Monday, 17 June 2013

Sad Sunflower Story

Oh people, I am sorry to have to come here and tell you that I think our sunflower shade circle is not to be this year.

caterpillar, drawing

slugI could blame the caterpillars or slugs who seem to have made a meal of a few of the seedlings that did manage to push through
but I really feel that I must take the blame on this one.

Firstly, I didn't really prepare the ground for planting. I didn't shave the area cut the grass to define the circle so that trampling feet would avoid it and to ensure that enough light would shine on the ground to warm it and nurture the seedlings.

Secondly, I dug with a spoon. A spoon, I tell you! I should have used the proper tools which would have been more effective at digging sunflower seed-appropriate planting holes.

Finally, despite Z1's excellent planning and helpful diagrams, I did not carefully space the seeds and make sure they were evenly distributed around the circle. I did things hurriedly and haphazardly and my punishment shall be no shady, sunflower circle for me or the Zeds this year. Alas and alack.

Having said that, there is one seedling doing quite well, reaching up tall against the odds so I think we shall have a solitary sunflower. This strong sunflower will shine as a beacon to remind us that next year, if we prepare and plan AND execute the plan correctly, we could be the proud and happy cultivators of a shady, sunflower circle fort.

Monday, 3 June 2013

When Sunflowers Are Too Slow

There are at least four sunflower seedlings bravely pushing up through our increasingly meadow-like back garden lawn. I fear for their safety when we next decide to cut the grass as interest in them and their not-as-rapid-as-the-grass growth has waned and they could be mown down without a second thought.

craft, spring, summer, flower, preschooler craft, kindergarden craft
Just peeping out
I do go and check on them quite regularly and pat down the grass around the plucky little seedlings to allow the sun to get through the dense grass forest that surrounds them. There has been rain and sunshine too so they are getting what they require. One has been partially eaten by a slug, though.
In light of this, and to halt the endless flow of Netflix-streamed children's programming into the house yesterday afternoon, Z1 and I embarked on a flower craft. I'd had this one in mind for quite a while - before the blossoms even came on the trees, in fact.

craft, spring, summer, kindergarden craft, preschooler craft
Fully grown
The ingenious bit is that the straw is inserted in a hole in the bottom of the cup and can be pushed up to let the flower 'grow'. I also like our use of brown paint (actually, we got very resourceful here and mixed red and green to make brown) and tissue paper for the earth.   Z1 enjoyed it but lost interest fairly quickly as there were other things going on in the house.  I had many further grand plans - decorating the outside of the cup, multiple flowers in the same pot, more glitter glue on the flowers... (I know some people have a a bit of a horror of glitter glue but it's definitely still one of my favourite things to use for craft. Ordinary glitter is a bit troublesome in its ability to get everywhere and never be fully gone leading to a high likelihood of heading into work with inappropriate glitter on one's cheek or eyebrow*, however, I find that this is not such a problem with glitter contained within the goo of glue or paint.)  I guess simple and rustic is good too.
We actually made two flowers and Z1 wandered around holding the other one for a couple of hours a bit like a wand.
*On this note, how sad it is that glitter should ever be inappropriate