Woking Rotary Club invited pupils at 10 schools in the area to take part in a sunflower growing competition and on 13th October the Club President, Graham Fagence presented prizes at Bourne Valley Garden Centre to those children who had grown the tallest sunflower as well as the flower with the biggest head. The aim of the competition was to provide a gardening experience to many children in the school or at their home with a competitive element which would be both instructive and fun.

The Club in conjunction with the Bourne Valley Garden Centre provided growing compost, seed pots and the seeds, together with accompanying growing guidance notes, to be planted by not later than 4th April. On 14th September the four tallest and four largest flowers were selected by each school to establish the competition winners. The winning schools and pupils who achieved the best growing results in each category were awarded prizes of vouchers valued up to £50, for spending at the Bourne Valley Garden Centre, accompanied with framed certificates.

Barnsbury Junior School had the winner of the largest diameter sunflower at 39cm grown by Oak Class. Four pupils – Leon Hughes; Charlotte Bailey; Sanya Parate; and Mikolaj together with Jane Quelch, on behalf of the Head, received the class winners and school prizes.

St Andrews School had the two winners for the tallest sunflowers at 3m 59cm and 2m 99cm. Two pupils – Georgina Williams-Bulkeley and George Rudman, together with the School Head, Adrian Perks, received the individual winners and school prizes.

This is the first year of the competition which has been a great success involving the enthusiastic efforts of many children, many of whom will not have previously had any knowledge or hands-on experience of growing their own flowers. Rotary will be definitely repeating the competition in 2012.

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