Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hope for a New Year, Sunflowers Plant of the Year for 2021 A Garden Review

Everyone I know has had enough of 2020, so even though Christmas is still a day or two away, it's time to look forward! 

There seems to be many authorities on Plant of the Year for 2021 and I know we all need something to look forward to, so I'm going with the authorities at the Winnipeg Free Press!  They (and I agree with them) have dubbed 2021 the Year of the Sunflower!


There is so much about sunflowers that I just love and I'm going to fill you in on just a few of them.

  1. They are easy to grow from seeds.
  2. They will grow without any help from you.  No fertilizers, no need to baby them!
  3. By summertime, you will have a beautiful stalk of bright yellow flowers (or some other cultivar).
  4. They are beautiful cut flowers that last a long time.
  5. The bees will love you!  as well as butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies, and other insects that all feed on the nectars they produce.
  6. The flowers are interesting not only for their colors (and there are many) but also for the seeds they are producing.
  7. If you are into "mathematics", they love working the Fibonacci Sequencing with the seed heads as they are revealed in growth patterns in nature.
  8. The seed heads are food for birds, squirrels, chipmunks, field mice and more.
  9. You can bake the seeds for human consumption too!  But you can also eat them raw.
  10. You can have a variety of sunflowers growing together.  They will delight you in so many ways.
So when you think of sunflowers are you just thinking of the big yellow multi petalled flower?  There are so many more varieties of sunflowers than the traditional yellow.  

Sunflower "Elf" is probably the shortest growing at stems of 16 inches or so in height.  Then there is one called Sunforest Mix which can grow up to 10 feet tall.  The seed heads can measure almost 12 inches across!  As it's name implies, if you plant a bunch of these you will have a "Sunflower Forest" growing.  What could be more beautiful?  The bees, birds and small wildlife will thank you!

Did you know that Sunflowers are also yellow with orange centers, or white?  Some varieties have just a few layers of petals around the seed head, while others are so full of petals that they look fuzzy!  

One thing that they all have in common is that they will surely bring a smile to your face!


Ripening Seed heads! Just one sunflower can produce hundreds of seeds.  That will feed a lot of birds!

            This bird can hardly wait for the seeds to ripen on this seed head and he's helping himself to a delicious snack!

Seed heads are easy to harvest.  Just grab a sharp knife (be careful) and cut the seed head off.  You don't need to remove the seeds from the rest of the flower head, unless you want to.  Turn the heads upside down and suspend them with some string and the birds will come for them.  If you have lots of seed heads, you might want to ration them out a head at a time, so that as winter sets in you still have some heads for the birds.  Sunflower seeds are a great source of food for the birds in the winter months.  They are loaded with oils that birds need for energy during the coldest months of the year.  

If you want to get an idea about how many colors and sizes of Sunflowers there are, here is a link to HGTV's 13 Crazy and Colorful Sunflowers!  

I think I would love to have a few acres that I could plant with sunflowers of all types, can you just imagine the riot of color that would be seen? 

As we lead up to Christmas, I won't fill your minds with too much more than beautiful pictures of the Sunflowers that hopefully will grace your gardens in 2021.  In the language of flowers, sunflowers mean Adoration, Loyalty, and Longevity!  We( all the writers) at Review This Reviews, adore our fans and readers.  We will loyally bring you a variety of reviews that you will enjoy and we want to be with you and have you visit us often.   A very fitting flower for us, for this time of year and the year to come.  


Decorate your life with a little sunshine that lasts and lasts.  Sunflowers are just one of the cheeriest flowers and so charming in their own way!





I can't think of a flower that would make me smile bigger and longer than the sight of a bright yellow or red sunflower!



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14 comments:

  1. I have always liked the Sunflower since attending collage in Kansas and then marrying a Kansas boy. You see, the Sunflower is the state flower of Kansas. It grows wild throughout this prairie state and I have always thought of it as such a happy flower. May the new year bring happiness and joy and return a sense of hope to all.

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    1. I'm so glad that you have more than one reason to love Sunflowers Pat. They truly are a Happy Flower in my books. State flower of Texas you say, wonderful is what I think! Wish it were my provincial flower, but alas it is not! I do admire seeing fields and fields of these lovely plants when I am travelling. Hopefully in the new year we will all be able to do that again!

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  2. The sunflower is the perfect flower for 2021! The yellow sunflowers even coordinate with the Pantone decorating colors of 2021 that Barbara Tremblay Cipak shared with us a few days ago. The sunflower is my husbands favorite flower. It really is an awesome, giving flower, not just in beauty, but in nourishment too. We all need that restoration!

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    Replies
    1. Oh I so agree with you Miss Mouse! Sunflowers are right up my alley to bring smiles with it's cheerful and very long lasting flowers. All the birds rejoice when they see a field of these flowers or even just one or two. A very thankful addition to anyone's garden.

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  3. I love the beautiful sunflower. I have my guest bathroom decorated with sunflowers. Thanks for a fun and informative review.

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    Replies
    1. You are so welcome Mary Beth, I love sunflowers too and think they make a great decorating choice!

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  4. Sunflowers certainly do make the world brighter and more cheerful - and, as you say, we all need something positive to look forward to (and that is at least somewhat within our control)! I love the idea of being able to harvest and store the seed heads to provide important nourishment to the birds during the harsh winter months. Thank you for bringing warmth and sunshine to us all year long, my friend. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas!

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    1. Oh margaret you are too kind. I love that sunflowers are easy to grow and yes, they do give us that needed punch of color in a sometimes drab world. Wishing you and your family the best for the New Year to come!

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  5. Oliva, I love the photos, beautiful. Sunflowers are my one of my faves, but the direction my house faces leaves very little choice where I could put them. I think if we put a sidewalk up the other side of the house I could get them in there. They're such a cheerful flower. Great choice for 2021 given the year we've all had.

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    1. It has been a tough year for sure. Even in my limited space, I will make a place for a sunflower or two. They were a favorite of my sisters! I love that they fit in with the color of the year too!

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  6. The Sunflower would be a lovely choice for Plant of the year 2021!!Love that Sunflowers mean Adoration, Loyalty, and Longevity. I love sunflowers, they are so cheerful and amazing flowers growing so quickly and so beautiful! I agree acres of sunflowers would be a stunning sight. We always grow a few in a nice sunny spot. Bees love them and we leave the flower heads to go to seed and then the birds enjoy a feast! Gorgeous Photos Olivia!!

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    1. Oh Jasmine, I am so glad you enjoyed this review. Easy to grow and beautiful are just a few of the wonders of this plant. You are right the bees are just drawn to them and then the birds. It really is a plant that gives back to nature in more ways than one!

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  7. Olivia, those photos are gorgeous. I love sunflowers. They are cheerful and speak of hope. Their brightness dispels the gloom. I agree it deserves to be Plant of the Year. Maybe I will plant some this year.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Barbara, I do hope you will find a corner in your space for one or two of these amazing plants. We all need some hope for 2021 and I'm wishing you lots of Good Things for this coming year!

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