This is as good as it got, last year. The small but perfectly formed sunflower I'm pictured sitting next to, was grown in a flowerpot. That's not the ideal way to grow sunflowers. They need more nourishment and more space. Sunflowers grow up to be a generous, optimistic giver, dispensing goodness and glowing with a benign sunny light. But as infants they're hungry and demanding. They need rich soil and lots of room to grow, and they're thirsty for water and for warmth. They soak up the sun they later give back to us so disarmingly.
But although that crop of sunflowers was stunted, it produced mature blooms, and their bright yellow flowers never failed to make me smile.
I've always loved the cheerfulness of a sunflower. Even a bonsai one!
Things are different this year. There are giants on the way.
They're not dwarf sunflowers, they're "skyscraper" sunflowers. And they're planted in the garden rather than in pots. The helianthus annuus have the vast planet Earth to stretch their roots out into. One of them is already as tall as my shoulder, and they are still only half grown.
Their big smily faces are gonna be as big as dinner plates.