I spend a lot of time and energy bemoaning the weather and the soil and the harsh wind and the boiling sun and the general misery that is Kansas gardening. I'm also constantly envious of the plants that others can grow but which will just obstinately shrivel up and die here. But I'll be the first to admit that if you want to grow sunflowers well, come to the Flint Hills.
The group of Common Sunflowers at the right was taken at the end of our lane at peak bloom time. As I turn onto Prairie Star Drive coming home from a weary day of work, this is the picture that greets me home in late August and early September. So take that, rest of the world, you may have camellias and gardenias and orange trees and bluebonnets, but we've got some world-beating sunflowers that grow wild for the price of a mere song in our hearts.