Derek Wallington and his wife Veronica, of Sherbourne Way, held their annual sunflower competition late last month which saw local residents come together to compete for the coveted cup, presented to the owners of the tallest sunflower.
This year’s winners were Kevin and Kay Moore, of Sherborne Way, whose sunflower grew to an impressive 2769mm, with organisers Derek and Veronica, gracefully taking second place with a measurement of 2686mm.
This annual community event which has been running for the last five years in Sherborne Way, has this year seen an increase in popularity with four residents from Barton Way having joined in the fun.
On the success of this competition, Derek, who is also a Croxley Green Parish Councillor, said: “We were really pleased to have the Barton residents competing this year and we also had several children involved who really enjoyed growing a sunflower which was great to see. There is always a lot of banter surrounding the competition and we have a lot of fun but ultimately we all want to win first prize.”
He added that all the residents involved regularly swap tips on how to grow the biggest sunflower such as using liquid seaweed to help aid growth and always ensuring that the sunflower is placed in a large pot so that the roots do not become bound. Derek himself recommends growing the Giant Russian variety to produce record-breaking measurements.
Following the presentation of the trophy last month, Derek has since received a thank you card from one of the new competitors from Barton Way which expressed their gratitude for the sweets and rosettes that were awarded to each child that got involved with the competition. He said: “It was a lovely note to round off this year’s competition and we are all looking forward to continuing the tradition next year.”
Following the success of the resident’s competition, Derek, alongside the local parish council, has also organised sunflower growing events at four local schools with the winner receiving a £100 prize and the runner-up £75.
He said: “It is wonderful to see the local children enjoying being outside and getting their hands dirty. They love to see the sunflower appear and to measure the flower’s growth each week.