Alongside vegetables and fruit crops, many people like to grow flowers on their allotment. Cut flowers from the supermarket can be expensive & often flown halfway around the world. It's nice to be able to cut a few flowers to take them home with your veg. My Mum had the great idea of growing a row of sunflowers on our plot so that we could cut them to have in a vase at home.
However, it didn't turn out quite as planned, we have had a couple small enough to put in a vase, but most of the sunflowers have grown to a massive size. The seed packet didn't say they were giant sunflowers, in fact the actual plants are pretty short, about hip-height, but the flower heads are huge!
It doesn't matter that we haven't been able to take many home to put in a vase because the bees have loved them. Vegetable crops can survive without pollinators, so we've been more than happy to see bees all over the sunflowers. Also, if you leave sunflower heads to dry, birds like to eat the seeds too. Spot the bee in the photo below!
Whatever the size, I love sunflowers. You can't help being cheered up by their sunny yellow petals. I also love the intricate pattern of the seeds in the flower head.
My Mum seems to think the sunflowers have grown so huge due to the volcanic ash she put into the soil last year. Whatever it is, the flowers and the vegetables have done well. But, so have the weeds. I always say that as long as we are getting more vegetables than weeds, then we're ok, but we're on the verge of losing the battle. This Summer has been really wet with burst of warm sunshine inbetween the downpours. Not great for camping or picnics in the Summer holidays, but the plants have loved it. We only need to turn our backs for a few days on our allotment plot and the weeds become rampant.
I think we need to have a major weeding session soon and then cover the unused parts of the plot for Winter. We do still have parsnips, purple sprouting and kale growing and they will stay in over the colder months. I can't wait to try my first ever home-grown parsnips, even if some of them look like curly ram's horns...which will make for an interesting time when I peel them.
I'm linking up with Country Kids over on www.coombemill.com, Whatever the Weather over on www.lifeunexpected.co.uk and monkeyandmouse.co.uk, Point + Shoot over on youbabymemummy.com and www.snowingindoors.com, Image of the Week #IOTW over on www.trulymadlykids.co.uk and Let Kids be Kids over on letkidsbekids.co.uk.
I'm also linking up with How Does Your Garden Grow over on the beautiful mammasaurus.co.uk