Gardener’s flower is blooming massive

Howard Edley of Totley and his 11 inch dahlia
Howard Edley of Totley and his 11 inch dahlia
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HOW does your dahlia grow?

This monster dahlia has sprung up in Sheffield resident Howard Edley’s garden, dwarfing the other blooms around it.

Former postmaster Howard says the enormous bright yellow flower head measures around 11 inches across, adding: “I’ve never seen one as big in my life.”

The keen gardener, who lives on Stonecroft Road, Totley, bought six dahlia tubers from Tansley garden centre near Matlock. He says they all grew flower heads of around three or four inches, except one.

“The others flowered normally, but this one started just over a week ago - it got bigger and bigger and then slowly burst open,” said Howard, aged 63, who used to run the village post office in Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire.

“The others are smaller, but this one sticks out like a sore thumb.”

Howard, who lives with wife Jenny, 64, says he has “no idea” why the flower has grown so large since it was planted in the middle of May.

“It’s just been put in the earth with all the others. I like gardening - I’m not an expert but I enjoy the garden, I’ve put quite a lot of time into it. I like clematis, these dahlias are something to fill the garden up.

“I’ve got 40 or 50 different clematis plants, pear, apple and plum trees and two greenhouses.

“I had a few dahlias last year but nothing like this - it’s fantastic. I’ve never seen one as big in my life. It’s a massive flower.”

Dahlias were first grown in Mexico, Central America and Colombia, and there are around 36 species of the flower, some of which can grow up to 10 metres tall.

Dahlias can potentially grow flower heads a foot wide due to their genetic structure - they have more chromosomes than many plants.

n Have you grown a giant plant, dahlia, sunflower or vegetable? Contact Richard Blackledge on email at richard.blackledge@thestar.co.uk or ring 0114 2767676 ext 3406.