I still have a picture of my grandmother standing proudly next to a sunflower twice her height. It helped to have few cows in the farm as a source of fertilizer. After the cows were gone I never saw sunflowers quite that big.
Usually I prefer perennials over annuals but there are few exceptions and sunflower is one of them. I remember the first one I grew from a seed. The seeds were meant for feeding the birds during the winter time but in the spring there were always some left. So I took one and to my big surprise it started to grow. I was so excited. Days went by and my flower grew taller. The bud was the size of my head. Few more weeks and it would bloom. Then came a thunder storm and my beautiful flower was gone.
I was crushed. I could not believe my bad luck. But it gave me an important lesson about growing plants and life in general. Things seldom go as you plan. There will always be surprises. Some of them pleasant and some not. When you grow plants you better be ready for the unexpected.
Years went by but I could not get over my failure. I did not grow sunflowers. Then I saw a Teddy Bear and decided to give it a chance. I planted the seed in to a pot and placed it in to my balcony. This time everything went as planned. I was a proud owner of this short but stunning flower. That summer was warm and long. I even managed to harvest seeds what does not always happen. After that year I have had a Teddy Bear in my balcony or in the summer cottage. I never get bored and it has never failed me making gorgeous flowers every year.
PS. You can buy Helianthus Annuus Teddy Bear seeds from most of the shops. If you plant the flower to a pot, make sure it is a big one. Teddy Bear is a drinker when it gets bigger.