Flowers are indeed very beautiful. It adds decor in your home especially if you have a garden filled with different species of flowers. However, behind its stunning looks is something that you might not want to experience when it comes in contact with flowers. First of all, the leaves and stems can certainly leave green stains while the pollen can certainly leave a yellow bright stain on your garment. If you ever notice that there are pollen on your clothing, it is best that you do not touch it. However, if you are truly curious about how flowers can stains the shirt, perhaps experimenting won’t harm an old clothing.
There are ways for you to remove flower stains without staining much the fabric of your garment. It is important that you know how to deal with flower stains so that you can still save your clothing and wear it again. Before you’re going to dive in with certain products that can remove flower stains, here is a little remedy for you to remove the pollen off the fabric for example,
Shaking off the pollen- as soon as you see the pollen on the fabric, do not touch it but rather shake it off to avoid further staining. If you happened to have lilies in the garden, do the same procedure by shaking off pollen.
Do not rub with water- keep in mind that water can spread the stain. So, if you see the pollen on the fabric, it is best not to rub it with a clothing with water as this will indeed stain your clothing leaving a vibrant yellow color.
Tiny particles- if you see tiny particles that remained on the fabric, remove it using a sticky tape. Gently tap it on the pollen and lift it off the fabric.
After you have done all these mentioned above, here are the following steps for you to continue washing your shirt with flower stain.
Step 1 – soak it in cold water for about 30 minutes. Then remove the clothing, make sure that you to wire the excess of water. If the stain is still showing off, this means that you’ll have to use soap products to continuously remove the stains.
Step 2 – liquid detergent do comes in handy as well. Add a detergent to simply cover the stain and use an old toothbrush to gently remove the stain off the fabric.
Step3 – if there are presence stain, pre-soak the fabric and them use spray removals. An example of a spray removal is the use of hairspray. This contains alcohol which is easy to remove such stains.
Step4 – inspect the clothing if there are more presence of stains. If there are, perhaps the use of a heating press machine will help dry the stain and then use hydrogen peroxide as a last resort in removing the flower stain.
Step5 – if the color of the stain is not removed. Then consider the application of hydrogen peroxide. As mentioned, this can be your last resort to save the fabric of your garment. Completely rinse the area using cold water after ten minutes and then begin to launder the clothes again.
These are basically the five steps of removing flower stains in your shirt. The application is easy to follow and it is also environmental friendly as you do not need to use harmful chemicals to remove stains on the shirt. In this way, your gardening experience is better and you do not have to worry about how to deal with flower stains because you know already through reading this article. Therefore, enjoy gardening!
Gardening is one of the best unwinding experiences that you will ever feel because this is basically good for your body, mind and satisfying. Of course, when you are gardening, you will end up very messy because you will be handling more dirt. Gardening is fun and this also provides great bonding moments with your loved ones at home. There are certain things that you get while you are gardening such as an amount of soil lining in your nails, twigs and leaves on your hair, green patches that you get from trees. Therefore, it is important that you have your own gardening outfit whereas wearing your usual clothes will only make it soiled.
Wearing your comfortable gardening clothes do give you a better experience because you know that you can soil it every now and then while gardening. However, the dirtier it gets, the heavier its stains and it might not be that easy to remove it. Here are the following tips that can be of great help to induced gardening stains.
- Pollen- if you happened to have flowers at home, it is quite unavoidable at some point that pollen in the flowers will transfer to your garment. This can be a slight problem especially if such flowers you have are lilies as these leaves a super vibrant yellow stains.
What to do?- if you do ever get pollen on your gardening outfit, do not ever rub the pollen if it lodge to the garment nor splash it with water instead, shake the fabric of the garment to make sure that everything are removed. If there are any small amounts of pollen remained, it is best that you use sticky tapes to entirely take off any pollen left.
- Grass- getting grass stains are the frequent ones that you will experience while gardening. This is because you are mostly sitting on the ground.
What to do? – soak the clothing in the water and make sure that it is cool because if you are using hot water, this will only pursue the stain even more. As soon as it is soaked, make sure that you also rub it with some detergent and laundering will also help the grass stains removed. Hairsprays are very essential in spraying grass stains as this has alcohol content thus it makes washing easier.
- Mud- first thing that you’ll need to know about mud is that you do not have to treat it right away. The main reason is that, it can harshly spread all throughout the garment which will make it worse and mud stain is hard to remove whereas if the mud is dried, this is so much easier to remove.
What to do? As soon as the mud stain is dried, simply scrape off the mud as you can and you can use a blunt knife or an old unused toothbrush. This will help take off the mud stain. When it’s done, it is time to treat the garment with a regular detergent and the stain will eventually disappear.
- Paint- paint stains are also hard to remove especially if you have no idea as to how you can remove it. Just like taking off the mud stains, scrapping it first with a use of a dull knife and or a spoon.
What to do? – Gently blot the stain with a piece of old cloth to immediately soak the stain to the cloth.
- Grease/ oil- it is important that you dab the cloth to each sides so as to remove the excess oil, you can use an old cloth or paper towel to do this task. Keep in mind that you do not have to machine wash your clothing with grease as this can also grease the insides of the machine.
These are usually the treatments that you’ll need to remember if you have such dilemma of cleaning your gardening outfit. But if the stain doesn’t go away, you can think of other ways to cover up the stain, like using heat press machine. Choose a sticker that will suit in covering the stain in that way you can still use your shirt because you are able to improve its shirt appearance.
Making a camouflage shirt is not that difficult to achieve. It is actually very simple and you do not have to worry about where you’ll get the materials because it is available anywhere. It is termed as camouflage because it basically hides your presence behind the areas where you will be hunting an animal. For instance, you joined hunting season in your place, instead of buying you can provide your own style and design in making a camouflage hunting shirt.
Mind you, with handful pieces of materials you can easily camouflage yourself in hunting for a deer. There are tons of ways for you to make your own camouflage shirt for hunting. In this article, you will learn to understand the purpose of making camouflage hunting shirt and what it can benefit for you. It is best that you master all the techniques and eventually you will be able to get anything that you desire to hunt.
Here are the following ways to make a camouflage shirt for hunting needs.
- Camouflage clothing for hunting- chooses a shirt that is best for hunting. As much as possible choose the ones that has a long sleeve so that there is a large coverage to hide the parts of your body. Gathering of all the materials is necessary to make sure that you also conserve all your energy in making a camouflage shirt.
- Ensure the type of design that you’d like use for the shirt- when it comes to the design, it is best that you choose a design that is similar to the environment as to where you will be hunting. The colors should also match and as much possible use colors that does not reflect to the light because this can be visible to the vision of certain animals. The use of a heat press machine can be one of the equipment in printing your designing.
- Design and pattern- as mentioned, you can actually make your own design and pattern for a camouflage hunting shirt. You can also choose other way of printing the designs aside from the use of a press heating machine. Make sure that you are using materials that are environment friendly. Avoid spray paints or printing inks that have a stingy smell as this can be odorous to the animal that you want to hunt down. You are easily detected if using paints and inks that have a bad smell.
In using a heating press machine – it is important that you follow the guidelines with regards to the amount of heat that you’ll need for the shirt to be printed.
- Size- a larger size would be better for you to freely move around. However, this depends on your preferences if you want to use a small, medium or large. Keep in mind that if the outfit is too large for you, this might cause you to be stranded because you got hooked by a tree branch while hunting.
The benefit of making your own hunting shirt is that you can add as much design as you want to the shirt provided. Customizing your camouflage shirt is important and crucial. When you create your own shirt, this would also depend on the areas for hunting. For example, if the area is in a deep forest, the colors that you will be considering should be darker or lighter.
Now that you have a basic idea as to how you’re going to make a camouflage shirt for hunting, it is high time that you gather your materials and begin making for the next exciting hunting season.
Floral designs never run out of style. It basically represents feminism which is why more and more floral style is catered in most clothing business. If you are engaged in a clothing business, it is important that you know the materials that you will be using for printing a design, the colours of the T-shirts and the sizes as well. It also varies as to how much you’d want as a selling price for the T-shirt. To have a successful business, you must have an innovative, unique and creative designs in order for you to achieve your goals.
- Skull roses- this design are seen around to almost every shop. Although not everyone can appreciate skulls because of its horrifying meaning but if you incorporate it with roses this will give out a good blend of vintage, rocker and hipster style.
- Alphabet Letter with roses design- one of the designs that are mostly sold in the market. Anyone with an initial and has a floral design makes it worth the money. Adding each lettering with rose designs makes it look Gothic as well.
- Cross with roses- most buyers would love this famous design because it have a religious meaning for most people who are believers of the Cross. This is even used as a tattoo design for some people who loves Cross with roses.
- Animals with roses- Cats are one of the featured animals that you most likely see. You can as well use other animals and add roses to the T-shirt.
- Watercolor pattern- if you are into watercolor type of designs, you can actually paint your own if you plan do a DIY floral printing T-shirt. Choose colors that will best fit the color of the T-shirt as well.
- Simple black and white floral shirt- it is like a minimalist kind of design. The use of people’s images can also be a good option if you want to make it as a T-shirt.
- Clock with roses- another vintage design that most people will love. Consider a vintage clock and add small patterns of flowering designs all over the clock.
- Statements with roses- you can use famous verses from the passage in the Bible or perhaps famous lines from significant people who have made a big impact to the world.
- Embroidered style- nothing beats a hand-made embroidery floral printing. This is definitely a good sale but make sure that the quality of your embroidered floral are in good shape.
- Swag shirts with floral design- if you notice, most of these are popular and perhaps adding it to your business clothing line would make a great deal.
All these do give you a benefit. You can even start designing according to consumers demand or base on what you have observed from others. Adding accessories will make a T-shirt sellable. Of course, without other tools and equipment for T-shirt printing perhaps investing for these is a great return of investment. Imagine what it can do to your business if you know how to use it. The use of a heating press machine in making a T-shirt or clothing guarantees a better quality printing of your design.
The use of a heating press machine for T-shirt printing requires for you to learn about the machine before you’re going to use it. When it comes to the use of heat printing this is about 140 to 145 degrees farenheit. You can go higher especially if your prints are thicker. Do not be afraid of using too much heat in using a heating press as this is an indication that the shirt’s quality is guaranteed best.
During special occasions such as weddings, graduations, proms and other formal gatherings the use of boutonnieres does come in handy for this event. Did you know that pinning a flower or boutonnieres require a skill for it to be in place? Actually, it’s not that difficult to pin a flower to a shirt. Keep in mind that this comes along with a sharp object, therefore pinning needs to be extra careful otherwise you will end up pricking yourself.
Relearning to use and pin using a boutonnieres wouldn’t take you more than five minutes to pin it to a shirt. There are 5 simple steps to successfully pin a flower to a shirt. As soon as you have done reading this article, it would be best for you to practice so that in times of special occasions you are ready to pin a boutonnieres. First of all, you must know where to locate in pinning a flower. The purpose of locating is to make sure that the flower is secured without having to prick the person wearing it or even yourself. There are two methods of pinning.
- pinning it on a lapel
- Pinning it on a shirt– this can either be in a form of a dress or blouse.
- Traditional way of pinning- this is done by placing it through a buttonhole and fasten it.
- positioning- it is important that you position first the boutonnieres to the left area of the lapel. Make sure that the flower is facing towards you and the greenery to your date. It should be placed below at the widest portion of the upper portion of the clothing.
- start pinning at the back of the lapel- while you are holding the flower to the area where you will be placing, lift the lapel up and start pinning upward through the lapel (make sure that is away from the person you are trying to pin the flower).
- Thickest part of the flower- find the area of the flower where it have a thick stem then continue to push it through and insert it in a diagonal position especially if the lapel is thin.
- Push back the pin to the lapel- make sure that you are pinning in an angular position and back to the lapel. Keep in mind that the beginning to the end of the lapel at a specific angle.
- Check if it is secured- this is when you’re going to move the flower from side to side to make sure that its pinned. If there is a necessity to use a second, just do so.
The Shirt Method
- Locate your boutonnieres- traditional boutonnieres are usually placed at the upper area of the shirt just right above the heart. If the shirt happens to have a pocket, then pin it at the top of the upper section of the pocket.
- Gently weave the pin by an in and out motion slightly to the fabric- you can start pinning it from right to left. Make sure that you are pinning in to the fabric then outwards the fabric.
- Pin and pinch technique- weaving the pin in and out of the shirt. Make sure that the pin should rest outside the shirt after you have placed the boutonnieres.
- Placing the boutonnieres- insert the stem where the pin was placed beforehand on the pocket area. The flower should position towards the person pinning.
- Flatten the fabric and check the boutonnieres- this is done through pulling the boutonnieres in a horizontal position to make sure that there is no wrinkles. Secure the flower and make sure it’s not moving anywhere.
Doing these will help you become skilful in pinning a flower to a shirt. Keep practicing so you can perfect pinning every time you attend a special event. To improve the quality of your shirt you can also use heat press machine to have crisp shirt when pinning the flowers.
Receiving flowers is one thing that you truly want to keep forever. However, flowers wilt in its due time. That is why, others would prefer to heat press a strand of flowers as a remembrance. Whether it is a gift from a family, friend, co-worker or something that you have achieved and you received flowers are indeed worth the effort to hand-craft it with a project that where you can add the flowers. There are a lot of ways for you to create a project that can use flowers as one of your materials. If you want to preserve the blooming flowers that was given to you, having to heat press would be a great idea.
First of all you’ll need to pick the right flower for you to start heat pressing. The key here is to maintain its freshness. Therefore, pick one flower among the bunch. You can choose either a rose bud or a flower that has bloomed. If these are freshly handpicked from the garden so much the better. As soon as you have chosen your flower, the next thing that you’ll need to do is prepped it by pressing it right away but if you can’t do it right away make sure to place it inside a ziplock bad and store it in a cool temperature. Others would prefer storing the flower to the fridge.
To have a successful flower project, here are the following ways on how you’re going to properly heat press the flowers so that it will remain freshly blooded throughout the years. If you are ready to start pressing, here are the following steps that you can do to ensure that the flowers are kept fresh and cool.
- maximum time of freshness- to maintain the freshness of the flower by holding the stem immediately after cutting it and put it under water. Make sure to re-cut the stem.
- remove the leaves just below the waterline in placing the flower in the vase because these leaves can rot and causes bacteria which makes the glower vulnerable to rotting as well.
- Place flowers in a clean vase with water and add flower food or sugar to maintain the freshness. Have it properly ventilated and do not forget to expose it to the sunlight.
- Take note that flowers with flat faces are easy to press. If you have orchids and you want to press it, this has thick petals so you might as well split it into two.
- Lay it on a piece of paper and then you are ready to press it.
The purpose of paper to use
If you want to press flowers, it is better to dry it out quickly and prevent it from browning. Keep in mind that there are different types of paper for you to use such as flat cardboard, printer paper, plain tissue that is not treated or coffee filters that are non-currogated. Do not use paper towels as this may end up having many textures.
Ways to press the flowers.
If you want to do the task by DIY, keep in mind that you need to gather more materials and tools. There are many ways for you to press such as the following.
- using an iron- make sure there is no presence of moisture in the flower. Heat the iron in a low position. Glide the iron within 15 seconds. Alternate it by waiting another 15 seconds to cool down the paper, then press it again.
- Microwave- if you have a book flower press, this can be used for the microwave. Make sure there is no presence of metal.
- Heating press machine- this is another way for you to press your flower. Make sure there is not moisture and follow instructions guide in using a heating press machine.
There are other ways for you to heat press the flowers that you want to keep. Using heat is one of the quickest way for you to have a good outcome and it is also a great way for preserving the flowers.
Fall has always been a season wherein people get excited the most. This is the time of the year that it’s getting cooler and with winter coming things are surely different. Among the changes is wearing of thicker clothing, heavier knitted fabrics, chunky accessories like gloves, ear muffs and boots are one of the exciting things that people are looking forward. Although it has not yet transition to a full winter season, a mix of warmer weather still makes lighter fabrics appropriate to use. Certainly, you want to look fashionable for this fall season and you are in a haunt for fall floral shirt ideas
There are a lot of mix and matches that trend setters made a look-book for people to be inspired. This is one way for you to have fall floral shirt ideas so that you will be ready to flaunt your style to everyone. Few tips that you’ll need to consider is to stick to the color scheme for autumn and wear clothing that are suitable for the weather at all times. The concept of fall seasons embarks a remarkable meaning to every individual. To give you more tips and ideas for fall floral shirts here are the following.
- Fall colors- it is fun to play with different colors for fall season because it is mainly about neutral to darker shades of colors such as beige, tan, brown, yellow, orange, red, burgundy, purple to black shades. It is definitely to play around with this color scheme. So, if you stick to its color patterns this will make you look fashionable even more. For example, you can choose falling petals and leaves as a design.
- The year’s color- it is fascinating how you mix and match colors without contrasting it to each other. That’s another tip that you should remember. More so, the year’s color can be used for you to incorporate the color scheme of autumn. Since this year 2017 is more on the neutral green shade which is perfect for this fall season. Perhaps, a design that goes with the fall color scheme plus this year’s color would make such a creative floral design.
- Go for Warmer look- the more it gets colder, the thicker your clothing will be. Adding accessories such as printed floral scarfs, ear muffs, gloves, boots and even bags that you can add designs. If you wish to do things on your own, you can always do it with a heating press machine. The good thing about do-it-yourself printing shirts and clothing is that you can customize your favorite designs and add it to the clothing material to make it look more fashionable.
- Shades that are feminine looking- for females, darker and deep colors will work best. However, this creates a heavy look appearance. So, it is best that you balance everything by mixing and matching. You can as well choose a lighter color something that is of a brighter color scheme like coral and gold tones.
- The famous flannel shirts- this has never gone out of season. Flannel shirts are applicable to every type of season but more good during the season because of the quality that it looks. You add floral prints if you want to make it truly girly. For example, long sleeved flannel shirts that you can choose.
Should you want to choose a fabric material that best fitted for fall season, it is best to go with fabrics that are thicker for you to use it the entire season and even to the next fall. Floral prints are easy design and you can as well style it to your fabric. When it comes to heating press machine always follow the guide to avoid misusing and burning your clothing.
Las Vegas wedding cakes are some of the most exquisite in the world. From lavish floral designs to multiple layers, they are very popular and delicious. In addition to the cake, a wide array of toppers is available. The toppers truly capture the allure and essence of your special day. From traditional to cutting edge designs, these Vegas style toppers are perfect for any wedding cake. The toppers are the first things most guests see on the cake. You would want a topper, which is attractive and will be cherished for years to come. Vegas offers a vast selection of wedding cake toppers for your convenience.
Monogram Cake Toppers
Monogram cake toppers are growing in popularity. With shiny crystal designs, they are a wonderful way to spruce up your Vegas cake. You can even customize the monogram to suit your needs. Advantage Bridal is a company that specializes in this service. They also offer a broad range of other popular cake toppers. From traditional bride and groom to comedic themes, they service thousands of customers per year. Their extensive online gallery includes porcelain figures, cake jewelry and so much more! Advantage offers innovative cake topping solutions at affordable rates.
Wedding Collectibles feature a large assortment of wedding figurines. From crystal arrangements to stylized figures, these toppers are a must for any Vegas cake. Your family and friends will simply love these precious items. From Vegas weddings to receptions, they also offer valuable presentation tips. This includes design, placement and other important facets. Let your wedding cake sparkle with unique concepts and lovely porcelain figures.
Theme toppers are extremely fun and exciting. From casino to romantic themes, these party favors will enhance your Vegas wedding cake. Some of the more popular themes include motorcycles, love expressions and entertainment visuals. Brides Village specializes in Vegas theme toppers for any occasion.
While innovative concepts continue to dominate the market, traditional toppers are still popular. With bride and groom imagery, they effectively capture true love and romance. From classic altar to romantic scenes, traditional toppers are widely utilized. Yacanna is a company that specializes in elegant toppers. With beautiful ornaments, they add a touch of class to any Vegas wedding.
Party toppers are wonderful for wedding receptions. From dance to kissing themes, they express true love and joy. These amazing toppers will electrify your Vegas cake and reception. The Favor Shop offers several party toppers for your wedding cake. With original designs, you and your hubby will cherish each special moment.
No matter your preference, these Vegas style toppers will enhance your wedding cake. They also cultivate memories that will forever be cherished.
Floral designers are basically florists. Florists put together, cut, fashion live, dried and fake foliar. The word foliar is having some certain relationship to leaves. Florists make foliar arrangements using many different kinds of wreaths, corsages, centerpieces for tables, and bouquets for special occasions. Florists know everything about flowers including the meaning, history and care.
A florists job is to tell customers how to take care of flowers and plants; talk to customers about what type of arrangement they want to purchase and the price; arrange bouquets,; trim various materials; wrap and pack arrangements; set up displays in store windows, buildings, halls, churches, or any other place where events take place; keep records, take orders and messages; Sell items like gardening books, plant food, containers to keep flowers and plants; may manage if it is a small shop part-time, and take care of books.
Some equipment that florists use are spray paints, floral tape, pruners and wire cutters and foam. Special situations in which florists work are weddings, funerals, anniversaries and holidays.
In large shops that have a staff of floral designers, either the manager of the shop or the head designer oversees the work. In small floral shops, the boss will most likely check over everything the florist does, or someone else would make the designer manage everything. To work in a floral shop, it would be quiet, clean, with plenty of ventilation and serene. It may be cool or very hot if in a greenhouse. If you have allergies, this may not be a good occupation for you as some flowers and plants can cause allergic reactions.
Being exposed to sudden temperature changes going from a cold room to a hot one, or vise/versa, it may give you a cold. Florists can either sit or stand when working. They work about eight hours each day, six days a week. In very big shops, designers that work Saturdays get a day off in the week. At holidays, florists work overtime.
To be a floral designer you will need a high school diploma, vocational classes, a certificate after high school, or training on the job. Classes you can take are, math, horticulture, communications, floriculture and greenhouse operation and management.
A florists earning vary a lot. Shop managers(a non-owner) standard hourly wage is $12.82. A designer earns $6.67 to $9.22. A sales position earns $6.15 to $7.77, while a shop manager(owner) earns $15.71 per hour.
To get a job as a florist, you can probably find part-time work holiday time, although that leaves basically little to no time available to train. Skills you would need would be sketching, molding clay objects, making displays for different exhibits. You can look in newspaper ads, and search websites online such as Classifieds Employment and Yahoo! Careers.
I let go of my mom’s hand as I ran towards the white tables piled high with brilliant flowers of every type imaginable. I skittered past the roses, the peonies, the irises. I scuffled farther past orchids and mums until I rounded the corner and saw a splash of brilliant warm yellows. Looking among the sunny petals, specifically drawing closer to a cluster of bright yellow and brown, my mission was to find out whether or not my Giant Sunflower would be adorned with a silk ribbon indicating its rank among other sunflowers. As I scanned the rows of flowers I began to panic. Where did they put my flower? It was missing from its spot, and a white piece of table showed in between several vases.
That morning I had delighted at getting to use the ‘secret’ entrance to the New York State Fair. We had to explain to a man in a booth that we were exhibitors, and that made us important enough to drive through the normally car-free paths of the fair to the horticulture building to unload our bounty. I was wearing my navy blue shirt with sunflowers on it which I almost wanted to show to the man in the booth as proof that we belong with the sunflowers.
I spent the trip to the fair with a crate on my lap bursting with the color of summer. I stared at the petals and noticed that, though not all straight and orderly like some flowers, sunflowers had a beautiful randomness to the direction in which the petals fell. The petals seemed to almost push each other out of the way, competing for the kiss of the sun. The center of the flowers though was so geometrically ordered it fascinated me as it swirled perfectly towards the center. Others, too, I’m told, have been as intrigued by this natural perfection, so much so as to figure out the precise formulas and math determining their layout. For me, I’d rather just star and be drawn in by the golden angles.
The sunflower’s heads were about the size of a typical dinner plate, though they had started much smaller. Months ago, I sat in the breezeway of my house with my mom and we filled up tiny containers with potting soil. My mom put her pinky finger into the soil, making a hole for the seeds that I was holding in my 9 year old hands. Each container got one hole, and my job was to put the seeds in and close the holes. I checked on my seeds every day, and watered them when necessary. The containers had plastic bubbled lids that allowed sunlight to penetrate in, and gentle watering brought the first bit of green to poke through the dark soil days later. A few more days of observation and the poke of green began to resemble a pair of leaves. When mom decided that they were too big for their containers, we grabbed shovels and headed to the side of the driveway.
My mom has never been one for rules or keeping up appearances. To her the neighborhood lacked color. (Except for our neighbors who were “colorful” in a different, and kind of crazy way). So, instead of planting polite peonies or expected azaleas, my mom decided that lining the driveway with towering sunflowers would be just wonderful. I remember we started to dig just off the pavement of our driveway, because our property line wasn’t marked by much and the neighbors could sometimes get a bit squirrelly about who was mowing and raking where. But this didn’t seem to matter today as we both bent over side by side and put our hands in the dirt. I wore a pair of my mom’s gardening gloves that were far too large for my fingers, but made me feel like I was really doing it. My brother played with the hose in the front yard within earshot as we delicately transplanted the seedlings into the newly-turned soil. The summer had just begun and it was great to be outside on a warm day. My mom explained to me gently that not all of the sunflowers we planted would survive, and that we might have to pick some to make room for the others to grow. I nodded solemnly.
I am not sure that either of us had really read the small package of seeds purchased at Agway a few weeks ago. Though the label ‘Giant’ should have given us a hint, we didn’t know just how far that little seedling had to go. Soon the seedlings shot up to my knee’s height. Then they were as tall as my little brother, then taller. My mom and I watered them with the hose and fed them a little miracle grow, which I helped mix in our watering pot. I wondered why it was fake blue and whether it would turn the flowers blue in the end. Around my birthday, they were as tall as I was, and their hairy broad leaves began to delightfully cloud our view of the neighbors. After time, they were as tall as mom and began to create buds for flowers. But they didn’t stop growing then, either. When the flowers opened, I couldn’t reach them even on my Dad’s shoulders. When I look back at pictures of our house that summer, it seems to be bordered by a tall green fence topped with monuments to the sun gods. How strange it must have been to see such a weird enormous plant growing in such a generically planted neighborhood.
On the day of the competition, my brother and I took on the task of choosing the best four to be sacrificed and displayed at the fair for all to see. I remember selecting mine carefully based on the leaf appearance, petal size and overall beauty. My brother, barely six at the time, picked the ones he thought were “perfect.”
So as I scanned frantically for one of my perfect flowers that was now missing, I realized that my brother had one a third place ribbon for one of the ones he chose. “Look! Greg won a pink ribbon!” I said. By the time my parents and brother made it to where I had ran to, I determined that my sunflower was definitely missing. “Maybe something happened to it,” my dad said and shrugged.
My mom could see that I was not going to accept that as an answer after all of our work, and decided to ask one of the fair staff about it. I couldn’t hear them talking but my mom came back with a smile on her face. She lead me to a corner display of several different flowers, the vases laid out on a black velvet cloth. There, on the second tier, was my sunflower – it had won first place among all the sunflowers, and princess of show (2nd place) among all the other flowers. My flower that started out from a seed in my little hand in the hole that my mom’s little finger made for me got me a dazzling ribbon and fame.
People walking through the flower exhibit smiled at my joyful expression and explanation. People asked me how I did it, and all of my answers started with “we,” making sure that I told the whole story from the seeds to the towering plants. Several serious gardeners asked me my techniques with a little bit of condescension (having just been beaten by a 10 year old) and to them I replied that my secret was growing them with love.