2015: The year of the sunflower

sunflower bunch

Promoting a year as ‘the year of’ is a fairly ordinary way to promote sales of something and to make it newsworthy. The only method of promotion that is more cynical is to establish a special day. I am sure there are national and international sausage days, washing days and baking days all cleverly thought of to help manufacturers sell products.

I was even guilty of it myself years ago when working on Practical Gardening and Garden Answers Magazines, announcing that a year was ‘pink’ or the year of the sunflower. This was the strange time before twitface and the media still had some say in what was cool or not.

Anyway, to get to the point, Mr Fothergill’s Seeds* have decided that 2015 is the Year of the Sunflower. However, this is not entirely random. Mr Fothergill’s have always had a good range of sunflowers and they are always a colourful feature in their trials grounds. This initiative is part of a Europe-wide campaign, organised by the Home Gardening section of Fleuroselect. Part of the reason for promoting sunflowers is that they ar eso good for wildlife including bees, which love the flowers, and finches which feed on the seeds – provided you do not plant the expensive, F1 hybrid pollen-less varieties.

sunflower bunch4

Mr Fothergill’s are introducing nine new sunflowers to their range so there will be something to suit everyone.

sunflower bunch3

I can’t remember what these two are. I took the photos for a Sunday bunch but was not really happy with them. I had to resow three times in the end after slugs ate seedlings again and again. My impeccable record keeping (I wish) had to be ignored as I was buying whatever packets the local garden centre had and popped the seeds in wherever there was a gap.

sunflower bunch2

* http://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk


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