This year Ofer experimented and let the volunteer sunflowers grow in the strawberry patch. The idea was that the sunflowers would provide some protection in our hot yard so the strawberries would grow better. It seems to have been somewhat helpful, especially in the earlier stages of the summer season. The sunflowers were not too big and their leaves provided much needed shade.
As the summer has progressed, though, we’ve found that the sunflowers are getting too big and spreading out too much. They then become heavy and tend to fall over if not properly staked. We have gotten some nice strawberries, but as many or as large as we had hoped. The little strawberries that we have had were sweet and delicious.
The sunflowers, on the other hand, have been especially beautiful this year. All of them are volunteers from previous plantings. The giant sunflowers have been very attractive to human and bird visitors alike. It is so fun to see the birds perching on the tops of the tall, gorgeous stalks towering over the strawberry beds. When the heads mature, we like to take them into the chicken yard as a feast for the chickens.
The bees always buzz around the sunflowers, too! I wonder how much the sunflowers figure in the flavor of the honey we recently got from our beehive?
One day, I was out wandering through the garden and observing all of the glorious sunflowers. I noticed that there was a wonderful sequence of blooming happening right before my eyes! Here’s a photo version for you to enjoy.