Murphy Dome Diaries

A journalist observes life in the far north.

Be strong sturdy sunflower

My first sunflower since 2002.

My first sunflower since 2002.


One year, almost magically, I grew a row of sunflowers. From seed at the community garden.

It was a fluke because subsequent sunflower growing failed. That is, until this year.

Months ago, a friend gave me some Burpee seeds. I germinated them and nurtured them, keeping the tiny plants indoors until well into June. I gave most of them away. Of the handful I kept, two are alive. One is glorious.

At about five feet tall, the sunflower stands erect with a bright red bloom and at least six more flowers in various pre-bloom stages.

The glorious sunflower was very nearly eaten by snowshoe hares. It grew despite its tattered, chewed-up leaves.

I’m proud of that sunflower. Hell, I very well may enter it at the fair.

The winds tonight are strong, and coupled with the wildfire smoke, which rolls in every few hours for days now, there’s a feeling of apocalypse in the air.

It rains for five or ten minutes every few hours and it’s a surprise because the wildfire smoke is blocking the clouds. There’s no warning. Rains just starts dropping.

It’s cool too, or at least cooler than its been lately. I’m wearing a sweatshirt.

More than any other plant in the garden, I am worried about the sunflower. More than the cabbage, the potatoes or the pepper plant. (I’ve given up on the strawberries but that’s another story.)

I went out to water the garden and saw the roughly 20 mph winds knocking the sunflower around. So I disturbed Alec, who was dozing on the floor. He pounded a big stick into the dirt and tied it to the sunflower.

I think it will be OK.

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This entry was posted on July 31, 2009 by .
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