"Please don't disturb my little sunflower sprouts!" I pleaded, and he assured me he'd take great care to protect them.
As with any plant that we value in our backyard space, chicken wire was laid at the base of the new rosebushes to keep our Lucky dog from digging there, and Doug was careful to weave the little sunflower sprouts up through the wire.
And now, a few months later, we have both a beautiful rose bush and some Italian white sunflowers growing side-by-side. This isn't how I would have ultimately wanted them to grow, but I can't help smiling when I see them, growing side-by-side like they were meant to be garden neighbors.
The rosebush will outlast the Italian whites, I know it will, but for the time being my sweet little sunflowers will continue to flourish, snuggled up to the roses with their roots embedded under the chicken wire, safe from a digging pup. And when they've lived their final days, I will scoop up the seeds and carry them with us to our new backyard space, where Doug and I will plan ahead when it comes to planting roses and sunflowers.