In the Summer of 2016 a keen gardener in Lichfield, Staffordshire, grew an impressive crop of enormous sunflowers. Every day, one of our trustees used to drive past them on the way to work. They reminded him of Sunflower House and gave him an idea. He approached the gardener, who very kindly agreed to harvest and donate all of the seeds from his sunflowers.
We spent the first four months of 2017 packaging these seeds up and distributing them as far and wide as we could in the UK. We produced more than 3,000 packets, all put together by hand by one family, and all containing seeds from that one garden in Lichfield. Our aims were simple:
1) to get people growing sunflowers; and
2) to raise awareness of Sunflower Children's Hospice Trust.
We're now into the second year of the project, and Tall Flowers for Short Lives 2018 promises to be even bigger and better. This time we're using seeds harvested from the flowers grown last year, kindly donated by our dedicated sunflower growers. We've got two different types of seed packets available: our standard free packets, which include around 15 seeds, and our special 'Champions Seeds'. Each packet of Champions Seeds has been designed and handmade by renowned London artist Mae Shummo and contains at least 30 of our highest quality sunflower seeds, including pedigree seeds taken from last year's winner of our tallest sunflower competition and at least one seed of a different sunflower variety (the fantastic 'Teddy Bear' variety, which produces a big, vibrant, almost furry-looking flower and will brighten up any garden). We're selling our Champions Seeds for £5 per packet (with all proceeds going to Sunflower Children's Hospice), so if you'd like a packet of either these or some of our standard seeds, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with last year, we'll keep this page updated with photos from our growers and a map of where all our seeds have been sent to. We'll also run our annual tallest sunflower competition (see rules below!). If you're growing our seeds, we'd love to hear about your progress and see your photos, either here or on our social media pages.
The (very simple) rules of our prestigious annual tallest sunflower competition are as follows:
It's that simple, so if you think you've grown a potential winner, get your measuring tape out and let us know how tall it is. The winner will receive a thoroughly underwhelming trophy and unending kudos: we know from painful experience that it's not easy to nurture a winner!