10 July 2013


I love sunflowers and eagerly plant dozens of them around the garden. This is the first to bloom. It's located at the Waldorf School. It's a volunteer growing in a compost pile, actually. Last year I brought over a barrel of compost from St. Anne's and dumped it in a half wine barrel intending to spread it around the raised beds. Before I got to that task, there were a number of volunteers coming up. Over the past year I've let flowers and greens grow. Now we have the sunflower and some breadseed poppies I transplanted there.

If you look carefully, you'll see a bumble bee on the flower's face.

Do you know, a sunflower's "face" is actually comprised of 100's of individual flowers? Despite how it looks, a sunflower is not a single flower at all. Every one of those 100+ flowers can develop its own seed. Examining a dried sunflower seed head is a great way to teach pollination in fact, because students can discover the difference between a shell that has a true seed in it, versus one that is empty. Only the flowers that are pollinated will produce a seed inside the shell.