunflowers that grew up in my un-mowed “meadow.”

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Sunflowers and coneflowers grow in grassy area.  Zinnias are on the right and Joe Pye Weed in the background.

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Sunflower and purple coneflowers.

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Sunflower with bee.  I saw a lot of different bees and flies on these flowers.

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I planted dwarf sunflowers called “Elves Blend,” and I liked the variety.

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By now the goldfinches have removed the petals and picked away at the seed center on this flower.

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I shot this American goldfinch picture from the kitchen this evening, working on a coneflower.

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This very small butterfly or moth was working on the Joe Pye Weed, which also attracts a lot of pollinators.

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The giant zinnias are looking good now and they are loved by the goldfinches and butterflies.

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Swamp milkweed with black-eyed Susans and Russian sage in the background.

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Black-eyed Susans and Miscanthus ornamental grass ‘morning light.’

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The yellow cherry tomatoes have been fantastic this year.  They are so sweet!  This time of year I spend more time with the vegetables than flowers.  I am picking them and making salads or cooking them and eating them…..

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I usually plant three or four varieties of tomatoes and see which ones are best.  These Bonnie Originals have been wonderful this year.

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Zucchini

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A rabbit has moved into the yard, but mostly seems interested in eating the clover in the grass.

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Our next door neighbor called us over to look at the snake they found sunning in front of their house.  We wondered what kind it was for a while.  It turns out it was a python and a neighbor in the area collects snakes and it must have escaped.  I am glad I did not come across it in our yard….and glad it got safely back to the neighbor!

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Northern Cardinal at the birdbath.  The day lilies add some color.

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In July this bird was in our yard for a while.  I think it is a juvenile Baltimore Oriole.

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One day some northern flickers came for an ant meal.  This handsome male was poking around this tiny bird house I call my bug house.

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I snapped a picture of a cicada on the pole beans.

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The black chokeberries on the bush I planted in the spring seem to be ripening now.  Apparently they are edible, but need a lot of sugar, so best in jellies and jams, which I probably will not make.  Let’s see if the birds like them.

11 thoughts on “Sunflowers and More!

  1. scribelady

    I really enjoyed your pictures–except, I have to admit, of the snake. I came home from work today too late to really enjoy our flowers, so it was a beautiful treat to see yours.
    Our sunflowers didn’t do well at all, but the miniature zinnas are blooming wonderfully. I spooked a rabbit in the front yard. I told him to leave the zinnas alone.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the sunflowers! I have not always had success either. This year I bought fresh seeds of this dwarf variety and the rain and sun were with me. But I think they shaded out some new little bluestem grass I planted in the same area. You win some and you lose some! I think the rabbit may have chewed the sunflowers last year, just as they were getting started. I love zinnias of all varieties!

      1. scribelady

        I didn’t plant the sunflowers in the best spots for them to succeed; I planted where it was easier for me to dig! (Our ground has a lot of rock and clay.) I think to get them to do well I’d need to select a spot that gets the sun, dump a lot of topsoil on it and go from there.

        Years ago I used to have a bird feeder under the side porch. I put black-oil sunflower seeds in it. Every now and then I saw a chipmunk in the front yard. One day I saw a little sunflower growing near the sidewalk. Soon we had a nice display of sunflowers straight along the sidewalk, and in front of the living room window. (I couldn’t have done as nice a job of planting them!) The chipmunk gave us a lot of beauty and enjoyment through that summer! I took a couple pictures to remember them by.

  2. Claire Mays Poumadere

    Hi, I’m repeating a question I left in “About” section:
    Can you tell us a bit about why you chose JoePyeWeed as a handle?
    I just learned from today’s post that it is a nice pink flowering weed!

    1. I replied in the “About” section…. The Joe Pye Weed in my garden is actually a cultivar – ‘Gateway’. It is a perennial that does better some years than other years, but is especially pretty just as the blooms start to open. The pollinators love it when it is looking very messy. It is a pretty option for the back of a border and looks nice with purple coneflowers. It is late coming up in the spring, so you have to make sure you leave that space open in the garden. I used to have another cultivar called ‘Little Joe’ that I thought was even prettier, but it did not survive in my garden. The actual native Joe Pye Weed is a shade loving plant that blooms mid-summer in the forests and other places.

    1. Huh! Well we have a very small shrub that probably has not been discovered yet, but I hope it continues to produce chokeberries to please the birds in the years to come.

    1. Thank you for identifying the butterfly! The goldfinches were really attacking the sunflowers today, but that means that they are paying less attention to the big zinnias, and those flowers are nicer for the visiting butterflies.

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