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How To Make Sunflower Bouquets

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I’ve had sunflowers in every garden I’ve ever grown.  While I loved their bright sunny faces, there were a few things I didn’t like. I didn’t like those that were 9 feet tall and produced one huge flower that was great for seeds but fell over in every  vase I tried. Then there were those that fit in a vase, looked good in a vase, but shed pollen all over the place. Can’t say I was too crazy about those either. Why, I kept thinking, couldn’t someone breed a sunflower that was perfect for cutting.  The right size flower (about 6 inches across), on the right size plant (about 3-4 feet tall) produced abundant blossoms and didn’t shed pollen all over the place in a vase.  Every year I bought whatever I could find to try, but this year I came up with a WINNER!

In March I ordered a packet of “Solar Flash” sunflowers from Burpee Seeds. I started them in small pots under grow lights to get a jump on the season and transplanted two of them at the sides of my 2 foot by 5 foot raised bed. They are gorgeous in a vase:IMG_9545cropadj

Gorgeous in the garden:

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And gorgeous up close and personal!

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My plants are about 36″ to 40″ tall. They each have 20 blossoms and more buds to come. The cut flowers are lasting at least five day in the vase and they don’t shed pollen! I LOVE these sunflowers.  Now, I know there are other dwarf sunflowers and some are probably just as good but these have won me over! So, if you’re looking for a sunflower you can love in the garden and indoors in a vase you might want to give Solar Flash a try!

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Do you have a favorite…large or small….please share!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donna Jones has always loved to garden. After completing the Master Gardener program, spending some time hosting a garden program on television and writing a garden column, she took time off to be a mom and a school teacher. Now, just beginning the journey as a grandmother, Donna is repairing the garden for little hands again! Raised beds full of flowers and veggies are ready and plans for a few chickens are well under way. To learn more about Donna visit Radish Patch Blog, or you can also check out her professional photography site at Donna Jones Photography.

 

 

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Zinnias – the Perfect Summer Flower

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Zinnias are “perfect”  to me because of the perfectly symmetrical way they grow.  Their rows of crisp, even petals are extremely pleasing. They come in so many colors and bicolors, have a lovely green leaf and no scent to cause allergies.  But, they had one drawback in my garden…they always got mildew.  This year I tried a new variety though and it’s gorgeous and mildew free.IMG_0110Zowie Zinnia

I purchased three 4″ pots of “Zowie Yellow Flame” zinnias at Harmony Farm and Garden. The plants are beautiful and settling right into the garden with no bugs and no diseases present (for now…we all know that can change!) They are doing well in a raised bed, on a drip line (cut back  as much as possible due to the drought), with regular dead heading to keep the blooms coming.IMG_0116Zowie bed

My plants are about 30″ tall with mature flowers 3″ wide…perfect for the vase:

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“Zowie” is available at nurseries but you can also purchase seeds for next year at Park Seed. There’s a good description and ordering info from them here: http://parkseed.com/zowie-yellow-flame-zinnia-seeds/p/02140-PK-P1/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donna Jones has always loved to garden. After completing the Master Gardener program, spending some time hosting a garden program on television and writing a garden column, she took time off to be a mom and a school teacher. Now, just beginning the journey as a grandmother, Donna is repairing the garden for little hands again! Raised beds full of flowers and veggies are ready and plans for a few chickens are well under way. To learn more about Donna visit Radish Patch Blog, or you can also check out her professional photography site at Donna Jones Photography.

 

 

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Gardening in a Rented Space

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You don’t need to own a home with a huge yard to grow your own food and flowers! I rented apartments for years and always had the stairway to our unit lined with pots full of blooming plants and a few wine barrels filled with flowers along the driveway. The neighbors shared in the bounty and no one minded my obsession.

My daughter, with her husband and two tiny daughters, lives in a rented, 106 year old  home,  in an  historic neighborhood with a large yard but no landscaping at all.

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Grow Your Own Hydrangeas

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The hydrangeas are blooming and brightening the shady spots in  the garden! Of the 16 we have all but two are blooming now.

I did a few experiments when I pruned last year. I pruned  this Endless Summer quite a bit because of frost damage and it bloomed even more than usual but with very small flowers…which I love! The unpruned Endless Summer plants have the usual larger blooms.

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