Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Life Long Love Affair With Sunflowers

I have been enchanted by sunflowers ever since I was a small child.  When I visited my grandmother, who lived five miles away, I would often cross the road and see my delightful great-aunts, Auntie Lizzie and Auntie Sarah.   They were the proverbial sweet little old ladies with their long white hair tied back in neat buns.  Auntie Sarah was hard of hearing and spent most of her day in a rocking chair.  Auntie Lizzie used to talk to her down a horn. Auntie Lizzie was the younger and more sprightly of the two.  Neither had ever married.  They'd been born, raised and lived down on "Bridgefield", the farm at Lakeside, till they'd retired to their cute little cottage in  the small town of Leeston.   They always showered me with kindness, warmth, milk, home-baked biscuits and sweets.

It wasn't only my lovely aunts themselves who drew me over the road but their cottage garden.  I would stand and stare up in awe at their giant sunflowers. They were so tall and glorious I could scarcely believe it!  Thus began my life-long love affair with sunflowers.

Aunty Sarah and Auntie Lizzie are both long departed this world, one aged 99 and the other 97, but every time I see a sunflower I remember them and the visits to their cottage and garden which were one of my childhood's delights.

Not only are sunflowers beautiful but they are easily grown and their seeds are nutritious.  I like to plant a climbing bean at the base of a sunflower so it can grow up the stalk of the sunflower.

Sunflowers from my garden:

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