It’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. And nothing says summer like sunflowers.

I like sunflowers for their height, variety of color and ability to draw bees and birds, so I usually start a bunch of different ones in early spring and scatter them about the acre. Then, right around the start of summer I’m rewarded with big blooms everywhere.

bi-color sunflower

Bi-color sunflower birds planted among some tomatoes

This year some of the scrub jays and mockingbirds did a little scattering for me, so I have a bunch of them in the strangest of places — in the middle of a tomato plant, under an orange tree, and scattered among the blackberries.

I also have what I call “the patch”, a typically dry area that once a year I toss a handful of black oil sunflower seeds and let them run wild. In the fall it’s so full of jays, woodpeckers, finches, mockingbirds and others all chittering, squawking and tweeting at one another, it’s hard to hear anything else.

Happy first day of summer. Enjoy a photo gallery of the sunflowers gracing the Acre this summer.

Where to find the sunflowers in this post