FOTD -“The Penthouse” Doth Fall

Cee Neuner has created a wonderful challenge called Flower of the Day where we can share beauty, amazement…and laughter. Today we are sharing amazement with a hint of laughter. Last week I posted a FOTD called “The Penthouse” where I highlighted my last sunflower that had been taken over by my Birdnest gourd with a gourd hanging from the drying flower. So we are going to give a little history of this summer’s fun time so you can get a better idea of “summer’s last effort” to hang on.

The sunflower itself grew 13.5 feet tall before it created the largest bloom of any of the other sunflowers planted. I thought it interesting that although all the seeds came from the same package…they indeed did not have the same parents. Or maybe its the magic the bees create as they move from flower to flower. Some plants created many smaller blooms and some created one massive bloom.

The picture to the left was one plant with 16 blooms while the picture to the right is one huge 9.5 inch bloom. The plant that created the penthouse was featured in a separate post due to the massiveness of the stalk – 4 inch wide and 13.5 feet high.

Picture taken early summer , now much thicker

“The summer’s last effort was a thunderstorm to mark the end of 90 temps of summer. While I love summer, this was a hot one and I am glad to see the season begin to change. Although if Farmer Almanac and my exterminator are correct – its gonna be a cold rough winter here in the upper midwest.

When you have a huge sunflower, weighing in at 3.5 pounds, two Birdnest gourds, one weighing 2.5 pounds and mix in 35 MPH winds, that is no match for that 13.5′ high, 4 inch stalk, and down she came. The sunflower measured in at 14 inches and while one the gourds is still attached to the the mass of vines, one broke lose and I brought it inside to hopefully finish curing.

The glare on the tape of the first picture did not show its numbers so I added a second photo. You get a visual of just how large these flowers can get and then the gourd is no small fry. This is not even one of the bigger ones, so we will see how they all do.

Now I wait for the cold air to come in and dry out the vines. It will make an interesting Halloween decoration. Not a big fan of Halloween but it is what it is.

In closing I remind you the beauty and power of being kind. It creates a brightness like nothing else.

Always Be Kind

FOTD – Sept 4, More of the Same

Cee’s FOTD shows us again the beauty of gardens even as fall approaches with her post for Flower of the Day. I am adding more photos of my accidental growing hobby, a plant that I did not realize would give Kudzu a run for its money, Birdnest gourds. I trimmed them back some yesterday to cull the attempt for full takeover of the yard, 2 garbage bags worth of cutback. I will not plant them again here out front but in reality I have enjoyed watching them grow. They bloom twice a day. One bloom in early morning and one in early evening, so that has been interesting. Each bloom does not create a gourd.

Here we have the baby gourd
And here is how we look today, the one on the far right.

These average 8-10 inches in diameter but when you take in at the circumference, they are huge, 27-29 inches…and they are still growing. You don’t pick them until their stems dry out on the vine, then you store them in cool, dry and dark place until fully dry and hard. I will be curious to see how much they shrink when they dry.

Three more gourds, We currently have 15

But we do have 1 ten foot tall sunflower still growing, not counting the 3 four foot ones the birds planted by the feeder this year that should bloom in the next week.

Sunflower refusing to be over taken by the gourd.

So I give you fruit and flowers for today’s FOTD. Enjoy them and have a great weekend. And as always, remember to be kind.

Always Be Kind

FOYD – July 23

Cee’s Challenge of Flower of the Day gives us a chance to share the beauty we see around us. Flowers are a gift that we get to visually share and enjoy. Today I have one of the many sunflowers in my yard and it has a visitor.

This is one planted by the birds,

My giant varieties are out by the fence and will get shared later. And as always, remember to be kind. Kindness like the sunflower can bring about big smiles.

Always Be Kind

FOTD, July 18, Jacks Beanstalk

Spring and summer are such fun times for those of us who love playing in the dirt. Cee’s fun challenge of Flower of the Day, allows us to share this fun. I also love my birds and sometimes they help me by planting flowers with me. This year I wanted to plant a couple of sunflowers so then the birds can eat from those as we share in flowers together. So today we have “The Sunflower Collection” including one that reminds me of the story of Jack and his beanstalk. A few of these are easily 10-12 feet high but it has been so much fun watching them grow. People walking down the sidewalk always stop and enjoy them. The taller ones have not even budded out so I guess they are still growing. When fall comes and they die, I will measure them and let you know their full height.

Here is the group by my gate. My fence is 5 feet tall.

These are the ones the birds planted. Not quite as tall but lots of flowers, some not even open yet.

This one has a flower down low while it still reaches for the sky. It has a huge bud at the top.

This next one is the one I call Jack’s beanstalk. Look at the size of the stalk.

Getting under it, I was able to shoot for the sky. It gives us an idea of what Jack was seeing…sort of.

This one is easily 12 feet high

So much summer fun. I hope you enjoyed my sunflowers. I will drop off pictures as the giant ones bloom. In closing I remind us always the share the value of kindness. It does not have to be as large as a bean stalk but to the one receiving it, it may very well feel that big.

Flower of the Day, July 22

Again we have more fun from my yard. Thanks to Cee for having such a fun prompt where we can all share the beauty of nature.

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Even on a drizzly day the sunflower smiles. Looks like one petal is trying to be a hat in keeping the rain from getting in its face.

And never under estimate the determination of nature as this sun flower, seed dropped from the feeder, grew under the fence to make sure it could show its happy face to the sun.

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Match the happiness of sunflowers where ever you go and always be kind.

kind sunflower

 

On the Hunt for Joy, Sunflowers

Did you know there were over 15 different types of sun flowers, of just the tall ones ranging in height over 14 feet. Crazy. Cee has challenged us to share our sunflowers on our Hunt for Joy. Sunflowers are so awesome. I love seeing a field of them when they are blooming. I was given a packet for May Day but our temps have still been going down in the 20s at night so hopefully this week I can get them planted.

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But I will share with you my sunflowers from last year that the birds planted. It was quite fun watching them grow under the feeder then I moved them when they got tall enough to move.

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Flower and bee, brown center long yellow-orange petals

I was amazed that even though I used the same brand of bird food, the sunflowers were obviously were different varieties.

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Yellow center, bright yellow petals that were shorter but fatter

This last one had three blooms on the same same stalk with smaller blooms than the others.

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Smaller bloom but multiple blooms.

Sunflowers are a smiling flower. I think they make us all smile. So smile often, enjoy the flowers through the spring and summer and remember to be kind.

kind sunflower