Monday, September 02, 2013

The Last Sunflower of Summer

It was precisely six months ago today that I started my sunflower garden from seed - on March 2, 2013. Here we are, September 2, 2013 and I am celebrating the last sunflower of Summer! I can't tell you what a pleasant surprise it was to look out my Florida room window to see something emerging in the sunflower garden. At first, I was sure it was a weed!

The Last Sunflower of Summer August 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer
Photographed August 20, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Upon a closer inspection, it was obviously a sunflower plant. I've been battling a host of weeds throughout my yard and gardens this year because of all the rain. And, because there have been several gatherings of morning doves in my back yard over these Summer months.

The Last Sunflower of Summer August 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer with Sunflower Garden Stake
Photographed August 20, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
After I leveled my previous sunflower garden, I didn't plant any more of the sunflower seeds. What's curious, where this sunflower is emerging, were the yellow sunflower plants which were the shortest of the entire garden. It's cool to see that one last sunflower seed is emerging as a plant.

The Last Sunflower of Summer September 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer
Photographed September 2, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Check out that sunflower plant - it is over 2 feet tall by Labor Day. It sure would be cool if this last sunflower actually blooms. You can see that the bugs have found this last plant as there are some holes on the leaves.

The Last Sunflower of Summer in the leveled Sunflower Garden
The Last Sunflower of Summer in the leveled Sunflower Garden
Photographed September 2, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Compare this last picture with the other pictures of my Sunflower Plants Prospering in the Ground. To the left of the yard, you can see the Mexican Petunias in bloom before the purple showers. The sky is quite inspiring with the various shades of white and blue.

Perhaps the most joyous experience I had this past year has been my sunflower garden. I literally took over a thousand photographs and blogged about the sunflower journey in a number of posts. Come along and experience this inspirational journey with me. From start to finish:

The Sunflower Project

The sunflower project free seeds
The Sunflower Project by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Plant these seeds and then pay it forward!
Just today, I heard from one of the participants in The Sunflower Project. Lynda Makara received a free packet of sunflower seeds at the start of this project. To document her sunflower garden, she wrote a Zujava leaf, The Sunflower Project: Sunflower Seed Giveaway. I have given out literally thousands of free sunflower seeds to dozens of participants across the United States. It was great to hear that Lynda had such success with her sunflower garden.

I will be continuing The Sunflower Project into 2014. If you are interested in participating, just let me know! You can add a comment on The Sunflower Project.

For me, all those six months ago, it all started with a few packets of Burpee Sunflower Seeds and Jiffy 5032 Professional Greenhouse 25-Plant Starter Kit! Now I feel like a professional. And, more joyous and inspired.

Tracking The Last Sunflower of Summer


The Last Sunflower of Summer photographed September 6, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer
Photographed September 6, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Only 4 days later from the picture in my original blog post -- the sunflower plant is looking quite healthy in its growth pattern. Already the leaf bugs have been busy; although, I have yet to photograph another insect on this plant.

The Last Sunflower of Summer photographed September 10, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer
Photographed September 10, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
And, here it is another 4 days later and the sunflower plant is growing heartily. It's been rather warm and humid here in Jacksonville, Florida. The rain hasn't been as plentiful as earlier in the sunflower growing season.

The Last Sunflower of Summer photographed September 15, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer
Photographed September 15, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
We could see the healthy sunflower bud on September 15th. This sunflower plant is really growing!! I wasn't sure if the blossom was going to be a traditional yellow sunflower or the richer colored Autumn Beauty. This particular sunflower plant has got a lot of buds up and down the stem!

The Last Sunflower of Summer Close-up on the Sunflower Bud Photographed September 16, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Close-up on the Sunflower Bud
Photographed September 16, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady

Drumroll for the first sunflower blossom on the last sunflower of summer! The sunflower blossom first opened on September 17, 2013.

The Last Sunflower of Summer Autumn Beauty photographed September 17, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty
Photographed September 17, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Measuring the last Autumn Beauty sunflower of summer, it reached a height of some 52 inches on September 17th! So, at 4 feet 4 inches, it blossomed! I seriously can't wait to see the other buds on the stem blossom.

The Last Sunflower of Summer Autumn Beauty Photographed September 17, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty
Photographed September 17, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
What a remarkable experience! As I said previously, this sunflower journey all started with a few packets of Burpee Sunflower Seeds and Jiffy 5032 Professional Greenhouse 25-Plant Starter Kit! If you haven't tried your own sunflower garden, may I recommend that you try it some day?

Close-Up on the Sunflower Blossoms


The Last Sunflower of Summer Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom Photographed September 18, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
Photographed September 18, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
The Last Sunflower of Summer Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom Photographed September 19, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
Photographed September 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
It is so remarkable how vivid the colors are on the Autumn Beauty sunflower blossom. I think of this blossom like a sunburst of color with very Fall or Autumn colors; hence, the name Autumn Beauty!

The Last Sunflower of Summer Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom Photographed September 19, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
Photographed September 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
The morning of September 19th, when I photographed the final sunflower plant, I was amazed at the number of buds all up and down the stem. In the photo above, you get a glimpse at the buds near the top of the plant. There is one bud directly behind the large sunflower blossom on top. Would you believe? I counted at least twenty [20] different sunflower buds on this one plant! The buds are in a variety of sizes with the larger buds near the top of the plant. Mother Nature has done a marvelous job with this sunflower plant.

The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom Photographed September 19, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
Photographed September 19, 2013 6pm by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
I just couldn't resist to take another picture of the pretty sunflower blossom at 6pm EST September 19th. We had a bit of rain earlier in the day; however, you can see the pretty blue sky dotted with some white clouds.
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom Photographed September 20, 2013
The Last Sunflower of Summer : Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
Photographed September 20, 2013 8am by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
The morning of September 20th, I was thrilled to see 4 Autumn Beauty Sunflower blossoms. One of the blossoms is attached to the back of the large blossom. I did another count of the buds and counted twenty-one [21].

Last Sunflowers of Summer in a Vase

I had the opportunity to experience more sunflowers in a vase thanks to a little extra rain that caused the top sunflower blossoms to bow. Not wanting the sunflower plant to fall over from the weight of the flowers, I cut the top off. What a great photo opportunity.

Last Sunflowers of Summer in a Vase
Last Sunflowers of Summer in a Vase
Last Sunflowers of Summer in a Vase
Last Sunflowers of Summer in a Vase
Ah, just like a well-known work of art - and maybe better! It's pretty tough to find such a pretty artsy vase as mine. However! I was searching around Amazon and found a really pretty sunflower vase. It's Deruta Italian Ceramic Vase of Sunflowers! With that vase, you can experience sunflowers year-around!



See other gifts available on Zazzle.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this sunflower's journey, Ms. Julie! Your blog is inspirational =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maria, thanks for dropping by! Appreciate you! xoxo --Julie

    ReplyDelete