A year in the life: 23 June 2018

After what seemed like the never ending winter, summer has finally arrived and since early May, in my little corner of the world,  there have been many lovely long hot summer days. Some of my dwarf sunflowers are showing signs of flowering and the larger varieties are growing taller by the day.

Dwarf sunflower and Ollie owl.

This year I have planted my favourite dwarf variety called Solar Flash, a giant variety called Kong and varieties called Sunburst and Autumntime. I have got a sequential planting thing going on, so my plants are started off on the kitchen window sill and when they have grown a bit, when I can, I put them outside during the day and bring them back inside overnight.

Dwarf sunflowers

I re-housed my first sunflower outside permanently in May and others followed in the days afterwards. As pots became free I planted more seeds but have stopped doing this now we have reached the middle of June.

Things are going pretty good but it has not all been all plain sailing and I am having to keep a close eye on my babies for silvery trails and half eaten holey leaves. I’ve been spraying the leaves at night with water and a tiny amount of fairy liquid too – it isn’t stopping my plants getting munched but it isn’t as bad as it would be if I wasn’t doing this.

Planting my sunflowers in pots initially means I can move my plants to other parts of the garden if necessary or in the worst cases, to A and E (also known as the garden shed), for a few days. However, note to self – putting pots in the shed over night is an excellent idea but must check pots for slugs and snails first to prevent waking to carnage the next morning … oops.


The first project sunflowers have now begun to flower. The first photos arrived from Suttgart, which couldn’t have been more perfect – the sunflowers were grown in memory of Emil who had myotubular myopathy and passed away in 2016. Hot on its heals photos arrived from Cheshire and Harrow and Cambridge looks likely to be next.

My large sunflowers are a way off flowering yet but I am looking forward to seeing my dwarf sunflowers in bloom very soon and for now, wherever there is a space in the garden I am filling it with a sunflower in the hope of a beautiful display later in the year.

Sunflower and hydrangea.