It’s a rare sight to see sunflowers growing in the middle of a high plains desert. We have native flowers in the same family, but they are tiny. This year, my husband and I decided to see if we could get the giant sunflowers to grow. It was his idea. I went along for the ride.
We dug a small trench at the end of our street, ran a hose 300 feet to the edge of the property, and planted a bunch of seeds in a row. To our surprise, they started to sprout about a week later. Many of them were eaten by rabbits, so we put a small fence around them and planted more. Pesky rabbits. And as the sun got warmer, the sunflowers grew, and grew, and grew. And bloomed!
We live at the end of a T-intersection on a dirt road. It was my husband’s idea to plant them at that intersection, so that all the neighbors could enjoy their beauty when they drive or walk down the road. (I love this man). It’s also been a great learning experience for our 8-year old daughter. She gets so excited about seeing them grow.
We’ve had several neighbors stop by as we were tending to them to ask what was growing when they were still small. People are curious, and excited. Once they started to bloom, we’ve had a few more people stop to tell us how the flowers have made them happy.
Today, I was walking my dog and stopped to talk to the neighbor across the street. She has been battling cancer and told me today that she is going to stop treatment because it’s not working any more. She just wants to feel good in her final days. It’s hard to know how to respond to something like that. I asked her if there was anything I could do for her, and told her to call me if she just wanted company or someone to talk to. She told me how much joy the sunflowers have brought her, which warmed my heart a bit. They are bringing her beauty and a bit of happiness as she goes through this transition, which she has made peace with.
Flowers – they have a way of touching the soul. That’s why I decided to study landscape architecture. That’s why we plant them around our house. It’s nice to be able to care for something together as a family, and to bring some joy into the lives of those around us through the beauty we tend to.