August is when sunflowers reach their glory with magnificent blooms. I plant many sunflowers on my property because I enjoy them so much. Most of them grow in the back of my vegetable gardens where they won’t cast shade on the vegetables. They are all about six feet tall.
Recently I photographed this sunflower in the morning light. As I observed it, I thought that nothing could be better on a perfect August day than this yellow sunflower against a vivid blue sky with bees pollinating it. I get a great sense of satisfaction knowing that the pollinators are attracted to the plants in my yard. They share my sunflowers with flocks of goldfinches seeking the tasty seeds.
Sunflowers attract many kinds of wild native bees in addition to domesticated honey bees. These insects can see some colors, especially yellow, so the outstretched petals of the sunflowers are an attraction for them. Once they land on the flower, they find lots of nectar and pollen. I watch them on the sunflowers and their legs are covered in orange pollen as they move around. Sunflowers are a magnet for bees and goldfinches.
This year I planted several types of sunflowers since I am fascinated by the different colors and sizes. The sunflower in the photo is from Renee’s Garden Collection of seeds, “The Birds and Bees Sunflowers.” Another variety I planted is the Moonshadow sunflower that produces many small blooms with dark centers. I also plant the Autumn Beauty sunflowers, which have a rust color ring inside the yellow petals.
If you want to attract pollinators and birds to your garden, plant sunflowers. They are easy to grow, they are handsome, and they provide important food for many different types of wildlife. They will enrich your landscape in so many ways!