I never really under­stood the inter­est in grow­ing mon­ster veg­eta­bles to see how big they can get. To me, the point of veg­etable grow­ing is to eat the things. But more often than not once a veg­etable reaches gigan­tic pro­por­tions it is no longer edible.

But per­haps it’s akin to my fas­ci­na­tion with  sun­flow­ers. I have grown short, bouquet-worthy sun­flow­ers. I have grown stun­ning, nearly black sun­flow­ers. I have grown dainty sun­flow­ers. But what I really adore is a colos­sal sun­flower. Tow­er­ing sun­flow­ers. The kind of sun­flow­ers that makes vis­i­tors stop and say, “Is that real?”

Until this year the tallest sun­flow­ers I have grown were Mam­moth. They grew to about 8 or 9 feet, tow­er­ing over the rest of the garden.

But this year I grew Titans—the biggest yet.  I mea­sured them this morn­ing at 12 feet tall.

Vis­i­tors ask me if they are staked because it seems so improb­a­ble that a flower on a sin­gle stem that tall could stand up with­out assis­tance. But the stalks are nearly as round as my wrist,  so they are stand­ing tall all on their own.

Now, what’s big­ger than a Titan?

Robin
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Jul 24
2010

Hot much?

It was nearly 100 degrees while I was work­ing out­side today. I have a sliver of wood in my big toe, poi­son ivy and am cov­ered in bug bites. Some­times I think I need an eas­ier hobby.

Robin

Robin
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Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, will be released later in 2014 from Taunton Press.

Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.

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