FARMINGTON — From Moulin Rouge to Mexican Torch, varieties of sunflowers are all abloom on the Wilton Road.

Just for fun, Melanie Farmer planted about 700 seeds in a small patch next to her Classic Gallery and Framing shop.

Cutting samples from the eight varieties, Farmer filled small buckets with the bright and colorful flowers Thursday morning to leave on a roadside table for purchase on the honor system. It takes an hour or so prior to her framing work, she said.

Within the good-sized roadside patch are deep burgundy sunflowers with ebony centers, along with traditional, large-headed sunflowers and light yellow ones with pink centers. The Mexican Torch, a smaller variety, boasts bright orange petals with yellow centers and velvety stems.

“It’s just an experiment, but I’m having fun with it,” she said of the tall, bee-laden flowers.

Farmer said she took a Franklin County Extension course on growing flowers in South Paris a couple of years ago and has since received advice from local agent Dave Fuller. She’s considering changing to smaller flowers, but for now she is enjoying her “experiment,” after a less-than-abundant crop last year.

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