Wakefield Sunflower Spectacular

On a mission to distribute 1000's of sunflower seeds across Wakefield District

About the project

It all started with a simple idea. In the midst of lockdown, Sydney Thornbury, CEO/Artistic Director of The Art House wanted to spread a little hope to our friends and loved ones across Wakefield.

She planned to plant 100 sunflowers around the building; an intuitive reflex to do something simple and good for our community. Turns out, fittingly, Van Gogh felt the same. His fascination with sunflowers took hold after he left Holland for France in pursuit of creating an artistic community. For him, they had special significance because he felt they communicated ‘gratitude’, most especially to his friends.

Growing the idea

Whilst we were waiting for the sunflowers to grow, artist and friend of The Art House Ellie Way painted a stunning mural on our gallery wall. Captured in the brilliant time-lapse video on Ellie’s Instagram page – watch it on the link below.

Facing out onto Mulberry Way, our hope is that all who see it are left feeling hopeful and inspired. Meanwhile, 100 sunflowers became a plan for 500! In times like these, it never hurts to take a ‘more is more’ approach to joyfulness.

Watch the time-lapse

Taking the idea and running with it

Turns out, we did inspire someone; our friend Nick Cockayne! Upon hearing about the Sunflowers at The Art House, Nick promptly went out and bought sunflower seeds en mass.

Now, we’ve partnered with Nick to help him in his mission to distribute 1000’s of sunflower seeds to residents’ associations, community groups and organisations across Wakefield (not individuals due to capacity).

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How you can get involved

If Nick’s mission is going to be successful, we need as many groups and organisations as possible to come forward and get involved. It’s so simple to join the project, if you’re involved with a group and would like to distribute seeds to your members/residents/community, then drop us an email by clicking the link below.

Our hope is that over the coming weeks’ many sunflowers are planted across the district, preferably in front gardens and other highly visible locations to bring hope and joy to others.

Get involved

Tips on how to
grow sunflowers.

We’re no experts (although we’re doing pretty well so far) but the good people at Gardener’s World really know their stuff.

Check out their simple guide to growing sunflowers before you get started.

More info