A road in Richmond has come together in a neighbourhood sunflower growing competition, which has nurtured flowers and community spirit throughout lockdown.

Last year, two neighbours on Berwyn Road, TW10, Jan Wright and Bryan Kelly, went head-to-head in their own sunflower challenge. But when March rolled around again - looking considerably less bright - they found they suddenly had more takers.

According to Mrs Wright the response was overwhelming, with over half of the road’s 50 houses taking part.

She left seeds outside her house for neighbours to collect and posted videos to the road's Whatsapp group, on how to plant and care for the flowers.

Mrs Wright, who has lived on Berwyn Road for nearly 25-years, said:

“We’ve always been a friendly road, that’s one of the things we’re known for. But this really gave us a positive, cohesive feeling. New people could meet their neighbours and children could get to know older residents. It really brought people together.

“It’s a real community thing to do as well as being great for bees and local nature.”

And on Thursday, Aug 13, five months of care and consideration came to a head, when the winners were finally announced.

Participants gathered together, while a ladder was pulled out to measure the tallest sunflower, which stands at a lofty 3.81m.

Everyone who entered won an award, from the most smiley, to the weirdest stem shape, to the one with the best petals.

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Mrs Wright says future plans include a sunflower street party, and of course, another competition next year.

“Many of the people have asked for seeds for next year. They’ve even spread to other parts of Sheen, as people from other roads have come to look at them.

“It really lightened up the lockdown experience for absolutely everyone. From the eldest down to the youngest residents.”

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