A COMMUNITY project to encourage everyone to grow sunflowers has been launched in Chard and Ilminster.

Sunflowers of Somerset is a new initiative that asks residents to pick up some seeds from around the towns and villages and plant them ready for the summer.

The project began in January 2021, when a couple of major plant companies were asked to donate some sunflowers seeds - and organisers ended up with more than 2000 seeds ready to be bagged and sent with a flyer into shops and organisations.

A spokesperson for the project said: “So far, five local schools and pre-schools as well as several more in Chard and Crewkerne, have taken up the challenge.

“Three churches are participating and several care homes have joined the scheme as well.

“Some residents’ associations and local businesses are signing up to the project so the ’Sunflower Challenge’ is spreading far and wide … maybe even all over Somerset as its name suggests. Everyone seems to want to spread the sunflower love.

“It is hoped that there might be a sunflower trail around Ilminster as the flowers grow as well as competitions to grow the tallest sunflower and perhaps even a sunflower bonnet parade.

“The Arts Centre are hoping to arrange some sunflower art workshops in the school summer holidays and The Kitchen on Silver Street are planning childrens’ colouring competitions. Some gardening clubs will be holding photographic competitions … and so the list goes on. Sunflowers and creativity are growing hand in hand.”

Various cubs, scouts and beavers groups are also joining in the fun, alongside schools, care homes and Crewkerne Hospital.

All of which are planning to provide sunflower arts and craft projects.

Flyers with seeds attached can be found at The Post Office in Horton, Cottage Flowers, The Kitchen, the Minster and the Arts Centre in Ilminster, the Green House at Dillington, Seavington Village Shop, and Floweringi and Cornerways Flowers, both in Chard, or you can contact sunflowersofsomerset@gmail.com.

“If any local businesses and other organisations want to join in the fun and sign up to grow sunflowers, please send an email or send a Facebook message,” added the spokesperson.

“Happy growing everyone!”

To find out more visit www.facebook.com/sunflowersofsomerset.