Here comes the sun
It’s time for Jane to plant one of her favourite and most useful flowers.
adiant sunflowers give you so much pleasure and then become food for you and your chooks. They are an instant summer hit with their bright sunny faces and fantastic height. • Sunflowers can be planted any time from now. • They like a well fed loamy soil but are not too fussy so long as there is plenty of fertility and moisture. • I know it’s possible to grow dwarf ones but the traditionalist and sensationalist in me likes Russian Giants and they look fabulous in any garden. • A fence or wall makes a good backdrop and they certainly need some kind of support against wind and rain. • Another option is to plant them in circles and then tie the stems together so they can be mutually supportive. • The young leaves of sunflowers are good in salads, the petals can be used as a dye, bees come buzzing in for the pollen and nectar in the flowers, and the local birds consider the seeds fair game if I leave the flowers too long on their stalks.