WITH summer almost over, one house is brightening up the area with some giant sunflowers.
Susan Simms was astounded when her sunflower seeds grew into huge 12ft plants almost reaching her second-floor windows.
At one stage, they seemed to be growing four inches a day. They are just fantastic.Susan Simms
The 61-year-old said people stop to look at them growing in her front garden and are all shocked at how tall they are.
‘Growing sunflowers is something I had never done before,’ Susan said.
‘They have just kept growing over summer and now they are huge.
‘At one stage, they seemed to be growing four inches a day. They are just fantastic.’
Susan, from Bedhampton, decided to grow the blooms after her friend Mike Duval said he had trouble with them in his garden.
She offered to let him grow them in hers and they just blossomed.
Susan added: ‘Mike always wanted to grow sunflowers but for some reason they have always died on him.
‘He helps me with my garden so I offered that he could plant some sunflower seeds.
‘Mike brought some and as it got hotter, they just started to grow.
‘We were really shocked when they just carried on and didn’t stop.
‘They were growing really well. We had no idea how tall they could get.’
It is not just the height that impresses Susan but also the amount of flowers on one stalk. She said: ‘One has 21 flower heads on it. Some of them are still opening but it’s incredible.
‘People walk by and are just amazed by them. They are quite spectacular.’
Susan said she has not been putting anything special on the plants.
‘I must just have really good soil for them to grow in,’ she said.
The News gardening guru Brian Kidd said it is unusual for multi-headed sunflowers to grow so tall.
‘Normally they only grow to about 8ft so for Susan’s to get so tall is fantastic,’ he said.
‘Single-flower sunflowers can grow up to 35ft but they often get blown over by the wind.
‘Susan has obviously given them some love and attention and the sunshine we’ve had always helps.’
Brian said to grow giant sunflowers, it is best to plant the seeds in a pot in April, keeping the compost moist and then, when the pot is full of roots, to plant it in a shaded spot in the garden.
He said it is best to have a wall or fence to tie the stalks to.
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