This week Gardenwise brings you lots of glorious yellow, in the form of the statuesque sunflower. A hardy annual that grows and lives for just one season, the sunflower is also the international emblem for hospice care – and I’m hoping that you can help to bring a little of its sunshine to our local hospice, to help continue the vital work of caring for patients and their loved ones.
The annual sunflower appeal has been hindered this year, like so many fundraising efforts, by the Covid 19 pandemic – so instead of buying a sunflower pin in real life, you can visit Galway Hospice’s Virtual Garden this June and ‘plant’ a flower while making your donation. Dedicate it to a loved one or maybe to the hospice team, and you can be sure that as it blooms it will bring comfort to someone who needs it. It was only when my beloved younger sister Susan needed hospice care in 2018 that I had experience myself of the vital work that hospices do. It’s not just sunflowers that grow in the Virtual Garden – there are roses and forget me nots too – and I chose a rose for my sister, because she loved them so much.
Visit the garden on Galway Hospice Sunflower Appeal on the hospice’s website.
You can also text GHF to 50300 to donate 4 euro, and if you do, Galway Hospice will receive a minimum of €3.60.
As a thank you, here are some of my tips for growing actual sunflowers in your garden this summer!
• June’s a bit late for sowing seed, so buy pot grown plants from your local garden centre.
• Next year, seeds can be sown indoors in pots in April, grown on and planted outside when big enough.
• If you’re not a huge fan of yellow, Sunflower ‘Velvet Queen’ is a lovely deep crimson.
• Stake your sunflower with a sturdy stick or bamboo cane, to stop summer storms knocking down that lovely tall stem.
• Sunflowers are perfect for children to grow, and fun to watch as they grow taller than their owners!
The flower that brings sunshine - in more ways than one
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