Sunflower bliss (continued!)

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Ireland’s beautiful summer weather continued this week and the garden is quite happy about that – and so am I! I hope you aren’t quite tired of sunflowers, yet, as I have more this week. There are so many different varieties, how could I not be excited? The flower heads are lovely and small so I’ve used them in some flower arrangements. I also have a mysterious squash, that perhaps you can help me to identify? 🙂

I’ll be joining the Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme. Feel free to join in.

Enjoy the tour!

1 – Red Kuri squash. This is not the mystery squash, although it wasn’t planted here by me. This beautiful, yellow for now, squash is in my new flower bed, at the top of our garden. This bed was made last year by covering the grass with cardboard and then layering it with grass cuttings and then compost, and repeating that a few more times. So I can thank the compost for this plant, I’m sure. You might remember that last year I planted red kuri squash to grow up my pumpkin arch. It is funny how yellow they start out, because by full maturity they are a burnt orange/red. Anyway, this plant has two big squash formed, with a few tiny ones. I’m glad I let it grow, despite its awkward position in the garden.

Here’s a picture as a reminder of what the red kuri squash looked like last year on the pumpkin arch. They are the bright burnt orange/redish squash on the right side of the arch and in front, on the left.

mystery squash - large, heavy and green

2 – Mystery squash. Yeah, so these are the ones I can’t really identify. The one, top right picture, fell off of the vine and it is no wonder as it weighs 4.5 kg (9 lbs)! Here are the options of what was sown: Muscade De Provence Musk Pumpkin, Marina Di Chioggia Organic Pumpkin, or nagydobosi pumpkin. The one that fell is the wrong shape for any of these, although I’m leaning more towards nagydobosi. I’m hoping that as the others ripen more, they will reveal their true selves. One thing is clear: I need a better system for tagging plants.

Bella fuchsia in full bloom

3 – Bella fuchsia. Look at those colors! This plant has quietly been doing its thing, and completely filing the container with itself. The colors are so pretty, and yet don’t shout out for attention. I am already planning on sliding this pot into the playhouse in November to ‘over winter’ it. I’m really hoping that it will keep.

dahlais delphinium gladiolas on deck

4 – The back deck flower pots! Wow! There’s a lot of fun stuff going on here. Dahlias, delphinium, lilies, gladiolas and a sunflower. I do love having them all on the deck and in full view from my kitchen. But the plan is to plant out the dahlias next year. It’s a lot of work keeping them watered. The delphinium will not be far from this spot, but will be planted in the ground (so no moving around to suit pictures!). Who knows, I might get other plants to fill the pots. 🙂

different sunflower varieties
sunflower arrangement with globe artichokes and dahlias
different sunflower varieties

5 & 6 – Sunflowers! I made two more arrangements this week and I just can’t get enough of them. Here’s what I have:

Claret F1 (these are dark colored flowers, some are burgundy, some are chocolate, some are dark burnt orange. I LOVE these as they have so many long stems coming off of the main stem and there are loads of flowers on each stem. Lots of color variety, too, which is beautiful.

Sungold sunflowers. This has a great big (albeit dwarf!) fluffy head of golden yellow. In the top collage, it is the bottom left picture. The short stem is the downside (12″-18″ tall), but otherwise this is a super neat flower. Multiple stems with just one flower per stem. So not as much bang for your buck as the Claret, but well worth it for the unique look and texture.

Sunflower Waooh! Brown centers with yellow edges, and only 40 – 60 cm tall (16-24″). Shorter are better for the high winds we tend to get. Lots of blooms on each stem. A good, traditional sunflower.

Sunny Flowers Fantasy & Esther. These have a mixture of colors and are not too tall (70 cm). These are the first lemony yellow sunflowers I have seen. Some have brown centers, some have yellow/green centers. Lots of flowers on each stem with very strong stems.

Sunflower Giant. Of all the sunflowers, I confess that this is my least favorite and here’s why: it is a single stem that grows tall (6’/2m) with just one, single and very large flowerhead. I suppose that every sunflower garden should have at least one of these traditional flowers. I actually have two this year. The birds have already started eating the seeds of one, which you can see in the top picture.

Did you notice the ‘coffee at midnight’ dahlias and some globe artichokes in with the sunflowers? I thought that they paired really nicely with them.

And that is my ‘Six on Saturday’ collection. Thanks so much for stopping by and I really hope you enjoyed the tour. Take care!

In Peace,
Dana