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Rise to the sunflower challenge

Gazette and Alnwick in Bloom Sunflower Challenge winners Liam McDonough (12ft 8ins, second), Aimee McDonough (13ft 1in, first), Yeverin Lobb (12ft 4ins, third) and Olivia Robertson (10ft 9ins, highly commended) received their prizes at a ceremony at The Alnwick Garden on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

Gazette and Alnwick in Bloom Sunflower Challenge winners Liam McDonough (12ft 8ins, second), Aimee McDonough (13ft 1in, first), Yeverin Lobb (12ft 4ins, third) and Olivia Robertson (10ft 9ins, highly commended) received their prizes at a ceremony at The Alnwick Garden on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

Budding young gardeners are being called upon to join the Gazette’s 2014 Sunflower Challenge.

This year’s contest is set to be bigger and better than ever with more monster blooms popping up across north Northumberland, as we also want to encourage schools to take part.

Last year, Aimee McDonough grew the tallest sunflower we have seen in the competition so far, with a 13ft 1in plant.

If you think you have what it takes to beat Aimee’s record and grow an even bigger one, all you need to do is pick up a free pack of seeds from the Gazette office on Bondgate Without, Alnwick, and get growing. You could be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes of WH Smith vouchers.

Seeds for the competition have been provided courtesy of Alnwick in Bloom.

They are ready to be planted in small pots indoors and should be given warmth and light. Towards the beginning of May, they can then be planted outside.

Or they can be planted straight into the ground, around 60cm apart.

Elizabeth Jones, chairman of Alnwick in Bloom, who has taken over from Tom Pattinson, said: “We want to encourage as many young people as possible to get out in the garden and grow their sunflowers for this competition.

“The instructions on the packet are all you need.Ready, steady grow!”

The winner will receive a £25 WHSmith voucher, second will take £15 and third £10.

Awards will be presented at an Alnwick in Bloom prize-giving event later this year.

When your bloom is ready, take a picture and send it to the Gazette with your name, age, address, contact details and sunflower measurement by August 31.

The competition is open to under-16s only.

 

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