Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sunflower Garden To Be

It doesn't look like much at the moment, does it?

I took advantage of the 55 degree weather when I got home from work and decided to begin removing the asters from this area.

I forgot what hard work it is to dig out deeply entrenched perennials! I removed 4 wheelbarrow loads (about 45 minutes of work) and decided that was enough heavy-duty digging for today!

I told DH to get some stain because NOW is the perfect time to stain these side panels. (We'll see how fast he moves to get the stain. Who wants to bet that it will be weeks before it's done?)

I am planning to make this side a sunflower garden. About two months ago I bought these seeds:

I will replace the soil I removed today with some of the top soil I bought last fall. I can't plant these until June so I have plenty of time to work on this area.

After the hard work of digging, I wanted to continue working outside. Something easy like trimming this butterfly bush was perfect.

People are always searching to find out how to trim a butterfly bush so I thought I would post these pics to show the before and after.

In the past I have cut it way down to about a foot above ground, but I want it to get a little bit taller than it did last year, so I am experimenting with this height.

I really don't do anything special. I just cut it down wherever I feel like cutting. For about five years now it's worked just fine.

What's with Blogger today? I tried 5 times to answer the comments on yesterday's post, but it would not take my password. I finally gave up trying. But do know that I appreciate your comments Kris, Pea, Giddy, and Jean!


  1. Isn't it great to be outside working?! I love sunflowers - even the ones along the freeway in the summer make me smile.

  2. Hi Kris,
    the comments must be working again.

    I used to not like sunflowers at all. But over the years I have changed and now I just love them, too!

  3. An old friend started her sunflowers inside and she always had nice tall ones. The ones that do the best for me were/are enclosed in the garden fence. Deer like to eat sunflowers too, unfortunately. I haven't have much luck with having too many lately, but I use to have gorgeous ones. Good luck with yours!

  4. It will look good though for sure I know that Zoey :)
    Those sunflowers are going to look gorgeous. I`ve chosen you as one of the blogs for the Thinking Blog Award :)


  5. Are you going to eat any sunflowers before they bloom, like artichokes? I haven't tried that yet, and hope to this year if I get to them before they open.

  6. I always got the impression your DH was pretty prompt about household projects. Do you really think it will be weeks?

  7. Your butterfly bush was huge, Zoey! I hope your new technique works and you get the height you want.

    My butterfly bush stays mostly evergreen here, but I never had to prune them in Illinois- nature chopped them down to a couple of inches each winter.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. Dianne, I didn't know sunflowers were attractive to deer. I may not have much of a garden after all.

    Tea, I feel very honored! Thank you.

    Shreela, Welcome! I did not know you could eat them? I love sunflower seeds, but I don't think I'll be eating any of the flowers.

    Kathy, You are correct.DH is usually very prompt about household things, it's just staining the deck that he procrastinates on EVERY year until the flowers are too tall. That's why it looks the way it does -- last year it didn't get done.

    Annie, I like it tall enough to overhang the deck railing as it's from that side that I enjoy it. I sit there with my camera waiting for the hummers and butterflies.

  9. Hi there. I'm somewhat new to your blog. I found it by searching google for midwest gardening blogs. I'm an amatuer gardener(7 years I've done containers, but this is my 4th summer with a real yard to dig in). I was born with green thumb genes, but my family gardens primarily in Southern California, so any help with cold weather gardening is helpful (I'm in south WI). I have enjoyed your posts, and now have found myself peaking back a few times a week. This post was very helpful. I bought my first butterly bush (Nanjo Blue) last summer, and just this week I stood beside wondering how/if to prune it. I also wondered if it re-grows on old growth. You've answered my questions with your photos, and I'll probably run out and prune while my kids nap today. Thanks for the advice. You're fun to learn from.

  10. I intend to plant another butterfly bush this year. My first one died after the 3rd winter and never grew very large. I'll try a different spot this time. I remember your wonderful pics of the blooms and butterflies last summer Zoey. It's a lovely big bush.

  11. Hi I got ur site by google search "sunflower garden blog". I love sunflower plant very much .I wish I have a small patch of land to plant them. Can you post their photos once they are up.Thnks. I'm from Singapore .


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