Perfect Imperfection

Sometimes the most perfect things have imperfections.

half moon


LIke these two sunflowers.

two sunflowers


I didn’t plant them. Seeds from last year’s sunflowers must have somehow survived chipmunks and free-ranging hens, a bitter winter and a cold spring. They’re perfect simply because not only did they grow and blossom, but they are exactly where I was going to plant sunflowers again this year. Because these sunflowers had such an early start, I have sunflowers blooming a month earlier than I usually do.

No matter that they are not symmetrical.

leaves gone


The birds think them perfect, too, and have been eating the petals.

bird eaten


I’m happy to share.

* New Chicken Workshops Scheduled!* On Saturday, August 23, I’ll be teaching my Chicken Keeping Workshop which covers all of the basics (and more!) On Sunday, August 24, I’ll teach the Advanced Chicken Keeping Workshop. Both will be here in my backyard. There should be more sunflowers to see at the end of the summer. For details, see the Upcoming Events Page.


  1. I drive I90 to work and between exit 5 and 6 there is a 2 foot sunflower growing near the cement barrier between the east and west lanes growing out of a crack in the pavement I thought it was odd and beautiful

  2. i lost all five of my sunflower-from-bird-sown-seed this year when the remodelers for my bathroom drove their truck over them.
    but i was so happy to see them come, i didn’t feel bad.
    and besides, i have one beautiful plant to give me seed left.
    it was growing in a pot and escaped the mayhem
    and the b-room got finished and is beautiful (to me) also.
    and next year, we will try again –
    love my sunflowers.

  3. I love it when “volunteers” of any kind pop up. It’s like buy one get some free.

  4. I love the volunteers as well. This year right smack dab in the middle of my vegetable garden I have sunflowers AND hollyhocks! What a beautiful show. Never quite have the heart to remove or re-locate volunteers! :)

  5. It’s lupines that volunteer most often for me and I always welcome them where ever they appear. That and impatiens. They always volunteer from the previous years flowers but they never mature fast enough to put on a show before fall.
    It looks like Miss Veronica has gotten up on the wrong side of the bed today. She has been chasing and bullying everyone about this afternoon. Now be nice to my darling little Betsy and Beatrix. She even chased the black stars all the way over and up onto the roost.

      • You aren’t missing anything. They don’t come up early enough to mature and flower until about October. Just in time for a first frost. I just pull them out like weeds now because I know nothing is going to come of them in our short MI growing season.

  6. Some of the best plants are volunteers. I have the most beautiful blue columbines that started as one volunteer in the middle of my lawn. Fortunately I spotted it before my husband mowed over it! :D Mother Nature is just awesome!

    • I have a beautiful burgundy columbine at the edge of my lawn and same thing, I saved it from the lawnmower. Hopefully I can catch the seeds before they drop.

  7. My volunteer is a dogwood tree. When it was small, I intended to move it but never found a spot for it. Now it’s 20 feet tall. Unfortunately it’s just a few feet from the foundation of my house and it really needs to go. But that’s why I love my little electric chain saw!! Just call me Paul Bunyan!

  8. It’s interesting here, how the volunteers don’t get eaten by slugs and snails ,yet if I plant the same plants from the greenhouse I’m often left with the odd stick. Volunteers tend to be eaten by my little muggers (4 white Leghorns). They are teaching the toffs (3 Skylines and 1 Bluebelle) how to do it too.

  9. I had an interesting chat with my 34 yr old daughter (the total non-gardener and city dweller) which made me think of this post. She was looking at my giant pot of petunias by the pool and asked me what kind of flowers they were (silly girl). Then she asked if they were annuals or the ones that come back every year (uh…, perennials). Then she tells me she planted a pot of them on her front porch last year and they withered and died despite a daily watering. She left the unplanted pot sitting on her porch this year and never gave it another thought. Then, one day she saw green growing as she passed by with an infant seat in one hand and 2 grocery bags in the other. She figured weeds had made their way into the pot and never gave it another thought. Then, finally, one day she realized she had a pot of beautifully blooming petunias. Not weeds at all. Old soil, no fertilizing, no watering, on a hot sunny porch, all by themselves. Those petunias had seeded, sprouted, grown, and flowered. Bigger and fuller than any pot of flowers she has ever planted and pampered and killed. Life’s little miracles!

    • Ah, if she’s toting around an infant seat and grocery bags, then she deserves to have something easy and pretty in her life :)

      • She has a 6 yr old going on 16, a precarious 4 yr, a new born, a clumsy black lab, a part time job, back-up babysitter for all her friends, classroom mom for 6 yr old, Girl Scout Leader, and costume seamstress for year end school plays (26 costumes last time) while her husband works full time, coaches high school football, and volunteers to teach children’s summer sports classes at the “Y”. The only thing I envy is being 34 and having that kind of energy again. ;) Definitely deserving of more than a pot of petunias. But then, sometimes it’s the little things (like an effortless pot of petunias) that mean the most.