by Connie Oswald Stofko
This spring, my wonderful neighbor gave me several sunflower seedlings. I was excited (and thankful!) because my husband and I love sunflowers.
We had given up on planting sunflowers because rabbits love our gardens. It became too difficult to try to defend—then lose—these wonderful flowers to the rabbits.
But this year I decided to try one more time, and I was very careful. I planted the seedlings in large pots and placed the pots outside on a table. There were no benches at the table this time—the benches make it too easy for rabbits to hop up. I also planted marigolds around the sunflowers; marigolds are supposed to discourage the rabbits.
By the beginning of July, the sunflower stems were woody, not tender the way rabbits like, so we decided it was safe to set the pots on the ground.
A couple hours later, we noticed the tall stem in one pot had been chomped at the top—right where the flower bud had been! We were disappointed and confused. How could a rabbit have bent the stem without breaking it?
Surprise! We have deer now, too.
I wanted to say #*$@*!! and other things writers shouldn’t say out loud. I was certain a new flower couldn’t come out of the top of that mangled stem, but I left the plant in the center of the marigolds and gardened on.
Then one day I noticed something wonderful—three new branches were coming off the main stem. And each new branch had a sunflower bud.
In September we were delighted to see three happy sunflower faces.
We can count all the disappointing events we have in our gardens, but let’s remember to also be thankful for the things that go our way.
What are you thankful for?