Tag Archives: garden

Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017 Winners Announced

Judging of the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017 took place on Saturday 5th August.

Judge Bowd measured the contenders for the tallest flower and named Em&Em the winner:

Em&Em winner of the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Taller than Clarky
Em&Em winner of the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
One Em of Em&Em and Judge Bowd

On receiving the award, Clarky, the shorter half of duo Em&Em said, “I’m very proud to have won this contest. Being small, I never thought I’d win a competition for the tallest anything!”

New for 2017, the Indie Award, was introduced in memory of the beautiful bunny and chief sunflower slayer, Indie. Pauline and Mick had the task of picking the prettiest flower for this award and declared Shmelling the winner:

Shmelling - Winner of the Indie Award 2017
Pretty flower
Indie Award winners
Indie Award winners, Short and Melling, aka Shmelling!

Melling, said, “It’s an honour to win the Indie Award for the prettiest flower. Our weedy plant was almost destroyed by snails in its early days but it just goes to show that an ugly duckling can turn into a beautiful swan.”

Many of the flowers are yet to bloom so I’ll post their pictures when they come out to say hello.

Thanks for following the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017 and to all the competitors. You’re all winners!

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Bobaul and Bears are Early Bloomers

Bobaul was the first sunflower to show its pretty yellow face in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017. Bears followed, revealing a beautiful orangey red flower.

As gorgeous as they are, the early bloomers may have peaked too soon (putting their energy into displaying their flowers rather than reaching for the sky) to be able to catch the tallest competitors. However, they are both still in with a chance of winning the new award for 2017: The Indie Award for the prettiest flower.

With 10 days to go the tallest flower is hard to call with Em&Em, Shmelling, Pears and Gibbles all striving towards the sun.

Sunflowers along a blue fence
Race to the sky
Headless sunflower
Steclaire has lost its head!

Sad news for Steclaire who, although the plant still looks healthy, was found to be headless. The perpetrator of this horrific attack has not been found but a trail of slime was found on the upper leaves. I’m not sure if it’s scientifically possible but I’m rooting (sorry about the pun) for Steclaire to grow a new head and get back in the race.

The official judging takes place on 5th August 2017.

 

Sad News for the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest

Indie, the chief sunflower slayer, has passed away. Indie has been a big fan of the sunflower contest since it began and can be seen below hopping past the first flowers as a baby in 2014.

Indie (rabbit) and the sunflowers
Indie and the sunflowers

The next year she realised how tasty the flowers were and, along with her sister Pongo, fought through all defences to devour the plants.

Indie gave the competition an element of danger and will be hugely missed. But don’t worry, Pongo is still waiting to pounce on any sunflowers should they get too heavy and fall from their current safety on the fence.

Despite the sadness, the contest goes on and Gibbles has reached above the rest.

Sunflowers along a blue fence
Gibbles takes the lead

Shmelling has enjoyed a growth spurt and is  now neck and neck in second place with previous leader Em&Em.  Pears, Gramps, Bears, Steclaire and Choltman are hot  on their heels. Although slightly shorter, Ricarah, Bobaul, Bull-Knox, Moomins and Amme are all looking strong and could make a late burst. Judging takes place on 5th August. Who will be the tallest?

Midway sunflower contest measurements have been taken

The heat is on in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017. Em&Em and Gibbles are still the tallest but Gramps is not far behind. Bears, Pears and Shmelling have all enjoyed a growth spurt in this sunny weather. The official judging  takes place in less than seven weeks but the competitors have been measured today to check their progress.

Sunflowers in the Bull-Know Sunflower Contest
Midway measurements have been taken

From left to right:

Pears – 61cm
Gramps – 66cm
Ricarah – 46cm
Em&Em – 71cm
Bears – 61cm
Steclaire – 57cm
Choltman – 59cm
Bobaul – 48cm
Bull-Knox – 44cm
Moomins – 43cm
Shmelling – 61cm
Amme – 48cm
Gibbles – 71cm

Meanwhile, Snail Removal Agent Knox has been busy keeping the flowers safe from unwanted visitors.

Knox removing a snail from a sunflower
Snail removal

 

A Night-Time Nibbler is Enjoying the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017

An unidentified creature has been snacking on the sunflowers overnight. The worst affected flowers are Bears and Shmelling:

Bears have been bitten - Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Bears has been bitten!
Shmelling has been shmunched - Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Shmelling has been shmunched

Meanwhile, Indie the sunflower slayer, has been hoping the pots will become too heavy and fall from the fence:

Rabbit waiting for a sunflower to fall
Waiting patiently

Em&Em and Gibbles are still the tallest with Pears and Gramps close behind. But will the night-time nibbler strike again?

Sunflowers Shoot into the Lead

The sunflowers in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017 are loving this sunny-one-minute-raining-the-next weather. All the flowers are reaching for the sun and drinking in the rain but three have shot into the lead.

Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Em&Em shooting ahead
Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Gibbles on the chase
Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Bears are close!

All plants are looking healthy and the pots have all managed to stay attached to the fence so far.  But will the pots fall when the flowers get bigger and heavier?  The bunnies hope so.

One flower that’s not in danger of falling  is Shmelling:

Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Smelling needs some love.

Come on little one. Reach for the sun!

The Sunflowers are on the Fence

The competitors in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest have moved from the safety of the Moomins’ greenhouse to the Bull-Knox garden fence.

To prevent the carnage of the 2015 contest, when all the sunflowers were eaten by bunnies, pots have been attached to the fence out of the rabbits’ reach.

Le Bowd’s plant, maybe deciding the competition was too risky, failed to show up. This opened up a spot on the fence for substitute number one, Bobaul.

Sunflower didn't sprout
First casualty!
Substitution sunflower
First substitution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby sunflowers in pots along the fence of the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
On the fence!

The competitors (from left to right) are Pears, Gramps, Ricarah, Em&Em, Bears, Steclaire, Choltman, Bobaul, Bull-Knox, Moomins, Shmelling, Amme, and Gibbles.

Early leaders are Em&Em, Gibbles and Amme but all plants are looking healthy.

Substitute number two, Dojo, will return to the Moomins’ greenhouse and prepare itself to join the competition should another flower perish.

Baby sunflower
Sub 2 Dojo

Resident cuties, Pongo and Indie, destroyers of the 2015 sunflowers, are fuming about the new tactic to keep the flowers out of their reach. Will they find a way to get themselves a sunflower flavoured snack?

Rabbits
Seething!

The Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017 has begun

After a year off, the Bull-Knox sunflower contest is back! And this time it’s bunny proof. We hope!

Demand for a seed in the 2017 contest has been higher than places available  so some people have teamed up to cheer on a seed together.

The competitors are Bull-Knox (me, Knoxie and Fozzy), Moomins (my mum and dad), Bears (Knoxie’s mum and dad), Gramps, Shmelling (Lemming and Carly), Choltman (Abi and Lauren), Em&Em (the two Emmas), Le Bowd, Gibbles, Amme, Steclaire (Steve and Claire), Ricarah (Richard and Sarah), and Pears (Kirsty, Helen, Mark and Kayleigh).

Plant pots with labels
The seeds are in!
Sunflower seeds in garden pots being watered
Drink up little sunflower seeds!

The seeds will be nurtured in Dad’s greenhouse until they are ready to take their place in the sun along the blue fence.

The aim of the game is to grow the tallest sunflower. Measuring will take place at Knoxie’s birthday barbecue in August. But the flowers have to survive first! And life won’t be easy. As well as the usual threat of snails, and stem rot, further danger awaits these sunflowers in the form of the Bull-Knox beasts.

Rabbit running towards camera
Pongo!
Black rabbit
Indie!
Dog in a garden
Fozzy!

 

 

Protective netting proved no match for the Bull-Knox resident bunnies, Pongo and Indie, in the 2015 sunflower contest. The rabbits breached the defenses, slayed the sunflowers and devoured them before they bloomed.

The competition didn’t take place in 2016 as we couldn’t think of a plan to keep the flowers safe. But genius o’clock has struck! This year the plan to safeguard the sunflowers is to keep them out of the rabbits’ reach. Instead of going in the ground, the flowers will go in pots attached several feet up the fence.

Colourful pots along a fence
Pots at the ready

We’re hoping this new tactic works. Come on sunflowers. We’re rooting for you!

How we Made a Reindeer for the Garden

We made garden reindeer by attending the reindeer making workshop at Wimpole Estate.

Ciaran, from the gardening team, made it look easy as he demonstrated how to do it.

How to Make Reindeer - Wimpole Estate Gardener

Now it was our turn to create a creature. We gathered up the materials:

  • A log for the body
  • A smaller log for the head
  • Four long sticks for legs
  • A shorter stick for the neck
  • Two sticks for ears
  • A conkers for the nose
  • A pine cone for the tail
  • Twigs for the antlers
  • A mallet
  • Glue
  • A nail to attach the nose
  • A staple and wire to attach the tail

Materials to make a reindeer

Ciaran had kindly drilled the holes already so we just had to fill the holes with glue and set about assembling our masterpieces.

Wooden reindeers
The finished product!

Transporting two  reindeer in a Renault Clio was probably the trickiest part.

One reindeer went to live at the Moomins’ house and the other was released into the wilds of our garden where it was soon greeted by the other residents.

Rabbit and reindeer
When Pongo met Twiggy

 

Saying hello nicely
Saying hello nicely!

Fozzy greeted the reindeer nicely and then decided she needed to get to know it a little better by sniffing it’s bottom.

Dog sniffing wooden reindeers bottom
Getting to know the reindeer better!

Merry Christmas!