Oct 24, 2011

Late summer experiment

Sometime in late summer (we can't remember exactly when, but it was definitely before Kate was born), Garry and the boys planted sunflower seeds in the backyard flower bed. It had been on our summer bucket list, but somehow the simple activity never materialized. Garry just decided one day that we'd see how they grew during what remained of the warm weather.  We were all pleasantly surprised!

Zach was the most excited about this project, and he took responsibility for watering them nearly every day.  The sunflowers grew really fast!  This is a photo from September 4.

We haven't grown much in that flower bed, but the sunflowers showed a real pattern that had never been apparent before: one side of the bed gets a lot more sunlight than the other half!  It was funny to see how much taller the plants were on the west side versus the east side.  The discrepancy grew more pronounced over time.  On October 7, this was their status.  They grew a lot in a month, and were so healthy and lush at this point.  They were just on the cusp of blooming, too.

The next day, this happened:

SNOW!  What a bummer!  We were so sad for our pretty flowers!  The snow came two days before Kate's blessing.  While our family was here, we watched as the snow melted and wondered how the flowers would fare.  By Monday the weather was warming up nicely, so my mom and brother and I organized a rescue mission.  We used some string to help the flowers stand up again, hoping that the extra support would help the battered plants regain their strength.

The sunflowers definitely rebounded, but they were never quite the same.  Over the last few weeks we have had several overnight temperatures at or below freezing, and the poor plants have suffered.  Even though it was about 75 degrees today, we are expecting more snow on Wednesday.  This afternoon I took pictures of the happy blooms, since this is probably the height of their glory.

Overall, growing sunflowers was lots of fun!  We all enjoying seeing their rapid growth and transformation during the last couple of months.  Next summer we'll have to plant them earlier so we can enjoy them even longer!

Today's joys:

*Finally meeting with an attorney to set up a will and trust (a task that has been nagging
  me for years)
*Remembering with fondness my college roommate, Jennifer Jayne, who died 11 years
  ago today
*Coaxing smiles and belly laughs from my darling baby
*Enjoying an unexpected phone call from a dear friend
*Taking a nap
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