The race is on as the Tallest Sunflower Competition gets underway!

Wednesday 11th May 2022

The Ards and North Down Tallest Sunflower Competition is officially open for entries.

Those aged 16 and under are urged to dust off their overalls and put their gardening skills to the test, in an aim to grow the tallest sunflower in the Borough. 

Running as part of the ‘In Bloom’ Community Competitions, the Tallest Sunflower contest is one of several In Bloom categories that are open to young people, including Best School Gardening Project and the Young Volunteer of the Year.  

For those over the age of 16, categories include Best Kept Front Garden, Gardening for Wildlife, Best Kept Commercial Premises and Volunteer of the Year.  

The competitions are free to enter, and prizes are available for winners and runners-up in each category. 

Deputy Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Robert Adair said: 

“I am delighted to announce the opening of the hotly contested Tallest Sunflower Competition. Each year, young people from across the Borough take immense pride in our outdoor spaces and in the plants they grow. This contest helps recognise those efforts and encourages all residents to think about the local environment. 

Ards and North Down Borough Council has already distributed packets of seeds to schools throughout the Borough, so I look forward to seeing the fruits of our young people’s labour come August. I can’t wait to see who grows the tallest sunflower! I wish all participants every success.” 

By supporting the In Bloom competitions, residents are not only making their gardens and businesses more attractive, but they are also contributing to the Borough’s entry into the annual Translink Ulster in Bloom competition and other regional awards. In 2021, Both Ballywalter and Bangor were recognised among Northern Ireland’s top horticultural talent. 

For more information, including entry forms and prize details, visit

Photograph caption: Deputy Mayor of Ards and North Down Borough Council, Councillor Robert Adair is joined by Movilla High School pupils at the launch of the Tallest Sunflower competition in Newtownards. (Image:Ian Pedlow)