Sunflowers!

sunflower5It’s safe to say that sunflowers are my favorite flower in the garden. They’re the favorite of many gardeners as well and a sure symbol of summer. Growing well over 6 feet tall (well, most varieties anyway), sunflowers are the happy guardians of the garden. I grow them every year. Even when I lived in an apartment and my garden consisted of pots on my tiny patio, sunflowers were always one of the plants I grew.

Seeds or starts?

I typically always start my sunflowers from seed. They’re very easy to grow so it’s often not worth the bother or expense of purchasing starts. The exception was last year when I waited too long to get the seeds in and had to buy a six-pack of sunflower starts just to ensure I had these sunny flowers in my garden.

 

Bring the sunshine inside

Although in past years I was reluctant to cut my sunflowers, I’ve started doing so and bringing the cuttings inside. Typically, I choose to plant the sunflowers varieties that ‘branch’ so I will still have flowers on the plant, even after I cut a stem to cheer up my home.

 

If you want more garden tips, be sure to sign up for my gardening class on Skillshare.

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Reasons to Plant Calendula

Calendula is one of the easiest flowers to grow. Throw some seeds on the ground and wait a few weeks and you’ll be well on your way to having pretty orange and yellow flowers. Or, you can harvest the seeds and save them to plant or give away.

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Calendula is also an edible flower. Throw them in a salad to add color and get a healthy dose of beta-carotene and anti-oxidants.

 

It’s healing. Calendula has been known as a healing plant. Create a tincture to treat wounds. A calendula salve can help heal scrapes and bruises. As a tea, you can apply it to a compress to ease burns, strains or sprains, or bug bites.

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Leave your plants alone and let the flowers grow and die. Deadhead to encourage more blooms, and spread the seeds to the ground. They’ll readily self-sow, giving you flowers for years.