Jaqui's Daily Blog

Sunflower Seedlings and Quality Time With Grandad

I am suffering from a Surfeit of Sunflowers.

Last year, I planted a whole packet of seeds and only four reached the stage where they could be planted out into the two giant pots - one marked with a B (for Mr B) and one with a J (for me.) To be fair to the flowery foursome, they did exceptionally well, all growing to a height well above the garage. Mr B's, I have to concede, grew just slightly taller than mine.

This year I once again planted a whole packet of seeds but this year I have managed to raise, not four, but more than forty stalwart seedlings. I have a Surplus of Sunflowers and I am not sure what to do with them all. Yesterday I gave seedlings to members of our Nomination Whist Group who were all most appreciative. Maree said her husband would be ecstatic as he has been unable to raise a single plant from his packet of seeds. My Mission is to Serve.

Pat said she would love a seedling but her whole block of flats is covered by scaffolding and will remain so for the next four months. She and all her fellow residents have been instructed to remove tables, chairs and - most importantly for sunflower growing - flower tubs from their balconies. No basking in the sunshine for poor Pat and her neighbours this summer. I told her I would plant a seedling in our garden, especially for her, which she can check up on at each of our fortnightly meetings.

I now have only 32 seedlings to (i) plant or (ii) allocate. Four have been planted in the giant pots (see above) little knowing that they will be examined daily within an inch of their lives (do decimal-minded folk talk about "within a centimetre of their lives" these days? It really doesn't have the same ring about it. What do people say in place of "give a man an inch and he'll take a mile"? Possibly "give a man a centimetre and he'll take 1500 metres." Decimalisation has a lot to answer for.) Anyway, Mr B has watered our four seedlings well, with a reasonably fair division of water as far as I could tell. Mind you, I was watching. He keeps telling me that he is sorely tempted to add a spoonful of Roundup to the watering can when it comes to watering my plants. I am pretty sure he is joking. He wouldn't, would he?

I am trying to redistribute seedlings among my Nearest and Dearest, all of whom I will be seeing at the weekend when we get together for a joint celebration of the Silver Wedding of the Eldest of the Darling Daughters and her fella and the Eldest Grand-daughter's 18th birthday. Surely some of my Truly Tremendous Ten grandchildren will be excited at the prospect of growing the Tallest Sunflower in the Family? I shall take a selection with me on Saturday and hope for some takers. That will leave me with just 22 seedlings to plant all along the garden fence. I shall grow a Wall of Sunflowers. Vincent Van Gogh, of sunflower fame, would be proud of me.

The Youngest of the Darling Daughters hates to disillusion me but tells me that neither of her two were all that bothered when their primary school gave every pupil a sunflower seed, inviting them to participate in a growing competition. The chances of them developing a late interest, the best part of eight years later, are slim indeed.

I am not going to argue because I am indebted to the Y of the DDs. She it was who took care of Mr B for me while I was away holidaying in Sunny Spain with her sister and family. I know Mr B enjoyed himself but how was it for her? I asked her on the phone yesterday. She recounted the following story which made both Mr B and I hoot with laughter.

Busy person that she is, she was worried that she was not able to provide her house guest with her undivided attention. Granddaughter Hazel, free at last from the trials and tribulations of GCSE exams, was mooching about the house enjoying having nothing in particular to do. Could she, her mother asked her, go downstairs and spend some quality time with her Grandad?

Half an hour later, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters made her own way downstairs to check how her father and her daughter were getting along. She found them sitting, companionably close together, on the sofa. Hazel was busy tapping away on her laptop. Her Grandad was fast asleep at her side.

As her mother entered, our Hazel looked up, grinning broadly:

"Quality time with Grandad!" she chortled.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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