Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sunflowers: Photos, Facts, and Fictions - Leland Dirks


This is a beautiful little book, and very much deserves a place on my holiday gift guide.

Author Leland Dirks spent part of his summer taking photos of the sunflowers that grow wild in his little corner of the world, from first bloom to faded seed pods. Those photos feature prominently in Sunflowers -- but in addition, Dirks weaves in quotes, facts, flash fiction, and poetry about the plants. There's even a recipe for sunflower bread.

I was surprised at the amount of sunflower lore I learned from this book. For example, did you know that the big outer petals are not the actual flower? The real flowers are the tiny yellow florets that pop out in the middle; the seeds grow under these florets. The big yellow petals around the rim aren't there for any reason other than to attract birds and insects.

Sunflowers would make a lovely gift for a gardener or a fan of wildflowers. Highly recommended.