Archives for category: Sunflowers

I just rounded up what was ready to harvest. That big zucchini had been hiding, or it would have been eaten before now.

And, I had a volunteer sunflower, my last one this year, appear in my strawberry patch. It’s a little one, but very friendly! Sunflowers make you smile!

If you are new to Late Bloomer, or you missed it, please watch my latest episode, “Zucchini Madness.”  Thanks! My tomato saga is coming soon! Thanks for stopping by! Advice welcome! – Kaye

I looked out the window about 10:30 AM. It was a cloudy morning, so the Black-Hooded Parakeets, or Nanday Conure Parrots were late getting over here. If you are following my blog, especially the post “Meet My Kids,” you know I’ve got, uh, had some nice sunflowers. There were four balanced on the sturdy Lemon Queen, one on watch up over my head somewhere and another on the rust-colored sunflower.

The parrot on watch screamed at them, and they turned to look at me.

It was at this point, I turned on the video.

They made a hasty exit. They weren’t gone a minute, and a pair of goldfinches flew in where they were waiting in the wings.

These two solved the mystery of why the leaves were skeletonized.

So I shot a little video of them.

The male took off and the female flew to the top of my little jacaranda tree to look for him.

Now, for the damage. This one broke over from their weight before they damaged the blooms. They are inside in a vase.

Remember Goldy from yesterday? Didn’t even have a chance to fully open.

The Mexican Sunflowers were spared, probably because they are short.

There’s always something going on in the garden. Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

Goldy Honey Bear, Helianthus annus, Botanical Interests Seeds

I just returned from a few days in New England, and these are some of the things I found in my garden upon arrival. My first bloom of my Mexican Sunflowers. The packet says 6-8′ tall, however mine all look like they’ll be lucky to reach two feet. Wow, do they pack some color!

Lots of Red Cherry Tomatoes ripening.

Four black (supposed to be purple) small peppers, two of which are rather shriveled.

More tomatoes. Two neighbors dropping by got some before this shot. I also had to toss a dozen with blossom end rot.

And three cucumbers. I’ll only know if these are bitter when I bite into them tonight, but for now, I’ll pretend they are as sweet as they look. 🙂

Lots of other stuff going on in my small garden. Just the usual tending took four hours. Loved every minute. Thanks for visiting! – Kaye

Because sunflowers make you smile! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

My third crop of sunflowers is now ready to pop. Here’s the very first arrival.

Upon a closer look at the center, thousands of sharp seed enclosures look like talons!

A bee wasted no time finding this first bloom. It got a little annoyed my camera was two inches away, and took off after the first shot.

This seed came from a packet of Botanical Interests, Flash Blend, so it could have been a variety of colors. This color is sensational, and welcome after all the lemon yellow of Yellow Queen, (though I have another one coming). I just took the last one down. It was seven feet tall and had about 20 blooms. The local wild parrots had made a mess of it.

I also think it might not have gotten enough water (the soil in my parkway is like brick!), as there are still thousands of seeds in the blooms.

If you haven’t yet seen my sunflower episode of Late Bloomer, please check it out! Thanks for watching! See ya’ next time! – Kaye

Please watch the latest episode of “Late Bloomer,” “Growing Sunflowers!” Watch here, or click on youtube for better quality. Kaye grows Lemon Queen Sunflowers from seed, and has some surprise guests! With neighbors Mona, Sophia, MIchael and Dennis. Thanks for watching! – Kaye

I decided to dig up a few more potatoes from the pot I planted March 16, in “Rainy Day in the Garden,” Episode 4 of “Late Bloomer.”

The purple ones, though, looked like they had the measles! They were covered in little bumps. Did I leave them in too long?

And the skin just peeled off in my hand.

Last night I spotted this baby watermelon from a distance, but got my first close-up view just now. Looks like a little spot on there. I will be interested to see if that affects the developing melon.

My patch of seven baby watermelon seedlings planted on March 15 (73 days to maturity, the tag said), is only 6’x6′, so it will be interesting to see if the vines move into the open area. Something tells me they will go where they darn well please. Just like nasturtiums, which self-seeded in my watermelon patch. I have pulled out several bunches, but it’s nice to have a little color.

Next, I noticed my yellow zucchini plant is not looking so well.

I had cut over half the leaves back this week, which my occasional helper Rene told me was not a good idea. But, they were covered in powdery mildew and choking off the cherry tomato plant I unfortunately planted right beside it (before I knew that zucchini take over), so I felt I had no choice. The bean plant I had squeezed in a corner is not looking so well either. Anyone know what this means?

This is almost funny, because I was JUST reading about sunflower care yesterday, and made a mental note as my first round of sunflowers are about done. It said when you see most of the yellow leaves falling off, act quickly to put the head in a paper bag and either let it dry on the stem, or cut it, as the seeds will be all over the ground. Am I supposed to pick all these up?

It wasn’t like this last night, so I assume some birds “went to town” on them before I got up. I don’t think we had any wind last night, but a couple of branches were also broken. Hmmm. There were ten heads that looked like this.

The best thing about gardening is the mystery of the cycle of life and watching things grow. The worst thing is not knowing what to do about the problems. But, I have found myself in a wonderful, giving community and I’m so happy I finally arrived! Thanks for reading! – Kaye

I love going out to the garden in the morning to see what’s happening. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like getting a good look at my first corn tassel shooting up. I planted two Double Standard seedlings March 24.

Or, discovering my first tomato on one of my five seedlings, all different varieties, planted in the ground March 25. See “Rainy Day,” Episode 4 of “Late Bloomer.” I searched for the tag, and couldn’t find it, so I will have to be surprised what kind of tomato this is. I love coming back inside with the smell of tomato plant on my hands.

Next, I decided what we would be having for dinner, purple cabbage slaw in Chinese dressing (if you want the recipe, just ask!). I think this one is ready, at six inches across, don’t you? And it’s nice and firm. I have really babied these two cabbages (you have no idea!!) since I planted the seedlings on February 1. I’ll be covering my purple cabbage saga in an upcoming episode of “Late Bloomer.”

Then, there are the issues for which this late bloomer has no answers. Two zucchini got fat at one end, and are rotten on the other. Yuck. Are these just misfires, or what?

And my once GLORIOUS Lemon Queen Sunflower (this plant had 26 blooms and got as many compliments from neighbors), is sagging, and I don’t know if it’s the natural cycle of sunflowers, or it’s because I trimmed off the very top one (the shaft is hollow, by the way) after it wilted (thinking I would keep it looking nice, haha), and now the whole plant is sad. The sadness started at the top and worked it’s way down.

I just received my “Sunset Western Garden Guide to Edibles” (about time I studied up on what I am doing!), and there’s only one page on sunflowers, and my neighbors seem to disagree on what went wrong, if anything, and what I am to do now. Thoughts? Thanks for reading! – Kaye

Details, details, it’s all in the details!  As I am premiering the first episode of my web series “Late Bloomer” tomorrow, Earth Day, there is much to be done!  Facebook, Twitter, linking everything together, etc.  You will be able to see “Welcome to Late Bloomer” at Kaye Kittrell’s Channel on youtube starting tomorrow.  I will insert the link here to go directly to the video which will open automatically.

Meantime, the garden waits for my attention.  My sunflowers are stupendous and most cheerful on this foggy day!  I planted Lemon Queen Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), 5′-7′ tall, and I just counted 26 blooms coming on this one plant alone!  And the bees are buzzing all around.  But everything needs a drink of water!

I collected rainwater from last week’s storm in three LA city bins (see Episode 5 “Downpour!” in one week), but a week later, what was left of the water was a bit rank, so I dumped it on my few remaining bushes.  Clean out your rainwater collection receptacles before the storm hits and rainwater will keep for a month my neighbor says!

There also were about a dozen snail shells laying on the alfalfa this morning (this will all make sense when you see “Welcome to Late Bloomer” tomorrow!) and wondered what had happened.  I’m all for dropping the snail population in my garden!  That’s another episode coming soon!

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