The end of summer signifies many things. Going back to school, cooler nights and preparation for the fall season. Luckily, there is one flower that keeps the memory of summer alive and makes the transition into autumn an easier one: the sunflower. Sunflowers are native to the Americas and were seen as far back as 2600 B.C. in what is now, present day Mexico. The name was derived from the very obvious, bright yellow flower that resembles none other than the ’sun.’ In the 16th century, seeds were brought to Europe and the use of sunflower oil became quite popular in cooking; a technique that of course is still widely used today. Traditionally, the Native Americans would line the edges of their field with sunflowers as a way to “guard” the other three precious crops of beans, corn and squash. In addition to the use of sunflower oil, which is extracted from the seeds, the seeds themselves have become a well-known snack by simply roasting in an oven and sprinkling with a little salt. Yum!
At Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, we love sunflowers and all that they can do to brighten your home decor. Our Valencias Sunflower Clock (seen here to the right) has a distressed look, featuring an antique sunflower seed packet design. Clocks are a great wall decor item that can easily be transitioned from season to season. On a similar note, we also have the Sunflower Seed Sign, adding a bit of nostalgic charm to your harvest decor. Although considered by most mid-western U.S. farmers, as a weed because of its destruction to other crops such as corn or soybean fields, this beautiful plant can also be a positive addition to agriculture. Sunflowers have been known to extract harmful toxins in the soil, such as lead, arsenic and uranium. So thank you sunflowers!
If it’s not a wall item your looking for, how about a new floor accent? Our Sunflower Doormat is a great way to welcome guests into your home. Or perhaps your looking for a bold sunflower statement, then the Sunny Sunflower Rug is for you. The outer petals of a sunflower can range from the common bright yellow to a darker, almost orange-red. These colors can be seen on Sturbridge’s Sunflowers Candle, that has a lovely aromatic blend of vanilla, citrus fruits, jasmine and thyme. Amazingly, sunflower plants can grow up to heights of 5-12 ft tall. In 1567, scientific literature points to a seed strain that created a 40ft sunflower in Padua, Italy! If it’s length your looking to show, then consider our Sunflower Canvas Print, which features a pretty label in French: “Fleur de Soleil.” Sunflowers are bright and cheery and will certainly make you and your guests this season smile. Whichever your style, know that at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, we have a sunflower for you!