Tag Archives: mexican sunflowers

Adios Amigos!

The last of the Mexican Sunflowers…

They’ve been on their way out for a while now, but I kept deadheading them to prolong their blooms.  It worked too well; it was sad to still see the little buds as I was kicking the stalks to the ground.  They’d become so big, brute force was the only way these sunflowers were going down.  They had taken over the pathway, and to make matters worse, looked like this…

I’m normally pretty quick to yank something that’s not looking its best.  We have an Amy Winehouse square.  I’m a huge fan so I mean no disrespect, but it’s the place the plants go when they need to get themselves together.  28 days later, sometimes longer, they’re ready to be back in the spotlight.  The butterfly effect extended the life of these sunflowers by a good month at least.  Aah, the glory days…

The Mexican sunflowers have been good to me, but it’s time to move on.  They’ve cleared the way for the fall garden.  The compost has settled in.  Time to plant…

…when we get back from Tennessee.  We’re off to see the uncles and the chickens this weekend!  It should be quite the blog-worthy trip.  According to Uncle Sam, I’m in for a real Tennessee mountain experience.  We’re sleeping in a trailer, eating off the land, and goin’ shootin’!  Yep, you heard me.

Sunflowers & Swallowtails

The Mexican Sunflowers have delivered once again – this time by attracting this beautiful Spicebush Swallowtail. 

Olé for Mexican Sunflowers

The nectar in Mexican sunflowers must be infused with tequila.  It’s an insect-a-go-go out there!  The bees and butterflies are buzzing from the free nectar shooters.  $1.29 well-spent – one packet of seeds produced a 6′ x 3′ hedge that won’t quit.  I’m 5’8”; the plants started flowering a few weeks ago when they were about nose-high.  Now they’re over my head.  They’re planted in the only square that’s not closed off from the street.  For less than it cost to have a soda with lunch today, I have the perfect natural fence!  Another great feature of Mexican sunflowers, or any variety of sunflowers, is their heat tolerance – a great choice for hot Florida summers. 

Finally, a reason NOT to weed!

With all the recent reports of tomato blight, I’m feeling pretty lucky.  A disastrous attempt at composting combined with complete neglect miraculously turned into a healthy tomato plant!  I planted Mexican sunflowers for the first time and didn’t know what to expect.  I hate thinking something’s a weed and then realizing it isn’t after it’s been ripped out of the ground, although I have been known to take this to the extreme.  I once nurtured a weed until it grew to 6 ft. tall!  My neighbor finally said, “Hey, what’s with that big weed out front?”  John just shook his head.  He’d been telling me it was a weed for weeks, probably even months, but those wiry green leaves had convinced me it was a giant Cosmo.  When I eventually gave in to the public scrutiny and mocking, the weed was so rooted that I had to hack it down like a tree and then dig up the roots!  I never fully learned my lesson, and it’s a good thing because this somewhat lazy philosophy is about to pay off big time!  The sunflowers came in beautifully, so I decided to spruce up their space.  I started yanking at the weeds and quickly recognized the yellow flowers of a tomato plant.  After a few moments of sheer confusion, it slowly registered that we had buried a mound of compost just before planting the sunflowers.  We had a hideous pile of compost that was doing absolutely nothing, which I believe technically qualifies it as a complicated pile of garbage, so we made life easier and buried it.  Those months of occasional flies, frustration, and strange smells are about to pay off in tomatoes – maybe even heirlooms!  Who knows what was in that heap?