Here comes the sun

It’s time for Jane to plant one of her favourite and most use­ful flow­ers.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Country Smile -

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.

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