Sunflowers and Snap Peas

In the garden there are two favored plants- the sunflowers and the snap peas. These two plants are vastly different in appearance and disposition but each are better for having been sown and grown together. They combine into a relationship that is close and caring and cultured; their individuality it not what separates them, but what makes each of them more than they could be alone.

Sunflowers are sturdy, majestic and stoic plants…rising above the rest of the garden and producing a stately flower that draws admiration and evokes pride. They thrive in the warmth of the summer. It’s long-lasting, magnificent flowers are the center of activity, being visited by butterflies and bees and maybe even a curious hummingbird. The intensely colored petals are surprisingly fragile. When the flower fades, the birds come to eat the seeds, some of which 
nourish weary migratory travelers and others are carried back to feed their families.

Snap peas could not be more different. These apparently delicate and adventurous vines love to roam about, and when finding a support upon which to climb and explore, there they will go. They produce pretty clusters of numerous showy, short-lived flowers. After the brief flower fades, a tender pod filled with sweet seeds is created. Peas adore cool weather.

Sunflowers and peas each do best when grown together…they do not compete, but enhance. The sunflower gives the wandering pea a stable and tall support to climb. In turn, the pea fills the bare sunflower stalk with clusters of flowers and shading leaves; under the hottest sun, the sunflower returns the favor by cooling the pea with its few broad, large leaves.

Each of us are our best when we find our sunflower or snap pea counterpart! The differences are the things that not just set us apart, but also make us better. Life is more rich and wonderful when our lives are intertwined with others who are so very different from ourselves. Diversity and differences are not only the spice, but the stability of life.

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