Sunflower world record entries for cash prize invited

by Alice Wright

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British gardeners are being encouraged to attempt a sunflower world record, with a cash prize on offer for the tallest specimen grown in the UK this year.

Seed and plant specialist Thompson & Morgan has launched the competition in a bid to bring the world record for the tallest sunflower to the UK. The title is currently held by Hans-Peter Schiffer, from Germany, for a whopping 8.75m (28ft 8in) sunflower grown in 2013.

Thompson & Morgan is offering £1,000 for the tallest UK specimen grown in 2015, whether it sets a new record or not.

Paul Hansord, Thompson & Morgan’s Horticultural Director, said: “This is something the whole family can take part in – why not set up a little family rivalry and grow one plant per member of the household and see who fares best?

“Failing that, challenge your friends, neighbours or allotment buddies with a bit of friendly rivalry.”

Gardeners can grow any sunflower variety supplied by any seed firm. At the end of the season, when plants are at their peak and upward growth has stopped, competitors should take a photo of their plant and upload it to the competition page.

Photo entries must include the whole plant from soil level to the top of the flower and gardeners should pose alongside their plant to give an idea of scale, stating their height and the height of the plant when submitting their entry.

The competition runs until October 23rd and plants entered in the competition must be kept in situ so winning entries can be verified by Thompson & Morgan staff.

Thompson & Morgan will also reward the most creative use of sunflowers in a second competition. The two most creative entries submitted by the end of October 30th will receive a £50 Thompson & Morgan voucher.

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