Facing East...

July 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The sunflower is mine, in a way. - Vincent Van Gogh.

The sunflower has become my favorite flower. One tiny seed creates a 6ft tall beauty. The birds feasting at the feeders in the yard scatter the seeds and they pop up in the most unexpected places – like smack dab in the middle of a hydrangea plant or pot of oregano - but they are appreciated nonetheless.

They are fascinating plants to me and we share some common traits.....

  • During growth, sunflowers tilt during the day to face the sun, but stop once they begin blooming. By the time they are mature, sunflowers generally face east. No one knows why, however, it is likely a defensive response. Facing south or west could result in sun-scalding of seeds during very hot days. Growing up on boats and beaches, I couldn't but help loving the sun and spent my days chasing it. Mom sent us out for the day to swim, play tennis, ride bikes or pull weeds – it didn't matter as long as we were outside. Dinner time was when we would hear the cow bell ring she had to call us home. Now I'm old and 'mature' with skin cancer scars and wear the biggest hats around hiding from the sun. I ran towards the west as a kid but now face east.

  • Sunflowers are the symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration. I like to think those are qualities I possess – and share with people.

  • They are a summer and fall plant. I am happiest in the fall (and 2nd happiest in the summer.)

Mathematics is a thing in our family. One generation above and one below – skipped right over me. I'm ok with that though because in nature, mathematics is incredible! The spiral formation of seeds in a sunflower almost always follows the Fibonacci sequence. (I had to look that up..skipped a generation, remember?). Simply put...look at an artichoke, a pine cone or the spiral center of a sunflower. Math...but ART!

While sunflowers have no fragrance, they are cheerful and always brighten a room or garden because of their simple yet vibrant beauty. Simple to grow, inexpensive to buy.  Frankly, I don't think sunflowers get the recognition they should!  Give me a dozen sunflowers over a dozen roses any day..!


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