Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bird gardeners

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!


  1. Great way to garden! Thanks to those birds and bees!

  2. I love your recent garden posts Sharon. What a happy surprise with the volunteer sunflowers! The Chickadees will be happy this fall when the heads go to seed.
    I had some unexpected hollyhocks come up a good 30 feet from where they had grown 2 years ago! That's one of the treats in gardening, you just never know what will come up where sometimes. Sort of like life.


Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts.