Our neighbors to the West took a long neglected property and turned it into an amazing showplace, a garden of eatin' not only for themselves but for the birds, bees and butterflies. We've been enjoying the color changes each season as different zones come into bloom. They do constant battle with the gopher nation and give new meaning to two words from the I Ching, perseverance furthers.
This spring they planted a huge sunflower bed along the fence line that runs between our properties (I use the term fence loosely since it's barely standing and hard to find unless you're right next to it). We watched the sprouts come up, and then noticed one morning they had reached to top of the fence. A couple of weeks later we can no longer see the house and only the tops of the redwood trees. Whoa, these puppies are at least 12-15 feet tall. The sunflowers are the size of dinner plates.
Our precocious little volunteer sunflowers are about 7 feet tall. My husband thinks, like Jack and the Beanstalk, the family cow was traded for some sort of magic seeds. Whatever the case we are enjoying the spectacle and the birds are going to be too fat to fly after their fall dining extravaganzas.