Sunflowers on the Surf Coast plant the seed for more cheerfulness

September 16, 2021 BY

Eli and Billy from Jan Juc excited to be picking up some seeds from the Jan Juc Grow Cart. Photo: SUPPLIED

A GRASSROOTS initiative led by a Surf Coast local is aiming to sow the seeds for more cheerfulness in the region during what has been a depleting and tiresome COVID-19 pandemic.

The Surf Coast Celebration of Sunflowers is gaining momentum and the community-initiated movement is seeing people from all over the shire planting sunflowers and getting in amongst the action.

Organiser of the celebration, Bronwyn McNamee, says that individuals, schools, kindergartens, residential aged care communities and retirement residential complexes all are invited to take free seeds that she is providing and plant sunflowers.

Ms McNamee handles obtaining the sunflower seeds and distributing them to individuals in envelopes who will then provide them to their neighbourhoods.

She also oversees the Facebook page and is in various conversations with local cafes and establishments who will also provide free sunflower seed envelopes to the public.

Some of the venues to already have seeds on offer include the Jan Juc Grow Cart, Swell (Jan Juc), Surf Coast Sustainability Pantry (Torquay), Peachs (Torquay) and Mavis Mavis (Torquay).

“The idea is just to spread some cheeriness and I think when you plant things it’s an expression of hope and promise, which are things we can do more of right now and what better way to do that than to grow seeds,” Ms McNamee said.

“It’s also very life-giving and there’s beauty to be had if we look for it.”

The idea of Ms McNamee’s stemmed from a visit last year to Kensington with her husband Gerry Baldock, where the pair visited the Kensington Sunflower Festival.

This event turned her inspiration for the Surf Coast Celebration of Sunflowers into action.

“At the conclusion of the event they held a little get-together where each person brought their sunflowers along to contest little awards, much like what we are planning to do with our get-together set for early-February next year,” she said.

At a low-key early February get-together to be based in Torquay, residents from all over will have the chance to bring along and show off their sunflowers.

Simple awards can be contested for in several categories such as: the tallest sunflower, the most flowers on a multi-head, the cutest and the weirdest sunflower. All in the name of fun and cheeriness.

Anyone interested in participating can gather seed envelopes at locations around the shire, which can be found at
Ms McNamee is urging people with seeds to get planting now, given the optimum time to start is in October.

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