Sidmouth sunflower comp winner is bloomin’ huge!

A TOWERING sunflower, measuring 3m45cm, grown by the Marchant family in Manstone Avenue, Sidmouth, has won the first sunflower growing contest run jointly by Sidmouth Garden Centre and the Sidmouth Herald.

Dominic, Floyd and Sue Marchant with Lucinda Mack, beat other keen growers to reap a �50 prize and �50 for their school, after centre manager James Trevett visited those with the three tallest sunflowers.

Second prize of �25 and the same for their school, goes to Tommy and Lotte Maynard of Millford Avenue, whose sunflower reached 3m 39cm.

On Friday, those with the fattest headed sunflowers each received a goody bag, worth around �25, containing bird feeders and bird seed, packets of seeds, children’s garden gloves and hand trowels.

“It was nice, everyone seemed to be happy with it, but next year I’m going to run a bigger competition to take on the world record,” said James.

“We will be having a go at growing the tallest ever sunflower ourselves and we want more people to have a go and get more schools involved.

As well as offering prizes for the tallest sunflowers, James said: “We want people to take up the challenge to beat us and if anyone can, we will offer a �25 store voucher.”

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James, who will be doing the growing with store assistant Joe Couzins, added: “We felt a little bit left out this year. The record height is 24.5 feet, and our entries this year were under 12 feet.”

He and Joe are preparing a secret formula compost to encourage the centre’s sunflowers to reach dizzy heights.