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My only sunflower is self sown from the bird feeder above and is growing horizontally. If I was more clever i would show you a picture but I haven't worked out how to yet!
My one and only sunflower has finished flowering and is now making seed but it was beautiful while it lasted and at over two metres had to be tied to a drainpipe. But the bush that gets hundreds, perhaps thousands of hoverfly visitors in my garden is the Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, which I love,leaves mixed with mint as a tea at bedtime. This has brought a dilemma. The hoverflies love the nectar from the masses of flowers. I need to cut them down to get fresh growth in September. If I leave the flowers and they seed I get self sown Lemon Balm all over the garden. But then, pulling them out leaves me smelling strongly of lemon - could be worse.
I have a Sunflower that is well over 7ft and still no sign of a flower! The other's did not fair so well and flowered before they even reached 2ms, and I have 2 minature ones that are no bigger than 30cms.
I have some Floribunda which are looking very poorly with rose rust, can anyone advise me as to what action to take now to stop this???????
Sophiesgardens - a horizontal sunflower sounds love. At least it won't blow over! Potsmith - sounds like you're on to a winner. Keep feeding it and let us know how you get on Happymarion - I love lemon balm, will find a friend who grows it so I can take some home. Carol - remove all affected stems and leaves and burn them, or dispose of them, don't put them in the compost heap. Remove all leaves that have fallen to the ground as well, as the rust fungus will overwinter. It's also worth pruning out any congested growth, to enable air to circulae around the plant better, preventing rust in future. Mo - try taking root cuttings of the sea holly. This how-to project will show you how to do it: Kate


hi there people,this has nothing to do with sunflowers,however,could someone tell me if i have bumble-bees with a disease, for the last few days i have noticed some large red/black fluffy bees in my garden,they have been crawling along the floor [not flying] i noticed on there back [shoulder blade area]theses tiny clusters of well all i can say is tiny little eggs about 4/6 on each bee,,,what are they? thank you.
evening primrose - they sound like mites, which hitch a ride on the back of the bumblebees. They don't harm the bees directly, but if there are loads of them on a bee they can hamper its flight. If the bees aren't moving too much, you could try brushing the mites off with a paintbrush or soft toothbrush? Kate
Kate Past 2 weeks found large bumblebees dead or dying on my patio, so far the count is 10. They are rather large, I donot use pesticides in my garden. Is this natural? I have notice a great increase of hoverflies in my garden all shapes and sizes and my leafcutter bees or wasps are doing well. Not been stung yet!!!
lazygardener - it's that time of year, I wouldn't have thought there was anything sinister going on. You've probably got a bumblebee nest near you and the workers start to die off from about now (depending on the species), while the mated daughter queens go off to hibernate, starting again in spring. Workers only live for up to six weeks anyway. Are you able to describe the bees - or the colour of their bums? Red bum, white bum, dirty orange bum... Kate
I have a number of sunflowers dotted about which are a thank you from the coal tits which visited the feeders during the cold weather. Despite putting out around 20kg a week, instinct told them to stash black sunflower seed and they chose some great places - including the neighbour's borders! (always good for brownie points) The tallest of them is about 1.7m and is looking glorious behind the shed amongst thistles and nettles. The soldier beetles have never had it so good..
Yes, lazygardener, I too have been removing the dead bumblebees(dirty orange bums, Kate,)from my conservatory which they seem to choose for their dying days.
i had 3 sunflowers growing, 2 of them flowered at around one meter and the other well i thought it was a dandylion it was so small when it flowered at about 2 inches lol i was going to take a picture of it but the slugs devoured it overnight :(
Thanks to Kate and Happymarion, I was finding it rather upsetting,(my bumblebees had dirty orange bums)their have chosen my patio to die on. Yesderday luchtime left my lunch plate for a minute, came back and a wasp was in my plate raiding my blackforest ham, I kindly removed a peice and watched it come back numerous time cutting bits of it. This time last year I would have been flapping around and causing a fuss, but just watched it and enjoyed the moment.
Lazygardener - Last year a bumblebee walked into my flat and under a chest of drawers, to die. It was strangely comforting. Lovely wasp story. So glad you are enjoying the wildlife in your garden Kate


Thanks Kate for the advice regarding sea holly cuttings, will give it a try in a few weeks. Have you any idea why my roses have mildew on the leaves and around the buds, they flower beautifully,so doesn't seem to have harmed them, just don't look too nice.
Hi there... Just been out and measured my tallest sunflower and it's 4 metres 30 mm..The tallest I've ever grown for sure...others around it are around 3.5 - 4 metres....they are magnificient....I'll email a picture.... Cheers
mooncarrot - that's fantastic! Can you take a photo of it and send it to the email address above? Thanks Kate
i have grown a sunflower with 7 flowers on one stem is this unusual or a common thing with sunflowers