Sunflowers in October

The rape crop for next year has already been planted in fields nearby but the weather is so mild that the sunflower seeds that have fallen from the plants harvested in the summer have now started to grow and bloom in between the rape plants.

This must be an unexpected treat for the bees.

Elsewhere in the garden, Kourosh’s lemon tree is enjoying the exceptionally warm and sunny days and it looks as if we will be able to take all the lemons off the tree before it needs to be taken indoors. There is a crop of about fifty lemons which is not bad for such a small tree.

I will be gathering in my peppers “Havana Gold” in a day or two. I have two pots and I find them very decorative, especially at this time of year. They are just right for me as they provide a good flavour in sauces and soup without being too hot. I just wash and deseed them before freezing them to store.

The Asters are just about finishing so I will have to say goodbye to my little blue butterflies that come into the garden for the nectar from the asters. I have been so pleased with them that we are going to enlarge the border to provide more space for them for next year.

The Salvia leucantha steals the show in the garden just now. It is delicate but I am going to try again this winter to see if I can over winter it in the soil. I did not succeed last year so I must increase the protection.

This is another of the Salvias that has been flowering throughout the summer and is still going strong.

I noticed that whereas the bumblebees push straight into the Nerine Bowdenii flowers that the honey bees take a more indirect route and find nectar by prospecting around the outside base of the flowers. I find these flowers very rewarding. Once you take the trouble to plant the bulbs, they pop up to brighten the garden when other flowers are fading.

My Cosmos is overgrown and falling but I cannot tidy it up as the Goldfinches have it marked and return faithfully as they seem determined to have every last seed.

This morning on my way to take the photographs of the sunflowers, I spotted a “sanglier” (Sus scrofa) running across the vines into a wood. These wild pigs live in the woods in France and can cause damage if they root around in the garden, or if they run in front of a car because they can be very large.

15 thoughts on “Sunflowers in October

  1. janesmudgeegarden

    It must be lovely to see the sunflowers still flowering. I’m interested to know what you do with all your lemons after you pick them. I’m not very good at using fresh lemons up, so earlier this year I tried pickling them which was a successful venture.
    I hope that sanglier doesn’t venture into your garden!

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    1. The lemons last for a month or so in the fridge. We go through a lot ourselves but we also have friends that use a lot of lemons and as these lemons are particularly thin-skinned and juicy we are never left with any. Kourosh did try putting some in brine one year but we found them they made the food too salty. One winter we did have the sangliers in the garden but that was an exception. The hunt is charged with keeping them at acceptable levels. Amelia

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  2. Ooh, hope the wild pigs never get too near to your garden! Apparently there are some near us, but I have never come across one and our garden is fenced in. The sunflowers look lovely. And what a bumper crop of lemons! I like the look of the salvia leucantha. Very pretty!

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    1. The sunflowers can grow very large and woody, so time will tell, I think this may be a first because we have hit new records for high October temperatures. You would imagine that it could hinder the harvesting of the rape in the spring as they are not going to go and weed out the sunflowers. Amelia

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  3. Oh my goodness, that sanglier looks big and formidable! I would not like to bump into it in my garden! Apparently there are some in California forests, but I have thankfully never seen one. Your garden is lovely and your lemon tree is so productive! And I can see why you like those peppers–so ornamental. I love seeing your bees and butterflies and that you keep the cosmos seeds for the birds to enjoy. 🙂 Lovely post Amelia! -lisa

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