There's something really appealing about sunflowers. They seem stately, somehow, elegant. Of all the plants in the garden, the sunflower towers over all as it stretches its stems upward to worship the sun. When it is in full bloom, the head drooping heavily, laden with the burden of seeds, it seems a reflection of the sun looking down upon us, its seed center a full eclipse upon the sun's flaming beauty.
My sunflowers are indeed stately, standing soldier-tall, heads facing directly up to receive full benefit of the sunlight. The spiky head leaves are a direct contrast to the softer, more graceful arms. The stalks are thick, strong, and stable, supporting not only the weight of the flowers-to-be, but also the weight of the cucumber vines that have used them as trellises over the last few weeks. The last cucumbers I picked were hanging from the sunflower stalks and were blemish-free; they had rested protected beneath the sunflower's shady leaves.
I'm hoping our first frost is far enough away that these sunflowers have a chance to bloom and develop seeds; I want to enjoy the flaming beauties before fall takes a foothold. I want to be able to save and roast the seeds, to enjoy a taste of sunshine until spring, when I can plant these beauties again.