The Sunny Sunflower

Nothing speaks of ‘Summer’ quite as much as growing sunflowers, those lovely quintessential summer flowers with glorious, gigantic golden faces. And growing sunflowers in pots when the kids were young has been the closest I have ever got to my inner Charlie Dimmock.
It became a Summer tradition, on the road where we lived when my children were young, to see who could grow the tallest sunflower. With lots of kids living on the road the parents used it as an excuse for a little good-natured child competition (but secretly we all knew it was more than that).

From early March until the end of May, kitchen window sills were adorned with plastic cups full of soil and the kids (and parents) eagerly waited for the first tiny green shots to show. By June brightly decorated stone and terracotta pots were brought out to be proudly displayed in the front gardens and the show would begin.

Max and Ella at number 12 always grew the most magnificent golden flowers reaching 8ft tall with heads the size of dustbin lids. Their parents even had to tie them to the garden fence with pieces of string to stop them from snapping. Evie, across the road at number 5, whose mum was a green fingered magician, grew great bunches in rows of coloured pots, whilst Bella and Charlotte, the twins from number 11 always grew a miniature variety which attracted so many bees that we had to cross the road on the walk to and from school.
If you were lucky enough to live in one of the houses on the side of the road with even numbers, your sunflowers would grow super fast and very tall and their junior owners would gloat whilst having their photos taken with their prized blooms which towered above them. Meanwhile the kids who lived on the side of the road with the odd numbered houses had a longer wait. But the trusty sunflower rarely disappointed.

Sunflowers are reliable and hardy flowers, they are simple to grow for gardeners of all ages, their sunny spectacle blooms throughout summer, and they certainly kept the residents of our road in radiant company until the last remaining days of autumn.

These beautiful flowers symbolise unwavering faith and unconditional love which is why we choose to include them in a number of our wellbeing boxes, as well as our gifts for gardeners.

 Whilst typing this blog I am looking at 3 empty pots in my garden crying out for some sunflowers to be planted in them. I do not have kids small enough to use as a measuring ruler any more, but I know I will still feel the same sense of pride when I see my neighbours smiling at them if they top the garden fence.


Although all flowers have the ability to bring joy, sunflowers are by far the happiest flower.

Top tip: For a continuous display of sunflowers, sow a few seeds every couple of weeks. You’ll be rewarded with a chorus of the cheerful flowers from early summer until the end of autumn.

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