little miss sunshine : florals to covet #2

22/10/2023 By Victoria

As Summer officially says goodbye and we welcome Autumn in to our homes and gardens it’s time to add an episode to our florals to covet series. One of our favourites and absolute staples at the cut flower farm are Sunflowers. We have been trialling them since Covid 2020. Back then we went off piste with three fundamental goals. The first was to think mass planting across fields. The second was to grow sunflowers that are not typical, as in they are white, or they are black, or they are of a multi spectrum palette. Most typically, not yellow. The third goal was to achieve cut flowers, thus seed types that were going to yield long stems for cutting. That be said, of course we trialled some classic yellows, but they were either supersized or super tall. In the mix we discovered the skyscraper Sunflowers.

Sunset over Flower farm sunflower patch

So we hope you enjoy our parlour of blooms trialed between 2020 to date. The skyscrapers are included. We think there might just be something for everyone in the pick & mix. Put the kettle on, put your feet up, and enjoy some sunshine on us.

Sunflower information card

Close up mini red sunflower

Sunflower Palette mixed colours

Autumnal rusty orange sunflowers in Cotswold kitchen with Humbug gaurds

Close up sunflower seed head under macro lense

Cut flowers from the productive garden in shades of Autumnal orange

Sunflower growing at Flower farm productive patch

Sunset over sunflower patch in Cotswold garden

Acid yellow mini sunflowers

Lemon sunflower close up shot in cotswold garden

Autumnal sunflower macro lense

Sunflowers growing in productive fields

Rust colour sunflower up close

black centred sunflower in shades of autumn

Close up of black sunflower

It’s been a mixed bag, we have seen some pretty epic colour variations. Spectrums range from deep reds – almost black, pale lemons, fiery oranges, crimsons and pinks. Some varieties have performed excellently offering up high yields and flowers into late Autumn, others more fleeting with fewer specimens. The great experiment of 2020 allowed us to narrow down some steadfast varieties which have enabled some pretty special blooms for future works.

Fiery orange sunflower up close shot

Pink sunflower in cotswold country garden

Black and orange sunflower

Deep crimson sunflower growing in oxfordshire garden

Skyscrape Sunflower in productive garden

Deep pink sunflower

Once the seeds were sown it was time for more research. We knew that Sunflowers had been traditionally used for their edible seeds but I learned that their petals, stalks, leaves and buds can also be utilised. Broadly, non culinary purposes include fabric dyes, decoration, medicinal and beauty treatments.

Originally as soon as the first batch was ready we were all hooked, and we lost hours on the flower farm prepping the stems and harvesting the seeds ready for clients. This has now become our religion.


Cut & come again


The daily dance 

From morning to evening young Sunflowers orientate their heads to face the Sun, often arching an entire 180° as they track the sun across the sky to get their dose of Vitamin D. This process is called heliotropism and helps to make the Sunflowers more attractive to bees and other pollinators leading to cross pollination, thus helping them to reproduce.


In our minds Sunflowers have well and truly earned their place in our florals to covet series. Their popularity has stood the test of time and each one brings its own unique colours and variations. No two are ever the same.

A high yield in the productive garden. Check

Nearly entirely edible. Check

Impossible not to smile about. Check

Come back soon where we will be posting our top ten Sunflower varieties to grow with ease based on our criteria of merits. Speak soon!


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all ingredients, words and images by HC 2023 ©