Monday, June 27, 2011

Yellow With Jealousy

My sunflowers have just started blooming again. But this post comes 2 months earlier than last year's did.

From this morning

I really was on the ball this spring. I planted them on time, instead of waiting till the last minute when the temps were scorching.

I wanted to have tall, majestic sunflowers like I did the very first year I planted them. Even the red ones I planted turned out nice.

Summer 2007

Hmm...the camera must have slipped a little when Chuck was taking this picture...sneaky bastard

And I just like this one Desiree took because we look surprised...surprised the sunflowers are so damn awesome!!

Every year I try a different brand of seeds labeled 'Russian Mammoth', and every year I've found that the seed company has lied to me. (I'm not sunflowerist by the way, I just really like Russian Mammoths compared to all others. Is that so wrong?)

Do these look 'mammoth' to you? Anywhere close to 'mammoth'??

I didn't think so.

It's been hot as a bitch since the beginning of May. 90F+ every single day. With little to no rain. And no shade whatsoever. It hasn't even been fucking cloudy more than a few days this growing season. So I've had to water the shit out of them, and even that hasn't been enough.

So I figure that the drought is the problem with my sunflowers. It's been pretty severe.

We've had some major wildfires burning close by over the last couple of weeks because it's so dry they can't contain it. Ash has been falling like snowflakes. There's a sickly orange glow over everything when the sun can get through the smoke...almost like the light of an orange streetlamp but in the daytime. We've been sick at work because the smoke gets in very easily, and five minutes of being in the receiving room will render you breathless and ill.

My friend took this pic the other morning driving to work. That's not fog, it's smoke.

We really need some rain, badly. Although it will be too late to help my sunflowers. Oh well, they still look much less sad than last year's. Next year I'll also try them in a different spot, lack of crop rotation may also be a problem. I never said I was an agricultural virtuoso.

A friend of mine also grew some sunflowers, and hers ended up at 9 feet tall. My tallest one is barely 6. She's got a bit more shade in her yard. She showed me pictures on the phone, and her sunflowers looked so awesome that I had to stifle the pressing urge to punch her in the face and throw her phone in the garbage.

She offered me some of the seeds from them for next year.

Pity seeds.

But you know what? I'll take 'em. These average, mediocre, less than colossal sunflowers are starting to piss me off.

I only want the best! The best, dammit! I'm tired of yearly disappointment.


Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

Congrats to have the Sunflowers blooming already; shame they're not so large and that it's been so damned hot for you. Today we reached 32c, which must be around 90F and I'm melting. Waiting for this promised thunderstorm because we too really need some rain!

Kal said...

That picture of you with your dixie sunflowers is terrific. Always love seeing a local girl livin' the dream.

John Gray said...

cant comment on the boobs but the sunflowers are truely lovely!!!

Jess said...

Pity seeds...cracked me up. There's some ten footers totally done and seed ready down the street. I wonder if the guy would notice me crawling up his fence to get them for you?

Natalie said...

Kyna, they're beautiful! My red ones are blooming (short, red, multiflowered) but my yellow ones aren't yet. I've got one that decided to grow along the floor and up, so it's about 1.5ft high.
I love sunflowers, they're such happy plants.

Kyna said...

Liz: I don't mind it getting up that high if it didn't want to stay that high from the beginning of May till the end of September. I used to REALLY mind when I first moved here, but my body's gotten used to it. It's the humidity that really gets me though...last night I we walked out of work at 10:30, and it felt like a sauna. G.R.O.S.S.

Kal: LOL! Dixie, eh? :) Well, if I could choose to live in Edmonton for the summer, and in NC for the winter, that would be a REAL dream of mine. :P

John: My boobs are sad. But they'll get over it :D

Jess: HAHA! The image I got in my head of you scaling some guys fence for seeds cracked ME up! That would be so awesome...*cue Mission Impossible music*

Natalie: That's why I grow them, they cheer me up. Well...if they didn't piss me off so much, they'd cheer me up lol. I think next year I'll grow some red ones again, they were really pretty. And those ones I don't expect to get huge :)

Tracy said...

Hahah - pity seeds. Your sunflowers definitely don't look mammoth, but the still look great! I would like some of your sun / heat. It's almost July and we are still wearing long sleeve shirts half the time because it won't stop raining and warm the hell up! New England - why the @#$# do we live here???? We can't figure it out either....

The Idiot Gardener said...

Kyna, they're marvellous, so round and eye-grabbing. The sunflowers are a bit shit though!

Try jerusalem artichokes, which are related to the sunflower. They grow to over 10 feet, have yellow flowers, and the tuber are delicious roasted.

You want to put manure on them. No, not the sunflowers.

I'll get my coat...

Marguerite said...

and here I am jealous that you've got sunflowers, who cares their height?! I tried planting sunflowers indoors this year. of 12 seeds 4 sprouted? 3 of those died. So one plant is outdoors which has not grown an iota since. too cold? I tried planting seeds outdoors. Again, of the dozen or so seeds 2 have sprouted. Since sprouting they've stayed one inch tall. I thought these darn plants were supposed to be easy to grow! (ps I bought Sunflower giganteus, not so much)

Kyna said...

Tracy: You live there because it's friggin beautiful in NE :P Rainy/slightly cold weather or not :P :)

IG: The artichokes, don't they need some sort of trellis or support or something?

I'm looking for something with less support. The opposite from bra shopping.

And don't forget your hat.

Marguerite: I'd probably have no luck if I had to start them indoors. I'm shit at growing plants indoors. I know I shouldn't complain, I just wish I could buy the right damn sunflowers. I don't like when the package lies...

The Idiot Gardener said...

They don't need trellis. It's almost as if the Baby Jesus was reaching down from heaven and cupping them in his imaginary hand.

Kyna said...

They sound like a miracle. Maybe I had better grow some!

Just in case Chuck gets cancer again, and I have to cure him with a divine artichoke.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Ack, we had summers like that a couple of years ago. Hot as hell, and so much wildfire smoke you could cut through it with a machete. I hope you get some rain soon. And those pity seeds? Hang on to them! I look at it this way, they've already been selected for being 9 ft tall, they're locally adapted to growing where you are, I bet next year they'll grow to be true mammoths! Besides, our Russian Mammoths are barely two feet tall right now. Not enough sun here yet to make them happy this year :( I think I'm going to rename mine Russian Midgets...