By Nadia Ali. In my opinion, they are the prettiest simple flower. In the flower shops, you can see them great, big bursts of bright yellow petals encircling a head of brown seeds, namely sunflowers.
“How much?” I asked pointing to the pint sized sunflower growing in a styrotex container (gotta love Trini initiative). The lady told me the price.
“How much!” I responded, thinking they were overpriced. If she can grow them, I can grow them I thought defiantly and set off to find myself some sunflower seeds. Despite the obvious place to start looking – the lady selling the sunflowers – I decided to go seed hunting on my own.
I remembered in my local supermarket they had seeds for birds for sale and I think they had sunflower seeds. Yes, they did but somehow it was like planting bird food in the soil and I didn’t buy them. While in the supermarket on the way out I saw snack sized sunflower seeds for humans. Hmm, they’ll do. So, I grabbed up a packet, paid for it and headed home.
Fortunately, Chinese food comes in the styrotex containers in which the lady was selling hers so I knew it was a viable place to start planting. I filled the containers with dirt straight from the garden, planted my by seeds and waited. I tended to them daily, determined to have them grow and weeks later little shoots appeared. As the weeks progressed they got too big for the container, so into the soil they went. Now, it was up to mother nature to tend to them.
Although only three plants made it through the paces, they grew really well, better than I expected. They grew steadily two feet, three feet, four feet and stopped growing at just over five feet! The flower heads were the size of my hands and were covered in a green soft prickly leaf. I watched them open a little day-by-day. Each petal unfolded individually until the full head of yellow flowers glistened in the Caribbean sun. I was amazed!
“Come and see my sunflowers!” I said enthusiastically to anyone who visited, literally dragging them into the garden. Many congratulated me, some had pointers and tips on how to grow them. And, my father-in-law said, “buh eh eh, dat ral good!”
They brought me great joy and a sense of achievement. I watched the petals begin to crumple and loosen. The flower heads began to droop bending the stalks upon which they had grown. My sunflowers had peaked and were returning to the soil.
But I had more seeds and cleared a larger area where I shook out the rest of the seeds from the bag straight into the ground. They are flowering right now. There’s about ten of them which only reached three-feet in height. So, from the soil to the sun, my sunflowers are in full bloom dancing in the Caribbean breezes of sweet T&T.
October 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com
You may also like: