‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Sunflowers

“Light-enchanted sunflower, thou Who gazest ever true and tender On the sun’s revolving splendour.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Good morning, dear friends.  I trust this finds you well and enjoying these last days of spring.  Even though many days feel as though summer has arrived, it is still a few days away. 

With summer comes the arrival of sunflowers.  A lovely plant, but often overlooked by gardeners.  Most likely this is because of their size and often a garden does not have space for such a large plant.  Although, there are now dwarf varieties such as Little Becka, Teddy Bear, and Firecracker.  Just to name a few.  Sunflowers not only add beauty to our gardens but the birds and bees love them too.  

“Come with me into the field of sunflowers is a better line than anything you will find here, and the sunflowers themselves far more wonderful than any words about them.”  ~ Mary Oliver

Leanne Potts, writer for “HGTV Magazine,” tells us that, “Sunflowers have long tap roots that need to go several feet into the ground, so sunflower plants prefer loose, well-drained, somewhat alkaline soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.  The bright yellow blooms are like a smile on a stalk. Growing sunflower plants is easy because they’re heat tolerant, pest resistant, and fast-growing. They’re native to North America so they can adapt to conditions in most locations.  You can use them as cut flowers, leave them on the stalk for a gorgeous outdoor display in your garden, or harvest and eat their seeds.”

“Sunflowers are sun worshipers that grow best in spots that get six to eight hours of direct sun per day.  No plant says summer like a sunflower.”

Should you be interested in a few botanical specifics, their botanical name ~ helianthus annuus, common name ~ sunflower, hardiness zones ~ 2 to 11.  In the language of flowers, they signify adoration.  A more recent meaning is a world free of nuclear weapons. 

Additionally, they are the national flower of Ukraine and the state flower of Kansas, known as the Sunflower State.

“A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns.” ~ Corina Abdulahm-Negura

 

“Who knows what may lie around the next corner?  There may be a window somewhere ahead.  It may look out on a field of sunflowers.” ~ Joe Hill

 

“The morning glories and the sunflowers turn naturally toward the light, but we have to be taught, it seems.” ~ Richard Rohr

 

“Come with me into the field of sunflowers is a better line than anything you will find here, and the sunflowers themselves far more wonderful than any words about them.” -From ‘Upstream’, by Mary Oliver

“. . .Which makes it ironic my favorite flower isn’t even indigenous to the British Isles, let alone Yorkshire. I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me, that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.”  ~  Tim Firth

 

 

“Every day I walk out into the world to be dazzled, then to be reflective.” ~Mary Oliver

 

“The sunflower is mine, in a way.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers. ” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

 

“When van Gogh paints sunflowers, he reveals, or achieves, the vivid relation between himself, as man, and the sunflower, as sunflower, at that quick moment of time.”  ~ D. H. Lawrence

Watercolour Watercolor Art - Free image on Pixabay

“Van Gogh’s paintings of Sunflowers are among his most famous. He did them in Arles, in the south of France, in 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted a total of five large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’.  In this way, he demonstrated that it was possible to create an image with numerous variations of a single colour, without any loss of eloquence.”  Note:  This information is from the Van Gogh Museum.com  and the photo of the painting is from pixbay.

“Sunflowers are like people to me.” ~ Joan Mitchell

And perhaps, they are to her too.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now in the third month, the sunflower stands not only as the national flower of Ukraine, it now has an additional meaning.  People around the world are embracing the bright bloom as a symbol of solidarity with the beleaguered country.” ~  Antonia Mufarech

 

Dear friends, I do hope you have enjoyed your visit.  

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful and peaceful day.

May your week ahead be filled with joy and kind souls.

 

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

“Like a single sunbeam on a warm summer day, there is an exuberance and brilliance in a sunflower.” ~ Unknown

 

 

 

Images: Tumblr, pixbay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Comments
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Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

Dear Sandra, I’ve been working out in the garden today; there was talk of rain, but it turned out to be sunny most of the day. Perfect for tending and planting and musing about where to put just one more flower. I so enjoyed your sunflower post. Oh my, such bright and bold yellows – how can a person not be cheered seeing them. And of all the quotes you share, I was drawn to this one today: “Who knows what may lie around the next corner? There may be a window somewhere ahead. It may look out on a field of… Read more »

Rita C at Panoply
16 days ago

I am growing a variety commonly known as Mexican sunflower (Tithonia), with seeds that are over four years old from my prior garden (still seedlings right now). 🙂 My neighbor is growing the traditional, tall sunflower (Helianthus). I love your tribute to these happy flowers as we approach the summer equinox. They are a joy to behold in a troubled world. Happy Sunday, Sandra.

Pam Richardson
16 days ago

Good morning, Sandra. I so enjoyed this post dedicated to the beautiful sunflower. They are truly a gorgeous and happy bloom. I have them planted in three different places this year and I am anticipating their large showy faces. Thank you for the lovely photos and quotes. Happy Sunday!

Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things
Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things
16 days ago

I love sunflowers! I always planted them in my garden. Now here in Florida I can only but cut ones at the store. Your pictures are beautiful!

Sandra Lambiotte
16 days ago

Many thanks, Penny. I love them too.

Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors
Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors
16 days ago

Sandra, I adore sunflowers. They are the happiest of flowers. We have so much shade that I am not able to plant any. I sure wish I could. I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful photographs that you have shared. We visited the Van Gogh Live exhibit last fall for my daughters birthday. It was a delight. They even had a room packed with sunflowers! I hope you have a most wonderful week ahead, sweet friend!

Sandra Lambiotte
16 days ago

Hi, Shannon. I know the Van Gogh exhibit was extraordinary and I can just imagine a room packed with sunflowers. That will be a birthday for your daughter to remember.

Have a lovely day and week ahead, my friend.

Lu Bush
Lu Bush
16 days ago

Sunflowers have never been a favorite of mine……your post may have changed my mind today!

Sandra Lambiotte
16 days ago
Reply to  Lu Bush

Hello,Lu. I have always enjoyed sunflowers, especially in VA. as we had plenty of room to plant them. I love them because the birds do. Here I have to plant only a few here and there. But I do love and appreciate what they symbolize.

jeanie
16 days ago

We won’t see blooms on our sunflowers for another two months — usually in August. So I’m thrilled to enjoy yours. And yes, we don’t hear as much about Ukraine these days — and we should. It is just as bad as it was, if not worse.

Sandra Lambiotte
16 days ago
Reply to  jeanie

Jeanie, our sunflowers will most likely be smiling about the time yours are or a wee bit earlier. We are not hearing what we should about Ukraine, I feel cut off from it all. I will never look at a sunflower again without thinking of the people of Ukraine.

bonnie morgan
16 days ago

Sandra, Such a beautiful post. I pinned quite a few pictures.
You did a lot of research and it is a good source of info.
Sunflowers are happy flowers and there are so many varieties as you mentioned. I loved seeing the large fields in Italy and in the U.S. too. Four or more years ago a local produce market planted several acres of sunflowers and invited the public to come and cut them. I actually asked if I could set up a tablescape among the flowers and my pics turned out well even in the middle of the day.

Sandra Lambiotte
15 days ago
Reply to  bonnie morgan

Good morning, Bonnie. Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comments. I know your photos among the flowers were beautiful, I would love to see them. A field of sunflowers would be breathtaking to see. So many glorious things God has provided us to enjoy. Have a great week.

Lorrie Orr
Lorrie Orr
14 days ago

Hello Sandra, I like Mary Oliver’s thought about being dazzled and then reflective. Gardening is like that – I am at first dazzled by all the choice and beauty, and then ponder as I putter in the garden. Dazzling comes again when everything sprouts and blooms and becomes utterly extravagant. I like sunflowers, too. We have quite acidic soil and I have to be careful where I plant them. The war in Ukraine continues to weigh heavily upon my heart, and I am glad that people everywhere are embracing the sunflower in support. I pray daily for an end to… Read more »

Sandra Lambiotte
14 days ago
Reply to  Lorrie Orr

Hello, Lorrie. I share all of your thoughts. I wait and wait for the peonies and then it is an explosion of beauty. We have had heavy rain last night and today and my French poppies were just about to bloom – they look rather sad this afternoon. Like you, the war in Ukraine is so distressing. How I feel for those people and wish this would all come to an end quickly. I can’t imagine Putin’s thoughts but I feel it is all about power and control. He has proven he cares little for human life and culture. Have… Read more »