My sunflowers started out as small seeds, teardrops of dark grey streaked with cream. They began to peep through the soil, hardy little shoots, two little green leaves so tiny I could crush them in a heartbeat.
My sunflowers dug their roots into the soil, spreading the delicate little underground branches so they tangled together, and curled around the edges of the plant pot.
My sunflowers began to droop; there was no more space for the roots to spread, so they begged to be placed in fresh soil. I dug holes in my flowerbed for them, in soil I’d prepared weeks before.
In the second week of October, my sunflowers, now fifteen cm tall and developing firm stalks, their leaves long and wide, found a new home in my Westerly flowerbed.
I worry about my sunflowers. I worry I planted them too late. I know they don’t get along very well with Winter, and I worry she will grasp them with her frosty fingers at their most vulnerable stage.
I am not a gardener, you see. I grew up in the desert, all our plants died. We planted carrot tops and garlic and onion bulbs, and the weak, pale shoots that managed to scrape through dry soil was cause for much celebration and excitement for us. Summers back in England were spent fascinated by frondescence. We loved weeds, that is a sure sign, if any, that we were deprived of greenery. I don’t know if I did right by my sunflowers, planting them at the end of August, like I did.
I have planted about thirty tulips and hyacinths, in preparation for spring! Here’s to hoping they explode with colour at their due time!
I used up all my sunflower seeds at the end of summer, and now it is an experiment to see if they will grow.
A race with time, and a bet against the weather.
So far it has been warm. Too warm for October, in fact. Despite ‘storm Ophelia’, Britain has been basking in plenty of sunshine.
I hope that bodes well for my sunflowers.