Sunday, 22 February 2015

#IvyLane Sunflower Competition - Cathy Bramley

What's it all about...
Read to the end for the Sun Flower Growing 
competition instructions.
Cathy Bramley certainly knows how to reel in an audience.  Ivy Lane is set in and around an allotment and is told in four parts just like the seasons - spring, summer, autumn & winter   Each part gives you not quite enough or just the right amount depending on how you look at it.  I'm impatient so felt frustrated when each of the books ended - I was left just desperate for the next instalment and trying to second guess what would happen next.  

It has just been released as a complete book so if you haven't already read it I urge you to get your hands on a copy now!  Everything about it is just perfect - the characters, setting, pace, intrigue, humour and romance are served up in just the right quantities.  I loved every page and waxed lyrical about it at every opportunity.

Imagine my delight when I found out I had not just one but two mentions in the newly published paperback - I was blown away, such an honour. 

I was on my way out to buy a copy so I could see for myself when I received this bundle through the post.

The packet of sunflower seeds got me thinking - Tilly knew nothing about gardening when she took on the allotment down at Ivy Lane - do any of us truly know about growing Sunflowers?  Wouldn't it be fun to grow them together, to encourage and cheer each other on - to be a supportive, shoulder when things don't go quite how we planned them? ;D

The idea evolved and the #IvyLane #Sunflowercomp was born.  I've already got a few people signed up - if you're interested leave a message at the end of this blog post or DM me on twitter - there will be prizes and a panel of independent judges we all know and love.  I'll also be posting all of your updates and pics on here and sharing links to your blogs, twitter and other social media outlets.

The optimum time for planting sunflower seeds I'm told is mid April so it will be just after Easter when we begin but, I'll be posting all of the instructions here so please keep checking back, google+ this post and share on twitter and Facebook - the more the merrier. I'll also be emailing you all so I know you haven't missed anything.

Dawn :-) xx

About the book...
Tilly Parker needs a fresh start, fresh air and a fresh attitude if she is ever to leave the past behind and move on with her life. As she seeks out peace and quiet in a new town, taking on a plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution.

But the friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and gradually draw Tilly in to their cosy, comforting world of planting seedlings, organizing bake sales and planning seasonal parties.

As the seasons pass, will Tilly learn to stop hiding amongst the sweet peas and let people back into her life – and her heart?


I will log all photo's, stats and links to blogs for everyone who enters the competition in a blogpost.  There will be three prizes.  One for the tallest, the biggest head, and a booby prize for the weirdest looking! 

There aren't many rules!

1. Plant as many seeds as you choose between now and the last day of the Easter holidays. Mon 30 March and Sunday 12th April.
For those of you who need to follow some instructions on how to actually plant your sunflower seeds please follow the link to the Wiki How to Website

2. Send me the date and a picture of you're pots once you've planted your seeds via
email or twitter - @crooksonbooks

3. Once a week between Thursday and Sunday send an updated photo / few words about size, colour, tips on watering, feeding etc so we can all compare growth.

4.  At the end of week three, choose just three of your seedlings to enter into the competition - send a photo with details of height. 

5. Finally, NO CHEATING!!  The rules are flexible enough to allow fun for all adults and children alike.

By July we should all be seeing some sunshine on our window sills or in our gardens but remember this could be slightly sooner or later depending upon our weather. When we see what sort of weather the spring/summer brings I will set a finish date.

Confirm your entry into the competition by leaving a blogpost comment below - thank you and may the best man, woman or child win!

Haven't got any sunflower seeds to plant? Don't worry enter the giveaway below.  I have ten packets to give to ten lucky winners, thanks to Transworld Books.


  1. Fab idea Dawn.

    My sunflower seeds have already been grabbed for a competition ... at the gardening club at school so although I won't be joining in, I hope you have fun :)


  2. I live in a flat with no outside space (unless you count a fourth floor balcony?!) so can't do this, but it sounds like an amazing competition what a great idea!! Going to get a copy of Ivy Lane as i've heard so many good things :)

  3. I'm gonna give it a go! I was very excited to receive my book and seeds too! Should be interesting trying to grow sunflowers given that I kill everything! lol

  4. I'm in I"M IN :) SOOOO EXCITED!!!! Hello by the way :) off to share the post now Laura xxxxxx

    1. PS - can we use any old seeds or do they have to be ones sent to us- as I didn't get any...

    2. you can use any old seeds but..... thanks to Transworld Books. I have ten packets to giveaway :)

  5. I love spending days taking care of my plants and trying to grow new seeds!

  6. I am so excited about this giveaway! I can't wait to read this book! I would love to grow them in the flower bed by my front door!