Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gardening 105 - or 3-headed monsters

So I'm out in the garden the other day... doing what all gardeners do - drinking beer and catching some rays !!!! Anyway, after inspecting the crops and tying up the tomato "TREES" (they are approaching 6 ft tall!!! - I'm glad I opted for the 36" tomato cages rather than the 54" version - NOT !!!!). So, my attention shifted to the row of sunflowers (8 in all) that reside in southern most "Oregon" (remember the garden is shaped like California).

For some reason, despite all the rain, slugs, ants and wild bamboo, these bad boys seem to be doing quite well. The "tall boy" (not a beer reference) is over 9 feet tall at the "head", (with a stem - uh, TRUNK.... over an inch in diameter) with the rest of them ranging between 6-1/2 feet and that. So, I'm thinking they're doing good considering that the variety, according to the seed pack, averages 7-8 feet - although I've never grown them or seen them from closer than a speeding car window.

Anyway, as I am flicking ants and picking slugs off these "wonders" of nature, I stand on a milk crate to try to examine the head of my tall guy (the 9 footer - it's a daily routine). All of a sudden..."What the ?!?!?!?! !!!!!!!! While bending the trunk down to get a closer look, I almost fell off the crate !!! (too many tall boys?) This bad boy actually has 3 heads growing !! (remember I'm a sunflower virgin). There is the main head that is about to bloom and 2 additional (mini) heads in the "crotches" of the uppermost leaves. And low and behold, his buddy next to him has 3 heads too !!!!!!!!!!

So now I'm thinking I'm really cool and have grown something pretty special. Like any red blooded American..... I Googled !!! to gain a better understanding of what I have.... Well, anyone that has grown, or even Googled, sunflowers before knows that I was grossly disappointed at my findings...

Apparently, 9 foot 3-headed monsters are quite common. In fact, the "official" record for height is over 25 feet tall (geez, I'd need an extension ladder to inspect THAT one !!) with unofficial reports of 40 foot tall specimens. And get this !!!!!! The OFFICIAL record for number of heads on a "single" sunflower is................... eight frigging hundred and thirty frigging SEVEN !!!! 837 ?!?!?!?! Holy sunflower seeds Batman !!!! [insert "cheeky" innuendo here]

So my "Fluffy" (Harry Potter reference) may not be special, but his "bark" is worse than his "bite".

-Nuf Ced


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