Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

A Little Surprise


I’ve done a post about the leylandis before but now we have a new development.

Back in April, we decided it was time to take out the two leylandis that had grown way bigger than anticipated. They were infringing on everything around them. The walnut tree on the left of the photo was leaning farther and farther towards the sun and losing branches on the shady side where the leylandis crowded them out.

Here the leylandis are cut down and you can see that the walnut looks like half a tree.

Now in full foliage, it is beginning to look better, but it is still leaning away from the place where the leylandis were.

On the other side of the leylandis, right near the walnut, are two big fir trees that also suffered from a lack of light, being crowded out by the leylandis.  See all the dead branches?

Here is the stump of one of the leylandis, with a round of wood sitting on it.  Beside it is a small sunflower that has grown there without the benefit of much water or care. I only discovered it a couple of days ago.

What’s it doing there?! I didn’t plant it. I suspect that a nuthatch or chickadee brought a sunflower seed from the birdfeeder on the other side of the yard, and wedged the seed into the leylandi bark to hold it fast while it picked at it to open the shell. The seed must have fallen and over time, become covered with soil.

A splash of rain and few rays of sun, and  a new sunflower sprouted. Since I didn’t know it was there, it didn’t get as big as it would have, if I had watered it and put some good soil on it, but even so, I was happy to see how much it had managed to grow.

I feel like a plant detective, trying to figure out why the sunflower grew there. Did a bird inadvertently plant it, or was it maybe dropped by Lincoln the squirrel? It would be interesting to know the real answer.


Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

35 thoughts on “A Little Surprise

  1. Unusual to see a garden with so many trees in it, but those Leylandi are overpowering, aren’t they?
    I love finding odd things growing in my garden too, and always wonder where they came from…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those leylandis are incredible! And not necessarily in a good way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Derek is constantly having to cut back our leylandis, Anneli. They certainly like to crowd the other trees, don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The buggers in Florida used to be the Ficus until a few years ago, when a pest killed most but the giant-ones.
    Each area has its own nature-troubles 😦
    Paradise perfect – nowhere 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We also have a walnut tree in the garden. Together with the hazelnut it provides the squirrels with winter food. Then they do not have to steal the bird food.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I get sunflowers all over the yard – in the garden (where the birdfeeders were). And this for the 3rd year! Even outside, in front of the house are sunflowers growing. This way the birds are thanking me for feeding them over the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aren’t you lucky! I love sunflowers and haven’t had much luck this year until a friend gave me some well-started ones that are now taller than I am. First time!! So now, I get this volunteer popping up.


  7. Looks like you have a good supply of firewood for the next year or two. I hope your walnut tree recovers nicely, now that you have given it some new life. Ursula’s post is a great way to look at things. I love to think it is the birds thanking me for feeding them. Volunteer plants are the best surprises in the garden!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, and I would leave the sunflower volunteers if I could, or move them to a place where they can grow safely. I LOVE sunflowers. And yes, we nearly killed ourselves splitting wood this spring so we have a lot of firewood ahead. At last.


  8. It’s always nice to see when flowers [or trees, at that] plant themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Amazing how the walnut tree adapted to the infringement on its space. Will you cut the dead branches off the fir trees?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I keep sunflower seeds in a couple of feeders too, and there are sunflowers coming up in various places all over. I suspect besides the birds, most are planted by chipmunks. Usually the sunflowers don’t amount to much here. That one is a nice size, even though short.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We often sprinkle the seeds from flowers that have died in many different spots. Sometimes one will take root and bloom. Other times we were a new flower, yet we never sprinkle or planted seeds. It is a lovely surprise, isn’t it? I love sunflowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember your post about the leylandis! As soon as I saw the sunflower growing next to the stump, my first reaction was “It’s a sign of thank you from the trees now receiving more sun and care.” They asked the wind to blow the seed that was sitting on their branches from a bird. The seed settled next to the stump, as requested, and you have a bright yellow sign from the walnut and fir trees.
    But that’s just how my mind works.

    Liked by 1 person

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