During lockdown 2020, Pauline Mackay, owner of Ablekids Press, planted nine giant sunflower seeds in little pots and watched to see what would happen.
Of the three seeds which did sprout, only one survived and a remarkable emotional journey began, because instead of growing the flower for herself, Pauline decided to grow it on behalf of children who attend a local family centre. With its seed shell caught over its tiny 'head', the name Peekaboo seemed entirely appropriate.
Peekaboo survived being catapulted from its flowerpot by fierce winds, rallied after providing a banquet for snails and slugs and raised its head to the sun, finally opening its petals and offering a splendid feast to bees and butterflies.
Keeping a written and photo diary of Peekaboo's progress meant all the key moments were captured, but by the time this beautiful sunflower was handed over to the Family Centre, Pauline realised something very special had happened. By growing Peekaboo for someone else, the flower had taken on extra importance. Family members watched in delight and gave gardening advice, friends inquired about the flower's progress and social media updates brought messages of support and advice and also tales of gardening successes and challenges, especially regarding sunflowers. Watching Peekaboo develop gave Pauline confidence to experiment with other flowers and a variety of dwarf sunflowers, marigolds and pansies followed. For a novice gardener, it was all quite incredible. In August, the children and staff at the Family Centre took over the care of Peekaboo and created craft sunflowers which adorned the window of the Ablekids Press shop on Market Brae Steps in Inverness
And the more people Pauline talked to about Peekaboo, the more it became evident that growing a flower for someone else really touched people's hearts. Instantly, they thought about who they would grow a flower for and wanted to do it too.
And so, The Storyflower Project was born!
Now we want to get as many people as possible involved, so why not take this opportunity to grow a special flower for a special person.
When you are doing this, try to write down how you feel about your experience growing your flower.
Free, fun, photocopiable diaries can be downloaded from the links below. Write as much or as little as you please, draw to your heart's content or doodle. Or just plant a seed for someone else and know that you already have a storyflower in your flowerpot/flowerbed and a story in your heart!
You can contact us about the project or tell us about your Storyflower experience at email@example.com.