Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunflowers Make Me Smile

"You may know that the peony is Jeannin's,
the hollyhock belongs to Quost,
but the sunflower is mine in a way."

Vincent van Gogh (to Theo)


While their distinctive and brilliant appearance makes it easy to see why sunflowers have long held our fascination, when they were first grown in Central and South America, it was more for their usefulness (providing oil and food) than beauty. And perhaps this unique combination of striking beauty and utility is, in part, why sunflowers have appeared as such revered symbols throughout the ages.

It’s said that the natives of the Inca Empire worshipped a giant sunflower, and that Incan priestesses wore large sunflower disks made of gold on their garments. Images of sunflowers were found in the temples of the Andes mountains, and Native American Indians placed bowls of sunflower seeds on the graves of their dead. The Impressionist period of art is famous for its fascination with the sunflower, and this striking flower remains today a commonly photographed and painted icon of uncommon beauty.

The 3rd wedding anniversary flower and the state flower of Kansas, sunflowers turn to follow the sun. Their open faces symbolize the sun itself, conveying warmth and happiness, adoration and longevity.



Caroline said...

Sunflowers are awesome! They always make me smile. :)

Lori E said...

I had a random one grow in a pot this year from a dropped seed. Not very big but still beautiful just the same.

Marie said...

Great pictures. I love sunflowers and birds do too!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Sunflowers always make me smile and always remind me of my grandma. The mosaic you created is so well done.

Country Girl said...

I LOVE these! Sunflowers mean summer to me. Summer and simple things. And that everything is going to be ok.

You won my giveaway, by the way. E-mail me at with your mailing address. The Yellow Boat is coming to live in your house.

k a t e
aka Country girl

A said...

Love the photos, the quote, and the information about the sunflower... as a Kansas native, they've always had a special place in my heart... And I remember once during my childhood my parents had a field of them they were farming. We were always amazed at the way they moved with the sunlight. Beautiful!