I tried an experiment this spring, planting sunflowers in a circle large enough to be a playhouse for my new granddaughter. Since Hannah was just born on Christmas Day, she is too young to appreciate my efforts, but that’s just as well. The playhouse did not turn out exactly as I had hoped.
For one thing, my desire was for sunflowers eight feet tall with blooms as big as dinner plates. What I actually brought home was a mixed package of seed that resulted in plants anywhere from four to seven feet high bearing flowers not much bigger than my outstretched hand.
To give the playhouse even more color, I interspersed sweet peas and morning glories amongst the sunflowers. The morning glories are coming along, climbing the sunflower stalks just as I’d intended. But, not a sweet pea to be seen.
As I waited for the flowers to germinate and grow, I came upon a piece of yard art – a sculpture of a large bird we came to call “The Roadrunner” – that found its home inside the playhouse. Though the flowers were slow in coming in our cold, wet summer, The Roadrunner was impressive, bobbing in the wind and serving as a landing spot for robins.
Now the five-foot Roadrunner is mostly hidden. The sunflowers are beginning to come on – and they are beautiful as sunflowers will be on a sunny, blue sky day – and I am not at all disappointed in my experiment. It was, after all, an experiment.
Next year, I’ll choose different sunflowers and be ready to invite Hannah for tea in a playhouse she’ll be old enough to enjoy.