I planted the sunflowers today for The Great Sunflower Project. I received the seeds awhile ago, but they weren't shipped in a padded envelope (funding for the project is limited) so they arrived rather smashed . Not a problem, I knew the variety (Lemon Queen) so I ordered another package and started them in the laundry room/cold frame. I was afraid that if I planted directly into the soil, the birds or some other animal would get the seed and I would forever be waiting for a plant to show up.
I am enthused about the project (did you know that bees are responsible for every third bite of food?), but I am also a firm believer that Arizona should look like Arizona, and I have not grown any non-desert ornamental here. Where to put sunflowers? Sun is not a problem but wind is, and Lemon Queen will grow 4 to 6 feet. I finally settled on the south side of the horse barn. Lots of sun and a tall wall to lean against when our southwestern winds blow. Should look nice too when you come up the driveway.
I amended the soil with manure and fertilizer and 12 plants are in the ground. I know it does not look like much (they are in those chickenwire enclosures next to the cacti), but hopefully I will be able to track their growth with a picture once in awhile. I had about 6 plants left over that I put into the garden. Same exposure, just not as high a wall to lean against.
Meanwhile, the Santa Rita cactus is blooming in the driveway circle. Gorgeous, or what? And as luck would have it, here is a bee who just rolled around in the pollen.