The bright head of the sunflower is actually composed of thousands of tiny individual flowers and the yellow “petals” are actually leaves that serve to protect the flowers while they are forming their seeds.

Specialized cells in the sunflower stem tilt the flower bud to try to receive a maximum amount of sunlight.  This causes the sunflower to basically trace a 180 degree arc, tracking the sun’s position throughout the day, from horizon to horizon, sunrise to sunset (a movement called heliotropism). Overnight, the sunflower will reset to its original eastward positioning and wait for the morning, ready to follow the sun’s path once again.

At Beekman 1802, we are always looking at those things happening around to help us make sense of something as complex as human nature.

So perhaps the lesson from the sunflower is not just finding your best light so that you always look great in photos, but that each morning gives you the opportunity to start your path over.

On a recent trip to Beekman 1802, our friend, photographer Paulette Tavormina captured one of favorite spots on the farm during autumn—the sunflower garden.




by Josh and Brent

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My husband and I were married in a sunflower garden on Cayuga Lake. We had a few extra bird, bee and butterfly guests. Perfect!

Mary Prahm

LOVE sunflowers. Always look forward to seeing them in the fields, and love cutting them and bringing inside where they bring a room such joy and color.

Pam Landy

I got the most beautiful Sunflowers from the little seedlings I bought at the 2012 Garden Festival. They made yummy sunflower seeds also and it was my first time trying. So glad I attended the festival and I fully intend to attend again in 2013. Maybe the two of you will be finally be there (it will be my 3rd try lol) to sign my book. 🙂

Christopher Bois

Love sunflowers! One of my favorite flowers that celebrate the late summer and early fall. They always make me smile.

Andrew R.

You can see more of Paulette’s photos in the special Travel issue of Martha Stewart Weddings on stands now. She photographed several gorgeous flower arrangements.

Linda Turner

The green beans used the sunflowers for climbing support-they were up so high I needed a step stool to pick them! Watching the seeds form now for the birds…

Lcol Coleman

Swoon ! nothing I love more than sunflowers… beautifully Ms. Taormina has captured them. Amazing how their faces turn to follow the sun–gyrations…Girasol is the Spanish word for sunflower. ( Sol = sun )

Teri Tighe

I love sunflowers. such a happy, cheery flower. are these the sunflowers up the street from the farm? I passed a bunch on my last visit to SS. then I passed the bee hives on the Beekman property. Ah, the country, so beautiful.

Ken Newman

You guys are so fortunate to have sunflowers. There’s nothing like sitting in the garden with a cup of tea on a nice cool sunny Fall day watching the chickadees and nuthatches work the seed heads.