When my son was younger - and up to a couple of years ago, he always insisted on growing sunflowers. I think it might have started from an item on Blue Peter. Sunflowers come in many forms, from quite short bushes with multiple heads to much taller specimens. They are certainly not all yellow, and we had some wonderful shades of red and russets a couple of years ago.
They make lovely cut flowers but we try to leave most of them in the garden in order to harvest the seeds. We have always included sunflower seeds in our diet. My son originally had the thought that he could harvest his seeds for our consumption. Unfortunately, it is pretty near impossible to extract them from their hard outer casing in a domestic setting. I once heard Bob Flowerdew commenting on his various attempts, I think a coffee grinder may have been mentioned. If it defeated Bob, I'm sure we don't stand a chance. So why our interest in allowing the flower heads to mature? They make wonderful natural bird feeders. We tend to dry them off in the greenhouse - safely suspended from the ceiling as we have both voles and field mice. One by one we fasten them outside in the winter. As the birds peck, loose seeds tend to fall and I've watched a little mouse carrying those away. I try to make sure that the foodchain stops there! Mice can be a pest but next door's cat is already well fed!
My son's favourite type of sunflower, one of the types which grows very tall (3m or so), and has large, yellow, often single, flower heads - 'Russian Giants'.
My latest flower corsage is of mixed sunflowers:
I am now dashing off to make a cuppa and will then settle down to enjoy selecting the remaining nominees to whom to hand on the blog awards. (See earlier post - 'Sunshine Awards'). I have tried to do this a few times but always end up engrossed in reading!
Two cups of tea, a stiff shoulder ( I must be more aware of posture at the computer) and lots of fun later - I've chosen my next 13 nominees. With the 5 previously listed, I still have another 6 to choose. More fun another day. For information about the award please see my earlier post - Sunshine Awards. Today's choices are: