Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dirty Tales from the Garden - "volunteers"

I do have some help in my gardening - Hubby and the Munchkin take occasional watering and weeding duties - but the primary planting decisions, and most of the planting, weeding and watering, is done by me.

Most of...

And yet it seems every year that plants come up in places where I did not recall planting them. I know Hubby won't move a plant unless I specifically ask him to - and the Munchkin wouldn't know yet to replant something he'd pulled out. Sometimes I am not even sure if it is a good plant or a weed that is coming up - and so I leave it in to wait and see - and then am pleasantly surprised when it is something I did not remember planting in that spot.

And I didn't plant it there. The squirrels did.

We have a nest of active busy squirrels in our black walnut tree and use our back yard as their playground - they have no problem digging up tulips, grape hyacinth and daffodil bulbs and moving them from the flower bed to the middle of the lawn, or another flower bed, or a crack in the middle of the driveway. They think nothing of it.

And this year - oh my - this year the squirrels and the birds worked together to plant nearly every single sunflower seed that they chose not to eat - and I think ALL of them came up! We have sunflowers everywhere -enough that the Munchkin now thinks we live in Sunflower Valley. Of course -the fact that he also thinks all my black eyed susans are sunflowers helps that idea...

A few of the flower heads have already had visits from lots of bees -and the sunflower seeds are forming. Not knowing what variety these were - I am not going to try to eat these ourselves, but will definitely dry the heads and set them out for the birds and squirrels to eat, enjoy, and perhaps even replant.

I am already looking forward to what surprises NEXT spring and summer will bring.


Amelia said...

Love the sunflowers.


Barb said...

I'm so amazed when people can actually grow stuff... I'm not one of them!

Higgins Design Studio said...

At least you have rain to help your sunflowers and black-eyed susans grow... Mom's are suffering through this heat & drought.
Love you sis!

Marla said...

One year we grew sunflowers at school. I was amazed at the number of adults that had never seen them before!!! Love you pictures!

Anonymous said...

We are enjoying some volunteer sunflowers this summer too. They sprouted underneath one of the birdfeeders. I thought we could let the flower heads dry and put the seeds in the feeder this winter. However, we have been entertained by goldfinches who have discovered the sunflowers and are filling up on the fresh seeds. As long as we've lived here, this is the first year I recall seeing goldfinches. We are going to have to be sure to have sunflowers growing again next year!