A ray of sunshine for Tameside gardens
Published by KBarnes for New Charter Housing Trust Group in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
Children from youth groups and Rainbow and Brownie clubs in Ashton help New Charter to launch the sunflower competition.
Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh may have painted them but New Charter tenants are going to be planting them, sunflowers that is, and over 4,000 of them to bring a little ray of sunshine to gardens and schools across the region.
New Charter Homes has teamed up with Grobox, a local company based in Gee Cross, to supply tenants with their own sunflower pack in order to take part in New Charters 2012 ‘Grow the biggest Sunflower’ competition.
The competition is open to young and old, green fingered and non-green fingered, schools and communities. All the would-be gardeners have to do is plant the sunflower pack in the sunniest part of the garden, feed, water and tie it to a strong support and watch it grow.
Tony Powell, New Charter’s executive director of neighbourhoods said: “Every year our tenants astound us with their floral arrangements with an abundance of brilliant colours. This year we thought it would be fun to see who could grow the tallest or the widest headed sunflower.”
To win the competition sunflower growers will have to measure the plant the first week in September and if it is taller than 1.5mtr (5ft), or the head is wider than 30cm (1ft), they can enter the competition. Judges will be on the lookout for mums and dads dressing their youngsters to look like a sunflower, so be warned!
Grobox is the invention of Jayne Lawton who identified a gap in the marketplace for a designer growing box product with a collection of hand-picked scented plants. Jayne is a trained horticulturist with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and a qualified horticultural lecturer who has extensive experience teaching all ages and backgrounds with differing special needs and abilities.
The sunflower is named so because it follows the sun on its daily journey from east to west. The sunflower is native to the Americas, where the Incas worshipped its image as a symbol of the sun god.
Sunflower packs are available from New Charter’s hubs, neighbourhood centres and its main office on Cavendish Street in Ashton-under-Lyne.