The tallest sunflower in the world

I don’t know about you but I have not seen much of the sun this summer.
Even so, the sunflowers are putting on a brave show trying to cheer us up on these grey days. They are so very bright with big nodding heads as yellow as yellow can be, struggling to reach the clouds.
I have always wanted to grow the tallest sunflower. You know there are always competitions in programmes like Gardeners’ World or Countryfile and schools are always encouraging the pupils to try in their own competitions. But I would never win - mine have always been about average - a measly five feet or so.
According to the Guinness Book of records I would have to grow one over 25 feet 5.4 inches high to win the tallest in the world competition and 14 feet 7 inches to beat the British record - so just like this summer's weather, I have failed. This year autumn has arrived in August and all chances of my growing the tallest sunflower have ended.
Everything seems to have stopped growing now. The leaves of the, admittedly more wimpish trees, are beginning to fall. But even the most tender trees do not usually drop their leaves in August. And you might have noticed that the leaves are turning red and yellow all over the hedgerows.
And another thing is that the berries and fruits are taking on a distinctly autumn glow. There are crab apples and bright red berries for the already congregating birds to eat.
No, this summer has not been a good one and neither have my chances in the sunflower competitions.

Three years ago I seem to remember it was all very different though, with wall to wall hot weather and sunshine as yellow as yellow can be. Summer was summer then, with bright blue skies and no sign of autumn in August. And to add to the joy I really think that in 2007 I may have grown the tallest sunflower in the world. Here it is growing on our chimney top.

I don’t know about you but I think that must be more than 25 feet 5.4 inches high!


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