Sunflowers in the Garden, My Blessing, His Curse

I returned from the cabin to see that John had pulled all of the large sunflowers from our backyard.  They were in Aaron’s trash can on the curb.  Some people (John) think they are weeds.  I think they are glorious, and they add a wonderful element to our yards and garden spaces.  John humors me every year by leaving some of the sunflowers for as long as he can bear it.  (He does thin them out.)  Don’t tell him, but I often plant new varieties in all shapes and sizes.  By the end of the summer, the birds and the bees are feasting on the flowers and the seeds are dropping into the soil to wait for next year.  They spread and multiply and do their cheery thing all over our property.

Because we are leaving soon, John decided that today he’d tackle the sunflowers in my pumpkin and berry patch in the back corner of the playground.  I let a row of sunflowers grow there by the sidewalk to stand as sentinels, keeping the neighborhood children from getting into my pumpkins and from picking all of my berries.  The sunflowers did a good job.  There was no way for the kids to enter the patch.

This is my very first year of berries!

Taking the sunflowers out is no small job.  And then you have to figure out what to do with them.  It’s easy to dump our weeds and grass clippings in the orchard across the street, but not these.

So John filled another garbage can.  Then he asked me to help him roll it to the curb. . .

. . .  which was fine . . . until I stopped hanging on to take these photos.  Too top heavy.

We ended up getting the chainsaw out and John cut them off and we filled another can.   I am sad to see them go, but understand this is part of the process.  They’ve filled the measure of their creation here.  The birds and bees and I have been happy.  I wonder who will take care of my sunflowers next summer.  And I wonder who will harvest my pumpkins and gourds and blackberries.  I hope they enjoy them.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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