Land of Giants


I don’t usually have a great luck starting flowers from seed. Maybe it is my impatience – or just bad luck. But this spring, inspired to help out the bees, I found a “no-GMO” mix of bee-favorite flower seeds and sprinkled them in the Hummingbird garden where I thought they might thrive. Some Cosmos and Borage surfaced. Little did I dream that the few little sunflowers seeds in the packet would sprout these towering giants – now completely out of place in the small Hummingbird bed.


I planted Amaranthus as I did last year. These fast-growing plants with their pearl-like flower reached only about a foot last summer.


I thought they would be a pretty addition to the annuals section of the iris bed. This year, they look like small trees and are completely ridiculous in their space.


They would look even sillier, if it were not for the gigantic sunflowers that Maria placed behind them. Most of her sunflowers this year are a bit shy on growth. But not these jack-in-the-beanstalk monsters which tower over everything in the garden.


We had to put her on a ladder to give a true sense of their height.


Sometimes big is just too big.


Same for this pup.


When Ned arrived, he weighed in at over 95 lbs. and was experiencing seizures. A charming young woman named Lesley chose this giant ball of fur as hers to take home and care for.


Over the course of a year, she helped him to lose more than 20 lbs. through better diet and exercise. In the process – he also shed the seizures.


She wrote a lovely letter to us sharing their journey. It seems that in rescuing Ned (now Chewie) – Chewie rescued Lesley and was her support through a very tough year. You can read her story here.

Giant size…sometimes too much.

Giant heart…never enough.


Published by


I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

13 thoughts on “Land of Giants”

  1. Great news about Ned aka Chewie and Lesley!! I’ve been trying to get Shadow to shed “a few” pounds over these past 12 months — and she has but still has some more to go.

    As for the sunflowers. Holy Garden, Batman!!! I’ve seen many tall sunflowers, but never one THAT tall!

    1. We battle the same – but since our Bella had surgery for a compressed disc, it’s kind of a requirement to keep that weight off. I tell her it’s for her own good…but well…you know!

      Sunflowers…yes…yikes! Maria says I can’t remove the spent ones because the birds want them. Argh.

  2. Your blog did justice to the sunflowers. Thank you. The bees are loving them, and the birds will be very happy once the seeds start to dry. Enjoyed reading the story of Chewie and Lesley. I’m glad that Chewie helped Lesley through a rough time in her life. They seem to be a wonderful match.

  3. Good job ( growing the flowers !). I have had my good times & bad times trying to get my plants grow !! The sun is so hot ( I guess the trick is mostly watering everyday,good fertilizer & lots of care !!)

  4. Just read Lesley and Chewie’s story, so of course I’m crying. Why do you do this to me? 😉 Beautiful garden and a beautiful rescue story . . . for Lesley and Chewie. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s