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The Story of the Magical Sunflower Garden

Updated on December 12, 2016

The Magical Garden

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The Magical Garden

I believe most of us would agree that there is nothing more beautiful than a magical Sunflower garden in the spring. Sunflower's are awe-inspiring with their bright yellow colors and tall thick stems. I love how they majestically reach up to the sky and tower over the other flowers. They have this uncanny ability to make me smile whenever I see them. Here is my story of discovering a magical sunflower garden in my neighborhood.


Discovery of the Magical Sunflower Garden

I discovered the magical garden one day last summer. I was out for a daily walk with my two dogs. Occasionally I bring my camera because you never know when a photo opportunity will come along. As I merrily made my way through the neighborhood, I noticed a colorful garden off in the distance. It seemed to beckon me as I moved closer to take a look. It was a nice sized garden consisting of wild flowers of different varieties. Dancing above all the others, were bright yellow sunflowers, sprinkled every few feet. I marveled at their poise as their petals reached up to the sky. My camera fell in love with this magical nature scene.

How the Sunflower Garden came to Life

A few days after my wonderful discovery, I bumped into my neighbor who excitedly told me how the sunflower garden, came to be. She explained that she has a bird feeder that hangs off the swing set, in her front yard. It's about fifty feet or so from her garden. One morning she walked outside to enjoy the fresh air and was shocked to see what appeared before her. There, sprinkled among the wild flowers were sunflowers sprouting up. She didn't even have to do the work of planting them. Thanks to the wind and birds carrying the bird seed, my neighbor can enjoy the beauty and wonder of her newly created garden.

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10 Facts about the Beautiful Sunflower

Sunflowers, in all their colorful glory, are a happy sight to behold—but there's more to their nature than just beauty. The multipurpose plants deliver healthy snacks, useful oil, and birdseeds. Let your garden knowledge flourish with these facts about Helianthus Annuus.

1. They're Native to the America's

Like potatoes, tomatoes, and corn, the cheerful plants didn't originate in Europe. They were cultivated in North America as far back as 3000 BCE, when they were developed for food, medicine, dye, and oil. Then, they were exported to the rest of the world by Spanish conquistadors around 1500.

2. THEY WERE BROUGHT TO RUSSIA BY ROYALTY.

Tsar Peter the Great was so fascinated by the sunny flowers he saw in the Netherlands that he took some back to Russia. They became popular when people discovered that sunflower seed oil was not banned during Lent, unlike the other oils the Russian Orthodox Church banned its patrons from consuming. By the 19th century, the country was planting two million acres of sunflowers every year.

3. THEIR POPULARITY STANDS THE TEST OF TIME.

Russian immigrants to the United States in the 19th century brought back highly developed sunflower seeds that grew bigger blooms, and sparked a renewed interest in the native American plant. Later, American sunflower production exploded when Missouri farmers began producing sunflower oil in 1946, when Canada unveiled a mechanical seed-crushing plant, and in the 1970s, when consumers looked for low-cholesterol alternatives to animal fats.

4. THEY NEED A LOT OF RAYS AND ROOM.

The flowers not only look like the sun, they need a lot of it. They grow best with about six to eight hours a day but more is even better. They can grow as tall as 16 feet, although many varieties have been developed to thrive at different heights. Flowers planted too close together will compete and not blossom to their full potential.

5. THEY TRACK THE SUN.

Sunflowers display a behavior called heliotropism. The flower buds and young blossoms will face east in the morning and follow the sun as the earth moves during the day. However, as the flowers get heavier during seed production, the stems will stiffen and the mature flower heads will generally remain facing east.

6. THE WORLD'S TALLEST SUNFLOWER REACHES 30 FEET AND 1 INCH.

In the summer of 2014, Veteran green-thumb Hans-Peter Schiffer toppled the Guinness World Record for third year in a row. The local fire brigade lent its help in measuring the sunflower, which required its own scaffold.

7. THEY HAVE A HISTORY OF HEALING.

In Mexico, the flowers were thought to sooth chest pain. A number of Native American tribes agreed with the plant's curing properties. The Cherokee utilized an infusion of sunflower leaves to treat kidneys while the Dakota brought it out to sooth "chest pain and pulmanery troubles."

8. THEY HAVE TRAVELED TO SPACE.

In 2012, U.S. astronaut Don Pettit brought along a few companions to the International Space Station: sunflower seeds. Petit regularly blogged about his budding friendship and shared photos of the gardening process.

9. THEY ARE ACTUALLY THOUSANDS OF TINY FLOWERS.

Each sunflower's head is made of smaller flowers. The petals we see around the outside are called ray florets, and they cannot reproduce. But the disc florets in the middle, where the seeds develop, have both male and female sex organs, and each produce a seed. They can self-pollinate or take pollen blown by the wind or transported by insects.

10. THEY CAN BE USED AS SCRUBBING PADS.

Once the flower heads are empty of seeds, they can be converting into disposable scrubbing pads for jobs too tough for your cleaning tool. Source: Mental Floss


© 2011 Linda Rogers

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  • profile image

    Sunnie Day 6 years ago

    Dear Minne,

    This was a very beautiful hub! Thank you for sharing..you are right nothing like a sunflower garden, it is magical and beautiful. Thank you!

    Sunnie

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thank you so much Sunnie Day. Aren't Sunflowers amazing? They make me so happy:)

  • BobbiRant profile image

    BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

    I absolutely adore sunflowers. So cheery and so perky even on a rainy and cloudy day. The birds absolutely adore them when they go to seed too. I like them in vases in the house when still small too. Great hub.

  • profile image

    marellen 6 years ago

    MT...sunflowers are one of my favorite and how can it not bring out the happiness within us. Definitely, a sign that spring is here. Beautiful pics.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Loved this hub. Amazing what nature does without any effort from humans! There's nothing better than wildflower gardens, and sunflowers always bring a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing your photos and story.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    What a happy discovery for you and your neighbor. Very beautiful and really nicely written!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Bobby-I know, one look at a sunflower and I'm a happy gal. I just thought this was such a cute story of how this garden came to be.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks marellen. Sunflowers are so striking and beautiful. I stare at them all day:)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks so much Happyboomernurse. This story just intrigued me. One day no sunflowers and the next, wala: a sunflower garden, compliments of nature.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks Pooh. I just love this story of how her Sunflowers came to be. Nature is so amazing! I am hoping this happens to me as I have a bird feeder over my back deck. I'll be watching for signs of the Sunflower:)

  • Twilight Lawns profile image

    Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

    A few years back I went on holiday to Piedmont in northern Italy. Driving through fields of sunflowers was an amazing sight. I love them... Have you ever looked into the arrangement of the seeds? Not haphazard, but radiating circles and whorls... so lovely.

  • neeleshkulkarni profile image

    neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

    this is how the best things in the world occur to us Linda-out of the blue- and they stun us with their beauty.we just neeed to keep our eyes open for such stuff that heaven throws at us at random.

    glad you are open to the pieces of heaven that drop into ur lap.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    I can't imagine how amazing that would be to drive through a field of sunflower's. You must've felt like you were in heaven. I don't know much about how to plant these. Are you saying it's pretty if you put the seeds in a circle shape? I have put seeds out in the past and some animals eats it once it starts to bloom. Any suggestions?

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi neeleshkulkarni-I know, what a gift those surprises are that come when we least expect it.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Yes, sunflowers are incredible and one must feel happy when they are spread out in a crowd just smiling and swaying. Thanks for this lovely Hub.

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Beautiful, I put sunflowers on the border of the vegetable garden.

  • laurels passions profile image

    laurels passions 6 years ago from Belmont, NH

    Beautiful story! Gardens are magical~ it is great to be 'beckoned' by such beauty...I will try yo grow some sunflowers this year! Thanks

  • catgypsy profile image

    catgypsy 6 years ago from the South

    They are one of my favorites too! I've always thought of them as magical for some reason. Thanks for making me smile today!

  • GarnetBird profile image

    Gloria Siess 6 years ago from Northern California

    LOVELY Hub--I feel the same way--I just drove past acres of yellow daffodils and wished I'd had my camera.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I love the colors in the photographs - the beautiful yellow sunflowers and the pink and orange flowers too. The pictures are so cheerful!

  • stars439 profile image

    stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

    They are so easy to grow, and beautiful. I once planted them around a pond, and they took so easily. GBY. Great hub.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thank you Hyphenbird, I'm so glad you liked my sunflower story. These flowers are like a happy pill for me.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    mckbirds-I love that you have sunflowers bordering your veggie garden. HMMM, great idea:)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Laurels passions-I think we both need to plant sunflowers this summer. I like that Mockingbird borders her veggie garden with these. I have some ideas of where I'd like to plant mine in addition to my veggie garden.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Glad my sunflowers gave you a smile today. They have that ability to inspire:)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    I love daffodils too. I know, I love having my camera for natures surprises. Thanks for reading my story GarnetBird.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Alicia-Thanks for stopping by my sunflower hub. I loved the colors in her garden too and I so love wild flowers.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Stars-I have heard that sunflowers are easy to grow. I tried one year but as soon as they started blooming some animal ate them. I was so disappointed. I don't like to use anything toxic to keep animals away. Do you or does anyone have any suggestions for what I could use so my Sunflowers bloom and don't get eaten??

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

    Sunflowers are one of God's majesties. Very nice Hub.

    The Frog

  • Bumpsysmum profile image

    Bumpsysmum 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    I am so jealous, I have tried growing sunflowers, I love them, but the rabbits eat them before they get above 4 inches!! Even tried fencing them off but the little blighters still get in....loved this hub, bright and cheerful, lovely pics too, brought a smile :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    I agree Frog-Sunflower's are a reminder of the gift of nature and it's wonderful surprises.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    HI Bumpsysmom-I know, I'm a little jelous of my neighbor too and how easily her sunflower garden came to be. The same thing happens to me when I try to plant sunflowers. I'm not sure what is eating the root as it sprouts but it could be rabbits. We have a lot of them around here.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Twin, what a beautiful story. How wonderful to have a garden planted by birds just for you to enjoy.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    I know, isn't that the coolest story. That garden makes me smile every time I walk passed it. Not just the beauty of it but how it came to be.

  • shimmering Dawn profile image

    shimmering Dawn 6 years ago

    Sunflowers are majestic indeed, they stand proud and tall. I have had some in my garden they just found their way there, as you say maybe from the bird feeder;) but it was beautiful to have them around. One look out of the window and my day would be made. Thanks for sharing !!

  • thougtforce profile image

    Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

    This hub spread a feeling of spring and summer since those magnificent flowers looks like the sun. I have also had sunflowers planted from bird feeder and they where so welcome!

    Thanks for those lovely photos!

    Tina

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi! Great hub and a beautiful photograph. Sunflowers are incredible and the do have the nack of cheering you up at any time. Your neighbour is also correct about the birds and the feeders. It's amazing what our feathered friends will help you with in the garden. Loved this hub!

  • Twilight Lawns profile image

    Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

    No. I meant the whole "face" of the sunflower is perfectly arranged in circles, radiating from the inside... well. not circles, because they would be concentric, but ... Oh! You know what I mean!!!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Shimmering Dawn-How awesome that you've had them too. Isn't it amazing how nature can give us these surprises. Thanks for stopping:)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks Tina and you are so welcome. So you too have had these majestic flowers show up without you even planting them. I can't imagine how exciting that would be to look out my window and see Sunflowers.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Seeker-I know, they have the ability to make you smile with their incredible beauty and vibrant color. Happy spring-I wish it felt like it here in Minnesota.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Sorry Twilight, my bad. I get it. How I read that wrong is beyond me???? I know, the circles are really cool aren't they. Everything about this flower is magnificient and intriguing.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    I love your pictures and sunflowers are especially beautiful. I wrote about them quite a while ago also. This was an very enjoyable hub. Rated up/beautiful

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Pamela-I'm glad you liked my hub and the pictures. I'll have to go find your sunflower hub. You can never get enough sunny happy sunflower's.

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi Minnetonka Twin, a very beautiful hub with awesome sunflower photos, good thing you had your camera with you to capture this sunflower garden .

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Kashmir-I am really glad I had the camera. I love this little garden:)

  • profile image

    shygirl2 6 years ago

    Sunflowers stand so bright and tall, they make the viewer see it all. Beautiful photos and great hub! :D Loved it!!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks shygirl:) I liked your rhyme:)

  • Whidbeywriter profile image

    Mary Gaines 6 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

    This hub made me smile today....thank you for the lovely pics and story of the sunflower garden. Blessings!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks and so glad it made you smile. Blessings right back:)

  • mulberry1 profile image

    mulberry1 6 years ago

    Left undisturbed, plants and flowers grow wonderfully. I've noticed in recent years that the highway department is allowing wildflowers to grow along roadways and near rest stops more often. The flowers put on such a beautiful display. Lovely picture of the sunflowers, thanks for sharing.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi mulberry-I think it's such a great thing that they let the wild flowers grow. I sure like seeing beautiful flowers when I'm on the highway, especially when I'm stuck in traffic.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

    No one is a bigger fan of sunflowers than me, so I am very happy you wrote a hub on the magic of sunflowers...weirdly enough I was planning on writing one in the future. My daughter's baby shower was sunflower themed. I remember having sunflowers in my grandmother's garden as a child that were taller than me and they are just so comforting to me...remind me of being a child...something enchanting about them. I get offended when people say to me, "those are weeds!" BS! They're beautiful flowers...they're better than flowers. :) Voted up and beautiful!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    kitty-Wow, you love these FLOWERS as much as I do. Why would anyone want to make a point of calling these gorgeous Yellow miracles, weeds. Who cares what they are called, they are amazing and why focus on them being weeds. They make me so happy and I see you feel the same:)

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 5 years ago

    ....well there's 'magic' everytime I see your name ...

    there's 'magic' everytime I read your words .... there's magic in this world because of people like you - please stay in good health for your family, friends, colleagues, followers and your Canadian Prince who loves you so for your esteemed and honored contributions to the Hub!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Ok, this was so cool at this late hour to see you drop in and make my evening with those sweet words. What would I do without my Canadian Prince. Noone charms me the way you do. Hope your night is as magical as you:)

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Minnetonka, the photos are fabulous and the flowers certainly do look magical, great I love it! voted up

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks Movie Master. There is something so magical about sunflowers. I just love them! Their a perfect sign of spring.

  • profile image

    stessily 5 years ago

    MT, Wind-sown plants and bird seed leftovers are magical! I love sunflowers with coneflowers, so it's a pleasure to see them in your neighbor's impromptu garden.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
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    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    What are coneflowers? I am guessing their in my photo's but I've never heard of it. Thanks again for reading another one of my hubs. You are too kind.

  • profile image

    stessily 5 years ago

    MT, coneflowers are the lovely pink-lavender flowers which are clustered in front of the sunflowers in both of your photos. They're one of my favorite wildflowers. For me it's the ultimate gift from nature to come across sunflowers with coneflowers, and I have been gifted again in this hub.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks Stessily and I had no idea that the coneflower was part of the Sunflower. Who knew? That is interesting to me. Hope your having a wonderful day. :-)

  • profile image

    stessily 5 years ago

    MT, Please excuse any confusion that may have been conveyed by my reference to "sunflowers with coneflowers." They're separate plants. I just like to see them growing together; they like growing together, and it shows because they thrive in proximity.

    Now that you know what they look like, I suspect you'll see them everywhere cuz they kinda grow on you!:-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    AHA! thanks for that. It sure sounded cool having other flowers growing with sunflowers. Hee Hee :-)

  • Don Simkovich profile image

    Don Simkovich 5 years ago from Pasadena, CA

    We use sunflowers around our house -- in paintings, on dishes, and stencils on the wall. They're bright and uplifting. We even grew some in our square foot garden.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    They are one of those flowers that make you so happy. I have yet to grow them but want to try it next summer. Are they easy to grow?

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