THE competitive streak of residents at a care home came to the fore as they took part in a sunflower growing competition.

This summer, residents of Valentine House, Silver End, were all invited to join in and plant a single seed into a pot in the home's garden.

The idea for the competition came from activities co-ordinator Mandy Bugg, and came up when she was reminiscing with people about gardening memories from their childhoods.

With the help of maintenance man Tim Bealey, the residents then nurtured and nourished their plants leading to some truly amazing specimens.

A celebration party and final measurement was taken at Valentine House, on Wedneday, August 16, when residents enjoyed afternoon tea and were entertained by a guest singer.

There were five categories tallest, largest girth, largest flower, the most flowers and the shortest sunflower. Rosettes, certificates and prizes were given to first, second and third places.

Lynda Inch, home manager, said: “I can’t believe how competitive it got. Growth measurements were taken monthly and then two weekly as the competition hotted up.

"Mandy has done a brilliant job and has truly enriched the lives of our residents. The competition has also spread amongst other Black Swan Homes and I am so proud that it all started at Valentine”