I planted 100 sunflower seeds from the middle of October to mid-November last year.
Not tending, weeding, or watering the garden for the 5 weeks before Christmas set the sunnies back a bit. I spent ages in the hospital having major surgery, with an achingly slow recovery learning to walk again.
Despite the neglect, some giants grew and flourished.
After strong winds in a summer storm, my first 2 sunnies fell over.
The 1.5-metre stalks crashed down, but the first flower was still out and proud on Christmas Day.
The first of many sunflowers.
Not only was there that piece of gold but a new pet.
A fearsome-looking native Bearded Dragon. Another Christmas present in the shade beneath the first flower. Spiky, pensive, still, and quiet, it was sunbaking on the boulders that make up one side of the rock garden wall.
Until mid-January, I had at least one new sunny flower every day.