Usually I write about a plant that is doing its thing during this time of year, but this winter is different in the home garden because I have used the seeds of a summer-flowering plant to feed the birds which has brought the garden to life.

The sunflowers were grown on my allotment and were the tallest and largest plants I have ever seen of its kind. The colours were absolutely beautiful, ranging from deep golden yellow to orange and red. The bees were all over them in high summer collecting pollen and once finished I cut the flower heads from the plant and tied them to archways and structural plants around the plot and home garden.

I have loved watching the blue tits and chaffinch’s discovering the black sunflower seeds hidden within the honeycomb structure of the dried flower-head. These magnificent statuesque plants really are a plant for two seasons and I strongly encourage gardeners to grow them for summer and winter interest.

Happy gardening!