Spreading sunshine with Heather's flowers

A green fingered duo from the Ribble Valley have shared a little happiness by offering passers-by free sunflower plants.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 5:00 pm

Sue and Jack Catlow’s unexpected act of kindness also honours the memory of a much loved local resident and relative.

Sue’s cousin, Heather Catlow of Ribchester, died in January 2019 at the age of 67 from cancer. She had requested that her funeral flowers be sunflowers and forget-me-nots.

Little sachets of sunlower seeds were also handed out at the funeral at St Wilfrid’s church, Ribchester, near Preston, to be grown in Heather’s memory.

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Jack and Sue Catlow pictured by their sunflower stand

Sue grew the sunflowers last summer and harvested the seeds. Her father, Heather’s uncle Jack, then sorted those dried seeds ready for planting and the new young plants have been grown in his greenhouse.The plants were repotted and were recently placed on a table outside Jack’s Ribchester home for “socially distanced” collection by passers-by and local residents who remembered Heather, a popular member of the WI and local Field Day committee who had worked at Myerscough College.

The family put a sign up saying: "Grown from the seeds of Heather’s sunflowers. Enjoy a little sun in your life and think of our Heather.”

Sue said: “I grew mine in pots last year and dad grew some as well. I can’t believe how many we got from the seeds. I said to dad why don’t we just grow them anyway and put them at the end of the drive. It’s just a bit of added sunshine in people’s lives at this particular time and it’s difficult to get hold of plants as well.”

She stressed the plants are immature and still need to be kept indoors to be grown on. Sue added: “They were Heather’s favourite flowers. She absolutely loved sunflowers. What I’m hoping is people will do the same as I’ve done - keep a flower head.”

The notice urging people to enjoy a little sun in their lives
Remembering Heather Catlow and her love of sunflowers