Titan, King of the Sunflowers

Carson took it upon himself to plant sunflowers in every nook and cranny of our garden. Most of them didn’t take, but we had plenty of seeds to go around thanks to Susan sharing a dried head from last year, plus a few packets we had already bought, so we just kept sticking them in places and seeing what they did.

Sunflowers are a great late-season food source for bees, so they were a natural in our yard. We have quite a few…

small sunflower

…but only one Titan. Here he is, towering over everything:

big sunflower

See it here, its head already bent?

Carson sunflowerIt was slowly bending more and more, until I got home on Thursday to find this sad sight:

big sunflower 1

Magically, it did not crush any of the tomatoes, peppers, or beans in its trajectory. My friends Katy and Casey were visiting from Seattle on a whirlwind trip, and they helped me document this sucker. Cutting it was like sawing through the trunk of a small tree. If we’re a little over five feet tall, this must be about 12-13 feet with the head straightened out:

big sunflower 2

All the seeds were perfectly, beautifully formed. Turns out the birds are more interested in eating the leaves for dinner than they are the seeds, which I don’t mind because it’s actually quite sweet seeing little birds perched on giant leaves pecking away, and it doesn’t seem to do the sunflowers any harm. (Ingenious of the sunflower to bow its head in such a way that only the very determined could eat it.)

big sunflower 3

Between our garden, Susan’s garden, and the community garden plot we share, there are dozens of sunflowers to harvest. I’m trying to decide if I want to save the seeds for eating, or give them away on Freecycle for planting next year. Thoughts?


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