Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Earlier this summer, I had reserved a spot in my garden for pole beans, and was waiting to plant them until I found some suitable poles. In the meantime, I saw sparrows pecking around in the bare soil, and I figured they were finding bugs or weed seeds or something to eat. Then, about a week or two later, sunflowers started sprouting in the garden! There are plenty of sunflower seeds in our bird feeder, and there are sunflowers sprouting under the feeder, which is usual, and not surprising, but I didn't expect the birds to actually carry the seeds the 15 feet or so to the garden and plant them there!
I thought about planting the beans anyway and letting them climb up the sunflower stems, but bean vines can get pretty heavy and I didn't want to topple the sunflowers, so I just resigned myself to growing sunflowers in this part of the garden instead. Beans are cheap at the farmers' market this time of year anyway, and the sunflowers are such a delight in the middle of the garden.
This is the first one to open, and as you can see, a fat bumblebee is enjoying the fruits (or pollen, more like) of the birds' efforts! And, of course, the bumblebee is returning the favor, since her foraging will pollinate the flowers and allow them to make seeds for the birds. I'm happy to just be the spectator to it all!