I called myself out back in November for not giving an earnest effort to grow sunflowers even though I had checked the task off my list. So as the temperature plunged, I borrowed a grow light and set up some small self-watering containers down in my basement. Sure enough, within a week or so life sprang forth, with the little sprouts pushing their seed coverings up through the soil and wearing them like silly hats.
I started with about 30 sprouts. They quickly outgrew their plastic containers, and I transferred the biggest to some pots. Another month, another transfer, and I now have six big plants. About once a week, the plants grow up to the light, and I have to raise the platform.
I always get a little down in the winter as the days get shorter and the cold keeps me indoors, but I got a lift each day when I went down to the basement to water the plants and saw that they’d grown bigger since my last visit.
Last week, while the polar vortex swirled outside my Connecticut window, little triangles pushed forth from the center of the biggest plant. A bud was swelling, and inside that whirl of shapes, a flower was waiting to emerge.
My husband, a biology teacher, cautioned that plants may not flower if conditions are not right, that they’ll conserve their energy instead. But something is happening, and summer is coming.
(Scroll down to see updates of the flowers that bloomed.)
Here Comes the Sun: A video slideshow set to a favorite Beatles song
Update: 02/28/14 ~ A second flower
Update: 03/09/14 ~ A third flower
See also: Perspective, a photo challenge
Update 04/06/14 ~ They survived until the spring to live outside! Read about it — They did it (Gargleblaster, a 42-word challenge)
Update on 04/18/14 ~ A final update? It doesn’t look like the sixth bud will make it to a full flower: Attack of the killer squirrel
Follow-up to #71: Try to grow sunflowers again (101 Things in 1001 Days)