May 26 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 7, 2012
WHAT started as a competition for his three grandchildren could be said to have grown a little out of hand for green-fingered enthusiast Peter Howard.
The 66-year-old now has more than 50 sunflowers growing in the garden of his home in Woodbridge.
The self-employed builder started cultivating the colourful plants around five years ago as a contest for his grandchildren, Aidan, 10, Tayrn, eight, and Max, also eight.
“I thought it would be fun to see who could grow the tallest sunflower,” he said.
“We’ve been doing it for a number of years and each time I seem to get more and more.
“This time around they’re coming up everywhere. I’m not sure why that is, I don’t think it’s got much to do with the weather. I just think the seeds get spread by the birds from the garden and they go from there.”
Mr Howard, who has been gardening for all of his life, said he has no plans to cultivate his impressive crop.
“I don’t have the heart to cut them down,” he said. “I love them. Most of them are between 3-3.8metres tall and some have different centres. The heads are quite heavy, it’s surprising.
“I had one recently that was shaped like a heart, although even in the last few days that has grown and changed.”