About 40% of little infant plants remain and give a small reward by avoiding the decimation and putting forth secondary leaves and actually looking like living plants with a future. These I remove as if they were delicate jewels and carefully plant in my flowers beds. I plant EVERYWHERE, to give as much chance of survival. I plant in the wet beds, the dry beds, the beds near the house, the beds far from the house. I spray them with a noxious mixture that would make a grown man faint if he placed his nose near the stem.
But the larger vermin, rabbits or moles or whatever little crunchers, decide to visit and have a late evening snack or early morning breakfast. Finally, as in real war, which certainly this is, without the treaties or declarations or drones, the groundhogs join the buffet table, and with their usual hog manners, make a mess of everything!!
What on earth am I talking about? My SUNFLOWERS! I keep trying to grow sunflowers as if I lived in California or Mexico and not the hurricane and soggy mid-Atlantic. I grow them because I refuse to accept defeat. I love their optimistic sunny, open faces. They are like babies giggling. They are like sunshine on a cloudy day. They are like...well you get the idea.
This year I have a bunch of them! Well, let me go count, because I tend to exaggerate. I will be right back. Sigh. I have 26 plants!! Well, 27 if you count the volunteer. As a Master Gardener I can safely say if you plant an annual enough times, it will eventually reseed somewhere!
Some are as large at the crepe myrtle...but no blooms yet. Did I mention I live in the woods and do not get much sun?
I planted some behind the daylilies...which do not get enough sun!
Some are tucked in beside that famous arbor I posted about a few years ago. The bird nest in the house is full of odd and rough twigs. The Carolina wren is being very weird in nesting behavior with this second batch. These fledglings will experience tough love.
I planted some close to the house and these are blooming. Yes, I was hedging my bets and even planted a few in a pot as you can see on the lower right.
Some were planted a little late and are still small.
Most are staked, because we get some real drenching storms.
Here is the volunteer in my herb bed!
And the pollinators have arrived along with the eager goldfinch.
And I have arrived with my eager camera.