Norfolk villagers set for Sunflower Saturday - can you beat their 10ft 9ins giant?

Tittleshall sunflowers competition. Pictured is David Sheppard. Picture: Ian Burt

Tittleshall sunflowers competition. Pictured is David Sheppard. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Villagers are praying the sun shines for Sunflower Saturday today.

More than 20 of them have entered a competition to see who can grow the biggest.

'They were all given six seeds,' said Arthur Drinkwater, one of the judges from the Sunflower Saturday committee at Tittleshall, near Fakenham.

'Some grew, some didn't, some got eaten, some got their heads knocked off and others went for the sky.'

Mr Drinkwater said two villagers were currently vying for first place at 327cms (10ft 9ins), with another trailing by just 1cm. The tallest will win a trohpy and £5 first prize.

In the running is retired civil servant David Sheppard, who has two specimens towering over 10ft in the back garden of his home on the High Street. Asked the secret, he said: 'Chicken muck, There's little pellets you can buy.

'I've been giving them Miracle-Gro and made sure I dug a big enough hole, they do like plenty of room to root.'

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As well as the tallest sunflower, Mr Sheppard hopes to be in the running when it comes to growing the plant with the biggest head.

Birds eating the oil-rich seeds from previous generations have helped then plants to self-seed around gardens in the village.

While the green-fingered folk of Tittleshall prepare for the judges' verdict, they are some way from equalling the world record, which stands at more than 30ft.

Most will be more concerned with keeping a wary eye on today's weather forecast, when sun may be at a premium.

But sunflower committee member Sue Lane said: 'We've always been really lucky. The last time we did Sunflower Saturday it was awful first thing but the sun came out for the afternoon.'

Sunflower Saturday takes place on the Millennium Green at Tittleshall from 1pm today. As well as the sunflower competition there will be a real ale bar, classic cars, dog show, hog roast, photography and art exhibitions, cakes, stalls and competitions.