Here We Go Again

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

8 April 2021

Last year, I grew a pretty impressive sunflower forest. Sometime in August, a neighborhood girl and I counted more than 200 buds on the sunflower stalks. Most of the flowers were yellow, but there also were some deep red and orange flowers of the Autumn Beauty variety. Aside from their beauty and fragrance, those flowers brought so much joy to my family.

Sunflowers: Season One

Last year was the first spring in our new home. In our previous home, there wasn’t enough sun to grow sunflowers. After my first failed attempt, I gave up trying. That defeat made me determined to grow them in our new, sunny plot. And so, I may have gone a little bit overboard by planting more than 20 seeds. I just wanted to be sure they grew this time. And they most certainly did. Every seed we planted blossomed into its full glory. Some stalks blossomed more than 20 flower buds. It was awe-inspiring to watch them grow from tiny little seeds all the way up to the tallest stalk – which was over 11 feet high.

As soon as the flowers started to open, the goldfinches and bumblebees located the forest. Everyday we’d hear the birds chirping and the bees buzzing. If we watched the bees closely throughout the day, we’d notice the yellow pollen sticking to their legs more and more. By the end of the day, it looked like they were wearing tiny little yellow bee leg warmers.

The sunflowers also taught us a lesson in how to care for a garden. We’d head outside each evening and water the flowers. We’d pick weeds on the weekends. And we’d tie the stalks to the fence when they needed a little assistance standing.

The sunflowers were our sentinels in our new home. They kept watch to make sure we were safe and happy. They assured us that everything was going to be alright, during a time we all needed that reassurance.

And now, after planting more than 50 seeds last fall, the sunflowers are coming back. We’ve seen about six tiny little seedlings begin their journey. Which one will reach 11 feet this year? Will one grow even taller? How many red flowers will there be? And how many yellow ones? We don’t know quite yet, but one thing is for sure: We’re about to find out.

We’re beyond excited for Our Sunflower Forest: Season Two.