Shine bright like a Sunflower! When it comes to choosing a flower that perfectly symbolises summer, very few compare to that of a Sunflower. Their cheerful faces spread “miles of smiles”, which can be seen first-hand right here at Becketts throughout the summer.
But, where did the Sunflower come from and why are they the epitome of summer?
The first Sunflowers originate way back to 1000B.C. in North America, where, for centuries, they were cultivated for food and medical uses. Still to this day, throughout the world, the seeds are consumed and the oil extracted for beauty and medicinal uses. Meanwhile, Aztecs worshipped Sunflowers and crowned their princesses with them, which shows just how important they are all around the world.
The common name of the annual Sunflower derives from Helianthus annuus. In Greek, helios means sun and anthos means flower and from Latin, annuus means annual. Quite simply translating to the name “Sunflower” that we know today.
Fun fact! In the morning, a Sunflower will always face east towards the rising sun. As the sun moves round during the day, the face of a Sunflower will follow it. As Sunflowers reach the peak of their bloom and become heavy with seeds, they will stop following the sun and face east until harvested.
Did you know? The tallest Sunflower according to the Guinness Book of World Records stood at 9.17m in 2014.
Becketts Sunflower fields
Each year, our blooming Sunflower fields don’t just attract human visitors! Our Sunflowers are planted for the good of the environment, providing a valuable food source for birds, bees and other insects. You will often find a bee in close proximity to these glorious flowers. This is because their bright colour is attractive to bees and they are rich in both nectar and pollen.
Did you know? Around one in three mouthfuls of our food depends on pollinators such as bees!
What does this mean for us? Though our Sunflower seems small on the grand scale, we are proud that we are able to support the wildlife in our local area and make a difference, no matter how small.
The Sunflowers on-site here have been planted and we look forward to seeing them stand tall in the sunshine soon.
We hope to open our Sunflower field to the public towards the end of July. Be sure to follow our Facebook page where you will find all the latest updates.
Grow your own
Sunflowers are both easy and reliable to grow in your garden at home, making them an ideal gardening project for children.
Pick up a FREE packet of Sunflower seeds when you’re visiting our Farm Shop in June, while stocks last. Full planting instructions can be found inside the packet. You can also download your very own sunflower diary to record their growth! Don’t forget to share your pictures with us on Facebook and Instagram by tagging us @BeckettsFarm.