Sunflower Project 2017 Winners!

A love of gardening has taken root in more than 220 kindergartens nationwide thanks to the Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project. Over the past four months 11,700 kindergarten children have been working hard to grow the tallest sunflower and widest sunflower head in their region - and today the biggest and best sunflower stars were revealed. To reflect the variety of growing conditions throughout New Zealand, winners were named from each of the ten regions (see below). The key objective of the now biennial project, is to create a fun environment for pre-school children to learn valuable gardening skills by growing their own Kings Seeds ‘Skyscraper’ sunflower - which can grow up to 4 metres tall! All of the regional winners will receive a prize from Daltons and The Warehouse, who came on as a project partner this year. 


This year, the tallest sunflower ever grown in the project’s history came in at a whopping 3.20m (which is about half the height of an average Giraffe!) and was cultivated by Frankton Kindergarten, who also took out the Tallest and Widest Sunflower Award for the Waikato region.


Fairfield Kindergarten in the Waikato took out the Overall Best Photo with their gorgeous picture of 4-year-old Māia who loved to compare her height against the growing sunflowers.  


Arataki Kindergarten in Mt Maunganui and Edmonds Smith Street Kindergarten in Woolston, Christchurch won the big national prize draw of a visit to their kindergarten from TV personality and award-winning landscape designer Xanthe White, who will run a personalised gardening workshop.


Each kindergarten nominated their own 'Daltons Best Little Gardener' who received a special certificate and prize. Every child who took part also receives their own certificate as a special keepsake.

Daltons General Manager, Colin Parker, says; “Our Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project is all about growing an interest in gardening by giving the littlest hands the chance to get dirty. The children loved taking a tiny seed, caring for it, and watching it turn into a huge blooming flower. The results delivered smiles   to both the teachers and children, which was everything we hoped for. Congratulations to all our winners and a big thank you to our project partners.”


Teachers received regular support material to bring the sunflower learning to life with special activities and facts to integrate into aspects of the early childhood education curriculum, for example; science, maths, fine motor skill development, literacy, art and music.


The official regional winners of the Daltons Sunflowers in Kindy’s project are:

Tallest Sunflower Plant

Each of these winners receive a $150 Daltons product voucher and a $100 Warehouse Voucher. Congratulations!

Auckland Region: Te Atatu Peninsula Kindergarten 312cm
Central Kindergartens Region: David Henry Kindergarten 251cm
Christchurch Region: Kidsfirst Macfarlane Park 202cm
Dunedin Region: Helen Deem Kindergarten 180cm
Marlborough Region: Witherlea Kindergarten 135cm
Nelson Tasman Region: Grove Street Kindergarten 258cm
Taranaki Region: Te Oranga Marfell Kindergarten 127cm
Tauranga Region: Avenues Kindergarten 289cm
Waikato Region: Frankton Kindergarten 320cm (tallest ever grown nationally in the project’s history!)
Wellington Region: Trentham Kindergarten 186cm

Widest Sunflower Plant

Each of these winners receive a $150 Daltons product voucher and a $100 Warehouse Voucher. Congratulations!

Auckland Region: Kauri Park Kindergarten 32cm
Central Kindergartens Region: Central Kids Strathmore Kindergarten 13cm
Nelson Tasman Region: Greenwood Kindergarten 6cm
Taranaki Region: Stratford Kindergarten 3cm
Tauranga Region: Te Puna Community Kindergarten 18cm
Waikato Region: Frankton Kindergarten 14cm

Winners of a Xanthe White Workshop

Xanthe White is a well-known Auckland landscape designer and author. These two kindergartens will enjoy and fun and education workshop with Xanthe in their home town. Congratulations!

From the North Island: Arataki Kindergarten

From the South Island: Edmonds Smith Street Kindergarten

Overall Best Photo

We received so many wonderful photos, thank you all!

Here is our winner 4-year-old Māia from Farfield Kindergarten, Waikato.

Winning a framed copy of the photo and a $100 Daltons voucher. Congratulations! 

Late Bloomers Awards

We hope you and your kindergarten children have enjoyed participating in the 2017 Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project. The children have done a fantastic job getting in the garden and growing some great sunflowers this year during the project. We appreciate all the effort, time and TLC they put into their sunflowers.

We do recognise that not everyone had flowers bloom in time, or tall sunflowers at end of the project (06 December 2017) due to their location or the weather. So, with this in mind we are running a Late Bloomers Awards in recognition of those kindergartens in regions which may have struggled. Kindergartens can send in photos and measurements of their blooming best sunflowers anytime from Monday December 11 2017 until 5pm Thursday 08 February 2018. 

Please email us to confirm your place in the Late Bloomers Awards and provide your Kindergarten name, regional association, key person and contact details.

Find out more information regarding our Late Bloomer prizes and how to enter your measurements on our Late Bloomers Awards page.