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Sunflowers for your Wildlife Garden

By Rob 2 years ago

There are a few plants that no wildlife garden should miss… and the sunflower is one that cuts the mustard! Sunflowers are worth their weight in gold, attracting birds (including finches and tits) beetles (including ladybirds) as well as butterflies, hoverflies and bees!

Feeding your garden birds sunflower seeds? What you need to know.

By Rob 3 years ago

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of energy for birds (or indeed us as well!). You can supply them all year round, but they become especially handy in winter, as natural food sources dwindle and most of the wild birds’ energy goes towards keeping themselves warm.

Sunflower Stats

By Heather 11 years ago

Scientific name Helianthus comes from Helios meaning sun and Anthos meaning flower.
Used in China as a symbol of longevity.
Nothing is more likely to bring a smile to your face than the cheery sunflower. How about sending someone you know Farmer Phil's Box of Sunshine?
Flowers are great for attracting bees into your garden and birds just love sunflower seeds and sunflower hearts.
Largest sunflower head on record measured 32½ inches in diameter.
Oil for cooking can be extracted from sunflower seeds, with an average yield of 40%.
Wait until the sun has dried the dew before picking sunflowers and change vase water every few days to help prolong the life of the flowers.
European sunflowers provide leaves for smoking and flowers for dyes.
Record breaking tallest sunflower ever grown was 25 feet tall.
Stems were used to fill lifejackets before the advent of modern materials, can be used in your compost heap for aeration and also provide great homes for beneficial insects.

To feed or not to feed?

By Heather 12 years ago

As the weekend draws near, we come to the end of another week where bird flu has hit the headlines once again. I, as a keen poultry keeper, am only too aware of the risks, but take a sensible approach. I like keeping poultry and the benefits, in terms of meat, eggs and the enjoyment I get from looking after them, far outweigh the very small risks involved. I take the view that it is much, much safer than careering down a hillside on two sticks, sky diving, bungee jumping, white water rafting… you are now starting to get where I am coming from!!

This week, on my early morning forays into the paddock to feed and water my stock, the heavy frost has sparkled in the light of my torch (a wind-up one of course!) and looked like a scene from a Christmas card. This drop in temperature has significantly increased the appetites of my hens, ducks and geese, after all, who wouldn’t admit to eating one or two extra comforting, and of course high calorie, “snackettes” in the cold weather. The same applies to the wild birds, so now is the time to give them a little tender loving care in the form of some high protein food, such as sunflower seeds, and, just as important, make sure they have access to water. The risk to the average person in this country of catching bird flu from feeding wild birds is so infinitesimal as to be virtually non-existent and certainly not a reason to refrain from feeding cold and hungry birds. So, go on, top up your bird feeders and drinkers and enjoy watching the wide variety of species that visit British gardens.