Sandy's Garden ... Seeds of Hope

I was a customer in Morrisons in Falkirk a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 9:13 am

The checkout operator drew my attention to a smallish basket containing a fair number of small green envelopes.

“Seeds of Hope,” she explained – three words which, I confess, meant nothing to me.

“Please take one,” she added.

Falkirk Herald gardening guru Sandy Simpson

So I did, learning, when I had a look at it, that I had a small packet of the seeds of Helianthus annuus ’Sunspot’, a dwarf sunflower which thrives in a sunny spot, usually grows to a height of about 60cm and should be planted between April and June.

Morrisons was giving away 25 million sunflower seeds to customers in an effort to spread hope and lift the spirits of the nation.

The original idea, according to Morrisons, came from "Rose Morgan, Community Champion at Morrisons Peckham store, (who) came up with the idea to help customers plant hope for a brighter future as lockdown restrictions start to ease”.

Rose said: “Everyone is emerging from lockdown in different ways and I wanted to give my customers fresh hope and food for the heart by putting smiles on as many faces as possible. I had the idea of using sunflower seeds to represent this new beginning and emailed David, our CEO, to tell him we’d be giving some away in our store in Peckham.

I’m so happy he liked the idea and am very proud that it will now be taking place in all Morrisons stores.”’ David, for those who, like myself, are not on first-term names with the Chief Executive Officer of Morrisons, is David Potts.

All credit to Rose and to David and their company for giving away an astonishing 2.5 million packets of sunflower seeds with an average of 10 seeds in each pack – that’s 25 million seeds.

But consider this item, from The Press & Journal dated May 2, 2020. “A north-east church is sharing flower seeds with members of its community in an effort to bring colour to their town,” Rebekah McVey reported. “Banff Parish Church will launch its ‘Seeds of Hope’ project this weekend. Sunflower seeds are being distributed around the town to members of the congregation and friends of the church to give people of all ages something to take part in.

"Recipients are being encouraged to plant the seeds and place them where they can be seen by anyone walking past.”

Yes, that’s right. The good people of Banff came up with the idea and the name for their project almost a year ago.

The Reverend David Locke, Minister of Banff and King Edward Parish Churches, certainly knows a thing or two about it.

Reverend Locke said the project is the church’s way of saying thank you to everyone who has risen to recent challenges and reached out to help and care for others. He added the sunflowers add to the beauty of the town and at the same time encourage people to keep helping others.

Well, my Morrisons sunflowers have sprouted and are stretching by the day as they enjoy the April sunshine in their pot in my south-facing back garden.

I have never grown sunflowers and look forward to being cheered up by my Seeds of Hope all summer long.