This article appeared in the August 04, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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British father takes gardening to new heights with a giant sunflower

Ebony Cox/The Post-Crescent/AP
Sarah Ly pulls up weeds and lemongrass on July 21, 2020, on Gray Street at Annunciation Gardens in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She believes that gardening is therapeutic. "I told my husband that I like planting flowers and being out here," she said. "It is nice being able to enjoy the plants with no one around and not having to worry about the coronavirus or crowds."
David Clark Scott
Audience Engagement Editor

As the lockdowns started in March, Douglas Smith’s 4-year-old son had a request: Let’s grow a sunflower as “big as our house.”

You may already know that pandemic gardening is a thing. You know this because your neighbor keeps leaving zucchini the size of scuba tanks on your doorstep. 

This past spring in the Northern Hemisphere, about the time that toilet paper became scarce, a new backyard farming movement began. It started as a hedge against food shortages. Burpee Seeds was so swamped that it halted orders for a few days in April to catch up. Nurseries and garden centers are still doing a booming business. But sales have gone way beyond the apocalyptic preppers. 

Gardening has emerged as the ideal break from Zoom meetings. Weeding is therapeutic. The raised bed has replaced the day spa as a source of solace and rhapsodic contentment. “I found love in my garden and I honestly never expected it to get like this, but I’m so blessed. It’s so rewarding,” first-time gardener Nyajai Ellison told ABC News in Chicago.

Meanwhile, in the village of Stanstead Abbotts, England, Mr. Smith took his son’s request to heart. He ordered sunflower seeds, and started watering – twice a day. He now has a 21-foot-tall sunflower towering over his two-story house, reports SouthWest Farmer. 

How big is a father’s love for his son? As big as a house.

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This article appeared in the August 04, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 08/04 edition
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