Spectacular Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of the most vibrant and joyful flowers we see in the summertime and they seem to make everyone smile. Perhaps this will encourage you to start your own sunflower space next summer!

My dad lives on a farm and many of my summer days are spent helping him with gardening chores. He had planted some sunflower seeds a few years ago and then random plants grew from the seeds that had dropped.

As you can see above, they nearly blocked his porch entry, and as the summer went on, he had to tie them to large stakes so they wouldn’t fall over!

Last fall, I decided to take the dried seedheads from those plants and spread them around the barns and sheds. I wasn’t sure if they would grow in the spring, or just end up being snacks for birds and squirrels during the winter.

Here you see some of the flowers those seeds produced. Aren’t they beautiful and interesting? They remind me of snowflakes…each one has a distinct look! The center of a sunflower is actually a complicated math pattern called the Fibonacci sequence. You can read more about that at Math is Fun or The National Museum of Mathematics.

Sunflower Facts for Kids and Adults has more information about these cheerful plants. Have you looked closely at the center?

Sunflowers come in many shapes and sizes. The website Kiddle will show you some of the different varieties. Maybe you can start designing a sunflower collection to grow next summer!

When you buy seeds in a store, you will probably find the Burpee brand. They have information about many plants, so you could also locate sunflower information here. Near the bottom of the left side of the page is a Kids Gardening link which takes you to a page of activities and crafts.

Sunflowers were an inspiration to the famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh. We have a few books available in the library featuring his famous painting: Katie and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew- J 709.0346, and Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt- E ANH. A few of our other sunflower books are: A Sunflower’s Life by Nancy Dickmann- ER 583.99 DIC, Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch- 580 HIR, The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder by Eric Hogan- 583 HOG, and This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer.

As you can tell, I am fascinated by these simple beauties. An artist in San Diego started a small project to spread cheer in his neighborhood. Please click on the link or the picture below and enjoy! Maybe it will inspire you to follow his lead and share something uplifting in your neighborhood (just like our kindness rocks!)

Even though he is wearing a mask, he’s got a smile for you!

Here’s hoping you find a few sunflowers along the way around here to make you smile as you spend time outdoors in this great summer weather we’ve been enjoying. See you soon!