By Louise Dunn, KR Sunflower correspondent
Residents of Keswick are being urged join in with the Great Keswick Sunflower Summer of 2020 being organised on Facebook as part of the nationwide Sunflower Project 2020.
The hope is that by mid-August Keswick’s front gardens and doorways will be festooned with beautiful sunflowers, which are easy to grow from seed, and once germinated their rapid progress provides almost instant gratification for all ages who are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the Keswick group, which includes people of all ages from children to a number of committed gardeners at the Millfield Care Home in Penrith Road, have been posting pictures of their fledgling seedlings and exchanging plant pots, bamboo canes, seeds and top tips. There is even talk of a competition in August with prizes for the best (or biggest!) flowers – this will be virtual or in person, depending on coronavirus restrictions at that time.
Ben Challis, from Keswick, who started the project in the town, said: “The main objective is to spread a bit of sunflower joy and create an impressive array of the biggest sunflowers possible around Keswick to cheer everyone up through the summer, and it would be great to get as many people as possible involved.”
Keswick residents have entered into the spirit of the competition with great enthusiasm, with seedlings being nurtured all over the town and people even naming their seedlings.
One set of seedlings have been named ‘Fluffy’, ‘Fang’ and ‘Norbert’, while others are being inspired by poetry readings, coffee grounds or music (specifically ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee’ by Rimsky-Korsakov). Crocheted sunflowers have also made an appearance and are proving to be particularly resistant to slugs!
Sunflowers should be planted before the end of May as long as gardeners are aware of the risk of frosty nights, and it’s is not too late to join in the fun and being ‘get your pots out’.
Seeds are available (for free) at ‘Open All Hours’ or via the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/588381875217431/ #greatkeswicksunflowersummer #showusyourshoots