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Prize garden's new heights

PUBLISHED: 16:14 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 17:02 25 August 2010

A GRANDFATHER said he was surprised when his seeded sunflowers kept going up and up until they reached more than ten feet.

A GRANDFATHER said he was surprised when his seeded sunflowers kept "going up and up" until they reached more than ten feet.

Retired docks' officer John Lawson, 76, of Danson Crescent, Welling, planted the seeds in a tray in March before transferring them to his award-winning back garden in May.

He expected the flowers to reach no more than 6ft, as stated on the packet, but the plants just kept growing until they towered over his 5ft 10ins frame reaching a staggering 10ft.

The keen gardener said: "They have just gone up and up. They certainly have stopped now as they have flowers on top."

Mr Lawson describes the work in his back and front gardens which won the silver and bronze awards respectively at the Bexley in Bloom competition two years ago, as a team effort with his wife Joy.

Gardening became his main hobby when he retired approximately 11 years ago and he is also general secretary of the Bexleyheath Veterans' Club.

The grandfather-of-three said: "Gardening is hard work. There is no doubt about that.

"My wife organises me. It is very much a team effort.

"When it is all done and the garden is growing and it looks a picture, like it does at the moment, you can see it is all worthwhile.

"The sunflowers would now be the ones that would catch the eye because they are the highest in size.

"My favourite flower would have to be the cosmos as once it starts flowering lots of flowers come on it. I didn't exactly choose sunflowers. My daughter Victoria bought me the seeds.

"They are attractive and they are good for the bees. You read in the papers we have a shortage of them, so perhaps I may help the world to go along."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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