For the last six years I have been growing giant sunflowers. The fascination comes from seeing life starting from a seed and come to full size in four to six months. The seeds are collected and the cycle is started all over again. This is a good project for you to capture the growth of the sunflower, compose the images to be captured and plan how to present them.
Some of the images later on in this blog include images of nudity because this posting is being released on World Naked Gardening Day! World Naked Gardening Day is held on the first Saturday in May and involves gardening in the nude. It is meant to be amusing, not to be taken seriously and must not have any political agenda. After taking the risk you cover up and get on with your life.
The sunflower is the only flower with flower in its name and it can grow from 2 to 4 metres if it is cared for whilst growing. It all starts from the seed which can be purchased from a garden centre. Place in a good soil that is purchased from a shop. Introducing soil from the garden will introduce other issues such as slugs eating the baby sunflower. If you want to grow three sunflowers plant six seeds. Not all will survive when placed outside.
For this composition of the sunflower in the ground I included a snail shell. The snail becomes the sunflower biggest enemy after it rains. They come out from all of their hiding places and ignore every other plant and go for the young sunflower. This is the sunflower at three weeks.
After been in the ground for six weeks this is how it looks. It is not interesting as a photograph. The images are to document the growth of the sunflower.
Three weeks have passed and this is how the sunflowers have grown.
The sunflower’s head should now be emerging from the long stem. This is where you start capturing details of the head.
My height is 1.8 metres so you can see that the sunflowers have grown. The sunflower needs at least six hours of sunshine every day and a good plant food to go in the soil every two weeks.
You can start composing different compositions of the heads when they are fully opened. Examine them carefully and plan your shots. Capture events which happen around the sunflower at different times of the day. The sunflower head follows the sun from the east to the west. Look at them every two hours to see the head movement.
It is World Naked Gardening Day. Make sure that the neighbours or children are not watching if you intend to do something crazy for that day. I have stretched my arms out to show how tall my sunflowers had grown.
The giant sunflower was of interest to me because I could see them from my window once they are fully grown, and they can be seen above all the cars in the car park.
Once the bees have been at the sunflower head it will get heavy. If the sunflower is not rooted deep enough in the soil it will fall over.
I placed the fallen sunflower back in the ground and added extra bamboos to the ground to support the sunflower.
I waited for the sunflower’s head to convert to seeds whilst producing smaller sunflowers on its stem.
Whilst this was happening it allowed the snails to enjoy the big leaves.
When the sunflower heads were ready I cut them off. Sunflower seeds are delicious in dishes and I gladly gave one to a neighbour who asked.
With the saved sunflower heads I started the cycle of planting the seeds to produce giant sunflowers.
I have never been able to get any more sunflower heads because a squirrel comes around every year and eats every single seed. The seeds I use are from my first year of growing sunflowers.
The sunflower symbolizes faith, loyalty and longevity. I planted my sunflowers in the car park and it made a big change to the car park. It also raised a few eyebrows on the day for people who were hiding behind their curtains and wondering why I was setting up a camera in the car park.
Whilst staying at home, make positive changes to your environment and be careful if you are doing something unexpected.