Archives for posts with tag: sunflowers
October Garden Vegetables

October Garden Vegetables

Curbside gardening is an interesting prospect. Just when you think you have things under control and figured out, they change. If you have followed the Late Bloomer web series, you may remember how this whole gardening thing started for me. Our parkway Acacia tree died, and I got in touch with my soil. (See the whole story in episode 1.)

Dead Acacia Tree

Dead Acacia Parkway Tree

Still, I thought I wanted to replace the tree, as I’m a tree person. But, you just can’t grow vegetables under the shade of a tree. And the roots from a city tree in a plot of ground 6’x20′ will pretty much fill up that space. But, back in September, after the Acacia was removed, I got a free Jacaranda tree from the city, and they are so pretty, I planted it.

Dried Up Jacaranda Tree

Dried Up Jacaranda Tree with Seed Pods

It was only after that, that I realized my parkway was my best sun and I did not need a tree there. So, I stopped watering it. Not nice, I know. But, to my surprise, it lived anyway (they are originally from Australia, so they love it dry and hot), and yesterday I noticed the first purple flowers blooming.

Jacaranda Tree with Purple Bloom by Kaye Kittrell

Jacaranda Tree with First Purple Bloom

Now, it’s going to be interesting what happens. Obviously, I can’t let it get very big, or shade too much. But, I don’t want to cut it down, after it worked so hard to live. I need to see how ambitious I am going to continue to be with gardening, also. This is my first year, and I’ve spent all my extra time on the garden, the blog and the web series. So, it remains to be seen. Until the shade becomes a problem, I’m going to keep planting edibles and flowers to attract beneficial insects around it. You can see the bluish-purple bloom on the far left side.

To the right of the tree are my Mexican sunflowers. I LOVE these! They keep blooming and aren’t as affected by powdery mildew and bugs as the sunflowers. I wish I had planted more. They are supposed to get up to 6′ tall, but mine are between 18″ and 4′.

Mexican Sunflowers Tithonia rotundifolia

Mexican Sunflowers – Tithonia rotundifolia

The blooms are VIVID. Hummingbirds and bees love them. Well rotted mulch or compost, and trimming off the spent blooms will extend the blooming season.

Mexican Sunflowers Tithonia rotundifolia

Bright Orange Bloom on Mexican Sunflower

I’m out direct seeding cool season crops today. What are you up to in your garden? Thanks for stopping by. – Kaye

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

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

Kaye gets out of her front yard garden for a little inspiration, and visits beautiful Woodside, California. In this episode, she checks out the Woodside Library California Native Plant Garden and the Woodside Elementary School garden. With guest, teacher Brian Myrtetus. Watch here or higher resolution on YouTube.


If you enjoy photography, and gardening, life can be endlessly interesting. A plant you photograph one day may look different the next. There’s always something to photograph. This came up suddenly overnight. Powdery mildew? But, it’s on backs and fronts of leaves, so I’m not sure. I trimmed off the affected leaves.

We ate this grand cabbage last night. I was too tired to make slaw, so I steamed it.

I started with eight, now I’m down to two. This is the next to last one. I better get some more started!

I’ve had a lot of trouble getting berries. I covered some plants with netting. Here’s the only ripe one this morning.

I have let my purple basil seed tops grow. I couldn’t bear to pinch off anything so pretty.

My sunflowers are particularly glorious this sunny morning.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! – Kaye

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