Monday, September 19, 2011

A mini ramble....

Gregg had to do quite a bit of work this weekend, so we didn't go too far. The nice thing about his job is that he can stay at home, unless he has to see clients. Last week he had to go into Washington DC for most of the week, but because this was the weekend he sat in front of his computer and I kept myself well occupied with other things. I am trying to clear out my old craft room because we will soon be having house guests and I need to make one more room ready so that they won't be walking over a big pile of boxes. We've used it for a storage room for more years than I would like to admit, and it's time to bring it back to its former glory. Twenty years of living in this house it is amazing how much space you start running out of, and we are at the point now where we need to start turfing things out.

While taking a break we went to lunch at Macaroni Grill. It's been a while since we were there last and we had a real nice time, a nice friendly waiter who gave us great service, and good food. Outside we noticed that they had planted a couple of dozen sunflowers. They were a little past their prime but were still beautiful. I wish there was a nice bright blue sky behind them for you but the sky was a dull grey all weekend. The weather has gotten considerably cooler too. Personally I am loving it.

A few facts about Sunflowers.

Did you ever wonder how sunflowers got their scientific name Helianthus? It comes from two words, Helios, meaning sun and Anthos, meaning flower. The sunflower often follows the sun, and this characteristic is how it got its name.

The sunflower is a good bee plant, sometimes it's hard to get a picture without a bee on them, but that's okay because I love the little guys. They are welcome in my photos any time.

In many parts of Europe sunflowers have provided - and still provide - leaves for smoking, flower buds for salads, flowers for dyes and oil for cooking. Let's not forget those seeds which are delicious for munching on.

The sunflower is a native to Central America. It is said that it was first domesticated in Mesoamerica, present day Mexico, by at least 2600 BC.

Many indigenous American peoples used the sunflower as the symbol of their solar deity, including the Aztecs and the Otomi of Mexico, and the Incas in South America.

The sunflower is not one flower but a cluster of more than 2,000 tiny flowers growing together. Go take a closer look next time you come face to face with one.

A sunflower's head can grow to be as big as 2 feet across and the plant itself can be as tall as 18 feet. There was one that grew in the Netherlands that was measured at 25 feet tall.

The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas.

The sunflower is the national flower of Russia.

The French word for sunflowers is 'tournesol', translation 'turn with the sun'. In Spain and Italy it is called 'Girasol', and in Germany, 'Sonnenblume'.

The meaning for a dwarf sunflower is 'adoration'. A tall sunflower means 'false riches'.

You can get lots more information about them here.

22 comments:

  1. Nice story about sunflowers and their origins, Denise. We had a large stand of them last year, but Grenville decided not to replant this year.

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  2. I love sun flowers, and your photos!
    Recently I had to scramble to thin out stuff we had been accumulating throughout the house. Now that the family has moved on, I find myself beginning to use the guest room closet for overflow again already. We do fill our space.

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  3. Those sun flowers and story made me feel good; thanks Denise.

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  4. We are waiting for my daughter to move out so we can reclaim her room. Right now, we don't have a spare room for overnight guests. The 3rd room is used for storage.

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  5. I always call it the 'happy flower' since that's what it reminds me of :)
    You've taken some great shots, and thank you for the history, because I didn't know any of it !

    Yes, when you stay planted in one spot, you accumalate stuff, I need to have a muck out :)
    ~Jo

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  6. Your sunflower photos are a joy and a delight. Thankyou. The cockatoos, rosellas, king parrots and corellas who visit us love grey sunflower seeds. The black ones are apparently bad for them. All of them are remarkable adept at cracking the husk and using their tongues to extract the kernel.

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  7. Thanks for your sunflower photos. They are lovely. Interesting to read about them, too. It's always interesting how we find things to fill spaces and then wonder how that happened. That's what happens to me, anyway! :)

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  8. I love growing sunflowers they are so easy to grow- I always make sure that I manage to find room for them somewhere-we like to leave the heads on all winter for the birds to feed off the seeds.If your spare room is anything like ours it sounds like a big job has broken out there -good luck ! It`s amazing the stuff we hang on to .
    Thanks for the email-I now plan to buy a teddy,that is a lovely idea of yours-hope you don`t mind me pinching it ? xx

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  9. Denise, we have the same kind of room here in our house. It is a collector of different things and should also be clean out. I love the sunflowers, they are one of my favorite summer time flowers. Have a great week!

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  10. That second photo is so beautiful, a promise of good things to come :)

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  11. You do find some interesting facts about the flowers Denise. You also find some lovely walks to go on.
    Have fun sorting out your spare room. We have four bedrooms and I use every one of them. I could even use another one for a craft room. Maybe I have a little too much 'stuff'! Maa

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  12. Sunflowers always make me smile. They seem so full of sunshine and brightness. Lovely photos!
    Jane x

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  13. I liked the gray in the first shot, it made a nice background. I left many growing from the bird feeders this year and enjoy the happy colors.

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  14. I enjoyed the information on the Sunflower, I never knew these facts. Our neighbor has grown a few in his garden and they have now bowed their heads to the ground. Very nice pictures and have a nice weekend.

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  15. Who could not ADORE the sunflower. It is such a gorgeous plant and so useful. And how happy they make you feel. Your pictures are wonderful, and the info was very good as well!

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  16. Wonderful shots and very interesting information! Well, I was a little disappointed because the sunflowers I have sown are dwarfs but now it's OK;o)
    Thanks for sharing;o)

    ***
    Have a nice and happy week****

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  17. Great Ramble and fantastic photos plus I love your Header.

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  18. Wow Denise... a lovely post and your images are fantastic.. Sunflowers grown in gardens for young children to watch growing has always been a feature of my life... Beautiful flowers.

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  19. Thanks everyone, I enjoyed reading all your comments as always.

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  20. I love sunflowers. Interesting info on the name, and great photos!

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  21. You have some rather stunning pictures on this post, lady! They're beautiful!

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  22. Good gracious! You have made those sunflowers works of art, Denise! Wow! I love sunflowers too.

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