A Sunflower Named Helsinki

We’ve been working on remodeling the house for awhile now, and the downstairs bathroom is going to be turned into a laundry area/half bath. We have two bathrooms upstairs and so the one on the first floor doesn’t get used very often, especially as it’s being remodeled. But I do still keep sundries in the cabinet, even if it’s no longer our only bathroom, especially first-aid things and dental floss.


So, after dinner I went into the downstairs bathroom for some dental floss, and I noticed a sunflower seed in the sink. Then I see what looks like a piece of green paper by the drain. Now, I was in there earlier today and there was nothing in the sink, and neither of us has eaten any shelled sunflower seeds, so it was a mystery as to how it got there. Then I bent to look at the green piece of paper, which looked like a leaf. On closer inspection it looked like a pair of folded leaves, and that’s when I realized it was a sunflower — growing out of the sink drain!

Okay, I guess I might have wrung out a cloth after cleaning around the bird cage. There are plenty of sunflowers in with their cockatiel seed mixtures, and I probably washed one down the sink by accident. It’s the only explanation that I can come up with. Of course, this sunflower couldn’t stay in the sink, but I wanted to pull it out without destroying it.

I pulled the stopper up as high as I could and gently grasped the leaves and pulled. The plant came out easily enough, but I kept pulling … and pulling … and still it kept on coming! The plant was a good six inches long, with well-developed roots and even a second set of leaves coming out of the root ball!
There was no way I could just chuck this determined plant into the trash or out into the yard, so I found a plastic soup bowl and potted it up. My husband started making jokes about the sunflower and named it Helsinki. I put Helsinki up in my office on the windowsill, and I’ll leave it for a few days until it gets a bit greener and sturdier. After that I’ll put it outside for a few hours at a time so it can adapt before I transplant it into my yard. I want Helsinki to be big enough that the snails or rabbits won’t get it when I plant it outside. It’s only been about three hours, but I think the leaves are starting to open up already, and the stem is definitely curved toward the window, even though it’s midnight!


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  1. Pingback: Sunflowers | Focal Plane

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