Gardening efforts exceed expectations

By Don Farmer don.farmer@age.co.nz -
Add a comment
Chris Kilford dwarfed by one of his giant sunflowers. PHOTO/DON FARMER
Chris Kilford dwarfed by one of his giant sunflowers. PHOTO/DON FARMER

Retired schoolteacher Chris Kilford does not associate with the tall poppy knocking brigade but he is finding it impossible to avoid tall sunflower syndrome.

That's because the keen Masterton gardener has surprised himself and all others who have laid eyes upon his first ever attempt to grow sunflowers by producing a specimen that just keeps reaching for the sky.

So successfully in fact that the first of the four or so plants he popped into his garden reached four metres before flowering and its siblings threaten to reach even greater heights.

Mr Kilford said he planted the sunflowers simply because in his long association with home gardening he had never done so before " it was just for the challenge".

The seeds certainly took up the challenge, aided and abetted by a rich mix of composted household waste and mushroom compost.

"My motto is if you give to the soil, it will give back," he said.

Although he stands 1.83m (six feet), Mr Kilford needs a ladder to get high enough to, metaphorically speaking, smell the roses.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 May 2017 07:24:15 Processing Time: 554ms