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2022 Sunflower Competition

Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s sunflower competition. We had ten nurseries enter with a varying array of bloomage and fruitage. This was all the more impressive as the oppressive heat and burning sunshine made it particularly challenging to keep caring for the plants and most went over at the end of July.

We had squirrel skullduggery again, albeit in different settings to last year. At least they are fat and well fed for the winter.

There was excellent interaction with the nursery children demonstrating great understanding of when fruit is ready to pick (red if they are tomatoes and not at all if they are green potatoes). I really feel that we are teaching children skills that will keep them interested in where their food comes from for the rest of their lives.

Tallest Sunflower and overall winner

Well it’s Wellington Road again this year, with the biggest ever specimen at 3.95m high. For the fifth year running Andrew displayed dedication beyond the call of duty, watering, feeding and talking to his monstrous blooms. I really did expect to see a goose laying golden eggs at the top of it.

The good news is that Andrew [sadly] left us over the summer, so the field is wide open for next year, with Downend Road and Great Park Road close seconds this year and in previous years respectively.

Runner up:

Well done to Sorrell at Downend Road who managed to pull a beautiful 2.5m high specimen out of the ground.

Most Sunflowers

Fantastic achievement by Fort View, who, in addition to loads of other veg managed to keep 24 sunflowers alive in the heat.

Runner up:

Well done to Coronation Road, who with 19 sunflowers were a close second for the second year running.

Biggest sunflower head

It’s a tie between Wellington Road and Downend Roads Hole.

However, Gospel Hall and Fort View’s flowers were stunningly beautiful and deserve special mention. Gospel Hall also produced beautiful, tasty lettuce heads.

Best vegetable selection

This was a great year for growing fruit and vegetables, in many ways this was more impressive than the sunflowers, with children demonstrating awareness of what they are growing, how to look after the plants and when the fruits will be ready to eat. No cheats this year using shop-bought produce or chocolate.

In alphabetical order (as they were all great), the winners are:

• Fort View

• Great Park Road

• The Bush

Between them growing an array of tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, beans and strawberries.

Best weed

Even the weeds struggled this year in the summer sun, but we did have a couple of outliers, who have tied for this year’s prize:

• Houndstone Close – for their pear tree and half-dead Christmas Tree

• Springhill Green – for their sapling apple tree

Best children’s artwork or other engagement

It was close between Baileys Court with their amazing Tony Scarecrow display and Houndstone Close for their super-tall handflower, however Baileys Court just pipped the prize with their own Sunflower Book, compiled of pictures of sunflowers grown by children at home and children making their display at nursery. This has been circulated with this report (but please don’t publish any of those photos).

Best bribe

I think that BC’s Sunflower Book was intended to be a bribe (and it was a winner in the above category) but the stand-out winner was the veggie box prepared for Bev and me by the children at Fort View. Very thoughtful and healthy. Thank you.

Special mentions

Well done to Phil at The Bush who documented the growth of his sunflowers in a photo diary. Ingenious.

Fine effort from Andy at HQ who managed to cultivate a whole field of sunflowers.

Congratulations to Hunter and Holly at Baileys Court, who achieved the distinction of growing their first sunflower, bigger than themselves.

For the full report please click here.