What a treat to still have sunflowers in October.
Over the 4th of July weekend, I got inspired to plant a new bed for annuals and herbs right by the front door. It’s an awkward difficult-to-mow spot between the front windows and a new stone walkway. Why not just give up on it as lawn and make a fun new bed with brightly colored flowers and herbs?
With a sharp, straight-edged shovel, I was able to slice through the grass to dig it up in big hunks of sod. Then I scattered a few packets of seeds — cosmos, four-o’clocks, zinnias and several kinds of sunflowers along with basil, parsley and bronze fennel — and sat back for the show.
The cosmos, in brilliant shades of pink, maroon and white, look particularly great as September turns to October and they throw off their last flowers of the season. But I’m also crazy about a new red sunflower called ‘Moulin Rouge.’
The plants are about 6 feet tall, with velvety, deep red blooms. The late afternoon sun really lights them up.
As you probably guessed from the name, sunflowers want absolutely full sun. But I’ve found them not the least bit fussy about soil or water.
If you’ve got a cutting garden, you want ‘Moulin Rouge’ in your arsenal for next summer.