Smiles were everywhere at the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden, last Saturday (Sept. 18) where six-year-old Niamh Persson captured the big money and most ribbons in the Elphinstone Electors' Community Association second annual Sunflower Contest.
Niamh's sunflower, more than 10 feet tall, was tallest in the young grower category, and tallest overall which won her $50. Niamh was not to be out done by anyone as she also took the prize money of $25 for the largest seed head (by circumference), plus $25 for heaviest seed head.
Last year's big winner Alicia Norman-Alaire decked out in her ribbons from 2009, took third place and $15, while Shelly Palus picked up $25 for second place in the tallest sunflower category.
This year, to prompt more fun competition among family members, the 16 years-plus category was introduced with Dianne Palus winning for the tallest sunflower entry and pulling in a whopping $25, while Karl Haerthe won the second place ribbon, plus first place for the most unusual mixed sunflower arrangement for a total of $35.
The early afternoon saw judges, Lorne Lewis, Sunshine Coast Regional District director for Area E, and Harry Graat, Garden Society board member, along with Gibsons Coun. LeeAnn Johnson, busy with tape measures, weigh scales and clip board trying to determine the winners. Volunteers, Zachary Smith, Barb Hetherington, and Sandra Russell, were busy with the details of the event.
To encourage more competition, co-ordinator, Vel Anderson, says to expect more categories and prize money in 2011.