Sunflower House Update

by Cynthia

I figured it was about time I did another update on the sunflower house I planted a few months ago. Some of you may remember the problems I was having with a critter digging up seedlings in the night as well as ants nibbling away at the sunflowers that were struggling to make it.

It has been a challenging year for this garden and that most certainly includes the sunflower house. I have all but given up on the idea of it having a roof made of morning glories and scarlet runner beans. Something in the night continually either a) dug up the seedlings (my night visitor) or b) would eat them down to nothing (slugs?).

For the most part the sunflowers are doing fairly well considering everything that had it in for them. The suggestion by Sharon Lovejoy to use honey as a lure to keep the ants off the sunflowers really did help. Within a few days they were all over the little saucers of honey I put out. I used little itty bitty terra cotta saucers and they worked perfect. The only downside was I had to keep replacing the honey or the ants would eventually work their way back to the sunflowers. The sunflowers do not seem to be bothered by the ants anymore now that they are bigger.

The corn I planted in between the sunflowers is not living up to my expectations. I believe that has something to do with my neglect though. I think I should have been out giving them a dose of compost/worm tea on a more regular basis then what I have been doing (which has been really sporadic).

All in all I still love this idea and wish I did not face so many challenges with it as I have. But that is how this entire garden has been for us this year.  We have talked about doing it again next year and hopefully learning from what went wrong this year.

Below are some pictures of how far the sunflower house has come.

Sunflower House July 7, 2008

Sunflower House July 7, 2008

Sunflower house as of August 25, 2008

Sunflower house as of August 25, 2008

This picture does a good job showing how big the sunflowers have gotten with my little girl standing by them.

This picture does a good job showing how big the sunflowers have gotten with my little girl standing by them.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

deb August 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm

What a cool idea. I have tried to do the teepee thing, with mixed results.

Hi Deb, we were going to try the teepee thing but then decided to go with the sunflower house. Too bad I have had so many things working against me this year. -Cynthia


Krys August 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm

That’s such a wonderful idea!


Hi Krys, it is a really neat idea and my kids got so into it which was also great about it. -Cynthia


perennialgardenlover August 25, 2008 at 3:38 pm

What a cute idea! The sunflowers look good.

Hi PGL, the sunflowers are looking nice so we will at least have a lot of seeds for us and the birds! :) -Cynthia


Nancy Bond August 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm

What a terrific idea! Your daughter is adorable!

Thank you Nancy, I think she is pretty darn cute too! :) -Cynthia


Karen August 25, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Hope it works despite all this rain we’re having at the moment in the NW! Oh well, at least we don’t have to water… I have random sunflower seedlings plus did snap peas on a teepee. Nice to have something tall!
- Karen

Hi Karen, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. It has been pretty wet lately. I hope that doesn’t mean we are going to have a wet fall. I have been enjoying the break in the watering though! ;) -Cynthia


Sharon Lovejoy August 26, 2008 at 7:14 am

Hurrah! Your sunflower house is really coming along now and your daughter will never forget it.

I am so happy that you tried my saucers of honey thing. It always works for me, especially when I have scale problems etc.

Keep up your great and creative ideas,

Sharon Lovejoy

Hi Sharon! You know it makes my day to see you visiting my blog! :) I will have to remember the honey solution for scale. Some years I have problems with scale and ants and I never would have thought to use the honey lures before now. Thank you for always reading my Sunflower House updates. It means a lot to me. -Cynthia


Anna August 26, 2008 at 11:55 am

I would give it a go again next year. I find that repeating projects that I liked makes them better every year. The chipmunks ate most of my sunflower seeds but I still had quite a few to grow—then a bad storm came and knocked them over. But I will plant more next year–I’m starting them indoors. And I’ll stake them much earlier. We live and learn every day.

I agree with you Anna, you got to live and learn- especially when it comes to gardening! I do want to try this again next year, that is if we can situate some more room as we have been discussing expanding the garden beds once more! -Cynthia


Lacey August 26, 2008 at 1:47 pm

What a fun idea! My sister and I used to sit and play under the giant sunflowers my mom grew in her veggie garden. It was always so exciting under there, I’m sure your kids will love it!

Hi Lacey, our kids think this is a really neat spot. And the boys are excited about all the sunflower seeds we may get out of all those sunflowers! I have to keep telling them that I want several to be just for the birds! -Cynthia


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