I have a handful of flowers that bring me bliss, the blooms warm my heart and I’m so satisfied by growing them: Dahlias, zinnias, snapdragons, tulips and the mighty, gorgeous sunflower.
Last year I saved my own sunflower seeds from the dried up blooms the blue jays were cleaning up. I tucked them into my fridge for the winter and when the ground was workable (frost free) in the spring, I planted a wide variety. Bright yellow blooms, dark chocolate brown, double blooms and this beautiful monster in behind me in the photo.
Isn’t it amazing that such a monstrous plant can come from such a tiny seed? I think the magic came from my soil, from my love, and from receiving what it needed to grow. For the first time in several years I added a truckload of manure to the bed, I added endless bags of lime and fertilizer. I planted companion plants around the sunflowers: cucumbers to sweeten and enjoy the shade, gourds to climb the sunflower stalks and corn to build a tall wall to separate the garden sections. I gave the plants a solid foundation, I added sprinklers in to keep the soil damn during germination. I carried a hoe with me on my chicken coop trips morning and night and removed weeds each trip. I gave the plants the absolute best, supported beginning, and was I ever rewarded. The blooms were endless, the plants huge. The joy that came with the blooms was non stop.
I stared at the plants all the time, I watched their buds pucker up and explode into bloom. I was in love.
by William Blake
Ah! Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my sunflower wishes to go!
Imagine if we looked after ourselves this way? If we looked after our home, surrounded ourselves with support and love while ensuring we always had the rest and nutrients required to be in top form. Imagine every day someone checked on us numerous times to keep threats away, to show appreciation, to shower us in praise. How we’d grow.