The Coenen’s 2009 Garden

Below are some pictures of our 2009 garden – the highlight this year was our attempt at growing sunflowers for the first time. In fact Jack, Dad, and Papa had a sunflower growing contest to see who could grow the biggest sunflower. Dad and Papa are still disputing the preliminary results, but there is an early favorite 🙂

Jack’s sunflower
Total Height: 8ft 11 inches
Stem Base Circumference: 7.5 inches
Head Diameter: 16 inches (petals not included)
Head Circumference: 48.5 inches
Longest Leaf: 16 inches

Dad’s sunflower
Total Height: 8ft 5 inches
Stem Base Circumference: 8 inches
Head Diameter: 13.5 inches (petals not included)
Head Circumference: 43 inches
Longest Leaf: 22 inches

Papa’s Sunflower
Total Height: TBD
Stem Base Circumference: TBD
Head Diameter: TBD
Head Circumference: TBD
Longest Leaf: TBD
*disclaimer – Papa had an issue with squirrel who ate his original sunflower when it was a few days old. His second sunflower was not from the same seed stock.

Also when measuring the head diameter Guinness says you should measure from flower tip to flower tip, but to me that seems a little cheap. If we had done this it would have added another 6-8 inches to our measurements as most of the petals are 3-4 inches long.

FYI – the world record for sunflower largest sunflower head is 32 1/4 inches grown by Emily Martin in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in 1983.

The record for the tallest sunflower is 25ft 5 1/2 inches grown by M Heijms in Oirschot, Netherlands in 1986.

Raegan Elizabeth Coenen


Raegan (Rae) Elizabeth Coenen
07-15-09 15:15:00
7lbs 1 oz
21 inches

Mom and baby are home and doing great! Got home just in time to throw a party for Brooklyn’s 2nd birthday.

Just a note on one of the pictures below that has the name “Etola Rochelle Coenen” in the name tag for the baby. Betsy and I actually took three days to agree on a name so that was our “fill-in” name until we came up with something we could agree on. Etola is actually my grandmother’s name and with it being such a “unique” name it has always been a family joke about who was going to bite the bullet and carry on the Etola name. Also Rae was born on my big sister Shell’s birthday so we decided to give her props with the middle “fill-in” name. Unfortunately for Grandma and Shell the name did not stick, but I guess that means it’s still free for someone else in the family to use 🙂

In other bad news Betsy decided to break the trend of having really easy birth dates for me to remember. Jack was born on 5-25-05, Brooklyn 7-17-07, and despite me trying to encourage Betsy to wait until 9-9-09 before she had the baby she went ahead and had the baby on 7-15-09. If there is any consolation though Rae was born at 15:15 military time on the 15th.

Anyway it’s been a fun and exciting week, in the span of 5 days we’ve had our 6th wedding anniversary, birth of Rae, and our daughter Brooklyn’s 2nd birthday. We truly are blessed.