Saturday, April 9, 2011

Summer Sunflower House

 It's time to think of summer planting.  This odd shaped garden doesn't look like much right now but  with a couple packets of sunflowers it will be an oasis.  A sunflower "house" is the perfect respite from the summer heat and the perfect place to perch little ones for lunch in the shade.  Our summer sunflower houses have taken several forms as you will see below.
We began with a very basic version that only requires two packets of sunflower seeds of various heights, a sunny spot, and water.  The kids love to pitch in and can really be involved from the start.  The first decision is what shape your house will take, we chose a horse shoe, but a rectangle or square will work just as well.  Don't forget to leave a grassy opening for your door.  It's easy to dig the proper depth trenches along your shape and then have your kiddos drop the seeds spacing them according to the directions.  If they need help measuring the spacing, cut a length of cardboard the proper length so they can use it as a guide.

Sunflowers grow pretty fast and with a bit of tending they will quickly show kids reward for their labor.

Soon enough they will be perching under the broad leaves. Blankets, babies, bears will join the party and all will enjoy.  Maybe a mom or two as well ;)

The perfect place for a shady summer nap =)


 For the past six summers we have had various versions of a sunflower "house" in our back yard.  Our latest version has included a more sophisticated entrance.  We arched chicken wire over the opening with PVC pipe. This allowed us to plant sugar snap peas making an edible canopy.  We even planted cherry tomatoes in front of the arch so the tender fruits can be plucked and enjoyed at whim.

This year we plan to do all of the above but also add morning glory amongst the sunflower seeds.  The floral vine should grow up with the sunflower stems and when the stems get to a reasonable height we will string twine back and forth at the top across the semi circle between the yellow blooms......rumor has it that the morning glory vine will grow across the twine making an amazing floral ceiling.  I'm looking forward to pulling out the sun hats, gardening supplies and purchasing seeds......oh yeah, can't wait for those fresh faced toothy smiles too! 


  1. WHO are the sweet BABY girls in these photos!

    I think I will plant some sunflowers this year. I have NEVER planted the BIG ones!

  2. Good Morning!
    I'm the editor of State-by-State Gardening magazines – we publish 19 state-specific gardening magazines – and in our July issue we have an article about sunflower houses. Unfortunately the author's wasn't quite ready to photograph by the submission deadline.
    I happened across your pic and I'm really hoping that I can "borrow" this for the article!
    I hate to have this wonderful story without a photo showing the finished "house"!
    Any help would be so much appreciated.

    Thank you,

  3. Be careful with the morning glories! I planted a few to grow up a trestle in my front yard, but they've taken over! They're in the front yard, the back yard, the neighbors yards, its crazy!