Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Side-Ways Wind

One of the first minature sunflowers to open several weeks ago.
I really got on tip-toe with camera at arm's length to take this photo on Tuesday.
This is the tallest in the clump of sunflowers.
I took refuge for a few minutes in the shade yesterday forenoon and watched goldfinches light on the sunflower heads. I scattered the seeds from two different varieties, didn't thin them.
These have given me great joy, especially in studying individual buds close up.
I've thought whether to let the sunflower heads cure on the stalks to provide for the birds, or perhaps to cut and dry the heads to offer during the winter.
As you can see, the tallest in the clump are about 8 ft.  [You can use J. who is 6 ft tall as a measuring stick.]
Late last evening a thunderstorm rushed through, bringing wind and rain.
Stepping outside this morning I was sorry to see the damage done to my sunflowers.
I collected bale twine, pounded some nails into the garage siding, and attempted to raise the stalks and anchor them.
I succeeded in rescuing several of the smaller plants, tredding on mint and basil as I did so.
Trying to raise a heavy plant which is three feet taller than I am was frustrating and ended in breaking the tall yellow sunflower about a foot from the ground.
Another storm whirled through, sending me inside to watch while tree branches were whipped and rain pelted down.
I cut individual branches of the broken plants and brought them inside.
These buds are curled pig-a-back behind the opening flower.
 I feel more dismayed by the loss of these plants than makes any sense.
They emerged from the ground as small and tentative seedlings, stretched up a foot or so and then suddenly lengthened into an exuberant and colorful thicket.
The space where they stood now seems incomplete.
I'm thinking how disruptive an unplanned change to our personal landscape can be.
I can rearrange a room; if the postion of a chair or table or bookcase turns out to be less than pleasing, the furniture can be juggled yet another way.
When a building is torn down, or a wall goes up, our familiar view is changed.
Spring was just beginning to make its presence known when we purchased this little farm in late March.
We have watched the pastures grow green, trees burst into leaf, weeds grow on the roadsides and in the garden. Each week is new and marvelous.
Each season brings changes, usually so gradually that even though I am watchful, the days and the subtle differences blur.
It will take a few days to register the change in that stretch of garden. Will the remaining sunflowers expand to fill the space?  They are a domineering plant, brazen, dramatic, colorfull.
The birds will miss them too.


  1. It seems strange when something your eye has grown accustomed to is suddenly missing and you are left with a gap which doesn't fill the eye in anything like the same way!

    I have just out-tubbed a clematis (a little blue Alpina) intending to heap more soil around its pot-shaped base of soil, and hoiking any trailing bits up through the corkscrew hazel to hide the gap. I went out yesterday morning and it looked like a whirlwind had taken it - very battered. ???? I thought. Then last night, I saw mama cat and her babies crashing through it and trashing it completely so I think I will have to cut it back and let it grow up again in the spring . . .

  2. Sorry to see your sunflower damages. Sunflowers are happy flowers, so it's no wonder you are saddened by their loss. They gave you much joy from seed to blooms. I hope you still get more flowers this season from what is left in your patch of them by the garage.


  3. It's heartbreaking, isn't it, after watching loved plants come along to have them brought down by a bout of bad weather. Maybe it will help to plant some sturdy stakes in the ground next year, for the sunflowers to lean on and be tied to - at least as far up as you can reach!

    For some reason, my garden was taken over by stray morning glories this year. I pulled out as much as I could and replanted many in hanging baskets, but keep finding them twining around other plants in the depths of the garden...they are pretty, but I worry if their twining cuts off circulation to the "twinee"...

  4. What glorious sunflowers ...I have only ever seen the tall yellow ones ...and those multi headed ones would have been spectacular.

    Must pop back and finish reading your last post but I was distracted by the phone and have just realized I didn't go back.

  5. I've been thinking of you as the stormy weather passed through your area. Not a very welcoming summer. We finally have some sunshine and with it the beautiful goldfinches and orioles came. We now have at least 3 orioles. Stay safe in that stormy weather.

  6. just poped by again your comment on my blog ...I really dont know what I'm wearing yet ...I have gathered some 'mix and match' and have yet to work out which look best ...even what goes on my head is a choice ...two bargains ...a Fascinator or my hat ??? as for my feet ...nothing yet but I have seen a nice pair of victorian style ankle boots ...perfect as I will be wearing trousers ....or a long skirt.