To commemorate Earth Day in April, the Port St. Joe Garden Club sponsored a contest to grow the largest sunflower bloom. Free skyscraper sunflower seeds were distributed at the Corinne Costin Gibson Memorial Public Library in April.
Gardeners of all ages were encouraged to plant the seeds in either containers or the ground. This particular variety is known to grow ten to twelve feet tall with flower heads up to fourteen inches across within a span of 75 to 90 days.
Sunflowers are native to North America. Indigenous peoples on the continent valued the plant as a source of food, medicine, and dye. Spanish conquistadors introduced this attractive plant to the rest of the world and Russian botanists are credited with developing the extremely large blossoms popular today.
The judging took place on July 10 at the library and light refreshments, including specially decorated cookies baked by Annabelle McCullough, were served. The winner was declared to be Greg Grinzinger.
Grinzinger recounted that, upon seeing the Earth Day promotion in the library, he told his wife, “I’m going to win this contest!” He has avidly grown sunflowers for many years and was excited to take up the garden club’s challenge.
For information about the Port St. Joe Garden Club, please follow it on Facebook.
The lovely home of the garden club is listed on the United States Department of the Interior’s Registry of Historic Places. It may be reserved for special occasions and can accommodate up to 70 people. For more details, please contact rental coordinator Lanann Tuttle at 404-932-0604 or email [email protected].