Never can you expect a kid’s wish to be run-of-the-mill. They might be asking you for something that’s clearly not possible and they won’t even assimilate that it’s cannot happen. Douglas, 42, from Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire, felt the same way when his four-year-old son Stellan Smith asked for a gigantic flower as tall as their house.
Since the dad couldn’t reject the idea, he began putting work since the end of March initially with a seed in their garden. The dad had to look after it and nurture throughout the lockdown to make sure it grows up even more. The outcome transpired with a 20ft high sunflower (21 ft with the curve as the giant plant leaned downwards due to its weight).
As it grew up higher, Douglas had to use a ladder to reach its height, when it came at par with the second-floor of the house. Besides this isn’t the first instance when Douglas is growing something big like this plant. He had already nurtured a pumpkin and a tomato that weighed more than three kilos. Although it shows that he holds a good amount of experience, the fruitful upshot is also because of his seed’s good genetics.
The seed was borrowed from John Butler, who currently holds the record for the tallest sunflower in entire North America with a height of 26ft 8 in. Also, the same record for the tallest sunflower in Britain is held by Richard Hope from Wigan, Manchester, which was set back in the year 2012 at 26ft. Now, Douglas’ creation is really worthy to be taking all the credits away from the previous records.
The plant is also kept in a large wooden container with a height of 20in, 3ft in length, and 2ft in-depth, so that it doesn’t bend with its increasing weight. Douglas said: “I’m not sure specifically what variety of sunflower this is, but it’s a bit like a thoroughbred horse… But the flower will also reward any TLC you are able to give it. I go out to feed and water it a couple of times a day. I’m up the ladder at 7.30 am most mornings – which certainly wakes me up.”
Douglas is still looking forward to seeing it growing as always. Although it can grow at least an inch or two, it doesn’t seem like there’s more to it. “It’s flowering at the moment – there’s probably another week or so of the flowering left, and then I’m hoping to leave it standing for as long as I can, to collect most of the seeds,” Douglas added. For Stellan, it was enough to bring the ecstasy as he got his wish fulfilled. On the contrary, Douglas still thinks that no one in the nursery would believe him if he describes the giant plant he has grown. Above all, it started with Stellan’s simple wish.