One happy story has emerged from the Slug Battles this summer: The Story of the Intrepid Little Sunflower.
The slugs and snails have been voracious this year. When my little sunflowers first sprouted I covered them every night with jars. When they outgrew the jars I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and go on Slug Patrol – looking for any snails or slugs that might be chowing down on my sunflower youngsters (in the morning I would take the slugs and snails out to our wetland – what I’ve dubbed my “Snail and Slug Refuge” – and ask them to please stay down there). Eventually I started wrapping copper tape around the bottom of the sunflowers’ stems and that seemed to work pretty well – UNTIL one morning I found a slug or snail had chomped through the stem of one of the sunflower youngsters and the top three inches were hanging from the bottom three inches by mere threads. I tried to tape it together, but that didn’t work well. Finally, I pulled the top part off and – finding I didn’t have it in me to toss it in the compost – I put it in a little bottle filled with water and put it on top of a book case, and waited for nature to take its course.
But the little sunflower did not die. In fact, it appeared to me that it even grew a few inches.
A couple weeks went by and the leaves started turning yellow. It was obvious to me my little sunflower teenager needed nutrients. On impulse, I put about half an inch of soil in the bottom of the bottle and made sure the bottom of the sunflower stem touched the soil – I hoped the plant would somehow suck up the nutrients it needed – maybe it would grow roots? I wasn’t sure how that worked – but it seemed possible to me.
And today when I looked over at the sunflower teenager he seemed to have grown six inches overnight! I looked at the bottom of the bottle and there were roots in there!
I planted him in a planter out on the deck. Right now he is out there, straight and getting taller, and waving happily in the breeze at me. 🙂
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
I was hoping I’d find some sunflowers to bring into our home for Thanksgiving – there’s something so cheery and wholesome about sunflowers – they instantly light up a room with their sunshiney faces. But, alas, there were no sunflowers to be found in any of the local supermarkets, and my last sunflowers had died off in the freeze a week ago.
Or so I thought…
A few weeks ago I’d leaned a sunflower stalk that had blown down in the wind against the corner of our house. I’d clipped off the sunflowers that were in bloom and put them in a vase in the breakfast nook – but had tossed the flowers out a week ago when they died.
So today, after I gave up on finding sunflowers in a store, I was wandering around the yard looking for something – anything – that might still be flowering that I could bring into the house for Thanksgiving. And as I walked past the sunflower stalk I’d leaned against the house weeks ago I saw there was one little sunflower beaming its happy little face up at me!
It’s amazing how much joy it gave me to find that little sunflower waiting for me right there – at the corner of our house! She’s now shining her golden beauty from the windowsill in my kitchen.
I got a sunflower for Thanksgiving, after all!
So a couple months ago I noticed an interesting development in the little flower box I have on my deck…
I knew I couldn’t transplant her without hurting her, so I kept her watered and awaited further developments.
And she grew. And grew. and grew.
And today she shone her intrepid golden glory out on a world of smoke, and filled it with her plucky joy…
Nature voices natural, spiritual law and divine Love, but human belief misinterprets nature. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds, mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers, and glorious heavens, – all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity.
– Mary Baker Eddy
Unobserved until today – never watered, never fed Miracle-Gro, never fussed over or tended – never nurtured by human hands at all – a sunflower has been growing under one of our cedar trees. How it got there I have no idea – probably sprouted up from a seed a bird dropped or something – but look how perfect it is! It just grew where it landed, and nothing could stop it from being what it was meant to be…
There is a lesson there.