A simple sunflower can raise anyone’s spirits.
Since humans first began cultivating them thousands of years ago, sunflowers have been seen as representing loyalty, longevity, positivity, strength and love.
It’s what makes them the perfect symbol for hospice’s work, said Tracy Haddow, executive director of the 100 Mile House and District Hospice Palliative Care Society.
“It’s rather symbolic for hospice. They’re very beautiful flowers, they’re hardy and they bloom for most of the summer,” she said.
For the third year in a row, Haddow is partnering with Tammy Briggs at the Cariboo Plant Ranch to run a sunflower fundraiser for hospice. Right now the flowers are still growing in the ranch’s greenhouse but can be pre-ordered through the hospice office at 250-395-7680.
They’ve been planted in two different sizes of pots, Briggs said. Large 10” pots suitable for display on decks come in yellow, purple and orange, to match the colours of the hospice’s logo. A 5.5” size is also available for those looking to transplant a single flower into their gardens. They cost $30 and $6.50 respectively and will be ready for pickup on the last weekend of May at the Cariboo Plant Ranch.
Briggs said she participates in the fundraiser because it’s a good cause and she enjoys growing the sunflowers. For hospice, she plants “several hundred” dwarf sunflowers that bloom throughout the summer, rather than just at the end of the season. She advises those who purchase the flowers to give them a lot of fertilizer.
“If you fertilize you get more flowers out of the same plant which is what we all want,” Briggs said. “They bloom more frequently with more sun but they also need enough water.”
Haddow enjoys buying transplantable sunflowers so she can plant them in her yard.
“I buy them every year and I plant them down my driveway in large pots and they make me smile every time I drive down the driveway. They’re bright and beautiful. Their faces actually follow the sun, east to west, so that’s fun.”
Proceeds from the sale will help support hospice services so they can be offered free to the community.