The biggest sunflower I have ever grown, over ten feet high! This was not a volunteer (as were most of my past garden successes) but it grew in a patch without a lot of direct sun, between our home and our neighbor's. Reason for success theory: sheltered from the wind.
The summer lettuce and carrot "crop." Reason for failure theory: not enough water or fertilizer. I did hire a neighbor boy to water twice while we were away for two weeks, but I think this was not enough for the 3-inch high plants. When we got back, things looked okay, but a couple of weeks later I came to the conclusion that going away in the middle of the summer is not compatible with being a gardener. By early August, the small lettuces that I had planted in mid June remained stunted, as did the carrots. I started over a couple of weeks ago by planting dill, new chervil, arugula, and buttercrunch and mesclun lettuces in the front of the raised bed. I guess my garden failures don't hurt so much since it's so easy to start over. Here's how the new crop looks today:
This isn't the giant sunflower, but it makes me happy.