Riverside Road resident Brian Haag gave up on vegetable gardening when “everything got eaten,” he said, and instead planted a sunflower patch two years ago.
“I never grew them before and they look pretty,” he said of a patch he planted again this year. “Everyone going by seems to enjoy them.” He planted them from seed during the first week of June, a slight delay since “we still had some cold nights in May.”
Unlike two years ago when the hurricane “took them down,” this year’s batch, he said, ranges from taller to shorter, and from pale yellows to deep rust colors.
Motorists driving along Riverside Road soon encounter the more than 20-foot stretch of property bursting with blooms in varied heights.
“I figure putting them by the road would get sun all day long,” and the plants have done well in that location, he said.
He planted “all kinds,” referring to some as Mammoth or Russian varieties. “There are still buds on so may of them. Some are yellow, almost white; others are a rusty orange. Some are red and black in the center,” he said.
Deer had gotten to some early growth, and Mr Haag pruned away the damage. He was pleased to see that although shorter than their neighbors, the plants still produced blooms.
Of the large variety, many are now drooping after the heavy Labor Day rain. Some taller plants are “already getting heavy and starting to fall down.” Noting one particularly tall flower with its face turned toward the ground, he said, “One of the big heads is almost as heavy as a gallon of milk.”
There are still many buds on the stalks. “Hopefully they will grow through September,” he said.
Mr Haag plans to plant his sunflower patch every year.