What’s the buzz

Sunshine Day at the Dowse on Sunday was so much fun! We spread our blankets under John Reynolds’ Titoki Gallery and helped visitors make sunshine necklaces, turn milk bottles into watering cans and paint seed packets. Lots of people had their faces and arms painted, coloured in our ‘how sunflowers grow’ page and drew their own bee designs on Project Sunshine stickers – then took home seeds and seedlings for a gold coin donation. You can check out more photos from the day here.

We also launched our special limited edition packs of red sunflower seeds. Each packet contains 12 red sunflower seeds – these plants grow tall like the Giant Russian variety and range from deep red to beautiful rusty-coloured petals. We’re selling these for $3 a packet, so please get in touch if you’d like some.


We love hearing from people with updates about how their seeds are growing. Sam from Giant Pumpkins NZ shared us this awesome photo, along with his beautiful 4-legged friend in the background:

Jennifer in the Bay of Plenty has just finished planting out her sunflower seedlings – 47 in total. They’re going to look amazing once they’re fully-grown and flowering!

Our friend Shane sent us an update on the sunflowers that the Epuni School children planted at Carrara Park in Newtown. He says “Sunflowers and swan plants growing in Carrara Park, Newtown, not all survived but the ones that have are looking strong…thanks Kids and Julia Milne”

And Catherine headed along to see how the plants in Glover Park were doing – they’re just outside Radio Active in Wellington:


Hataitai School in Wellington has set up their own Emerald Army gardening blog, and are encouraging every child in the school to “bring in their own reused planting box to grow their sunflower seedlings in – the wackier the better”. Check out their blog to see some of the awesome planters that have been brought in so far!

Doubtless Bay Kindergarten

Doubtless Bay Kindergarten in Northland also emailed us their blog, to let us know that their “seeds are cosy in their planter box and we are patiently waiting and watering!”


Adventures in Wellington

On Tuesday, our Project Sunshine team visited Wellington Zoo, as part of the Bush Builder programme that we previously mentioned here. As well as delivering a hand-knitted blanket to the chimpanzees, our farmers took a tray of sunflower seedlings and some seeds. It was a special visit for the children and they were really proud to present the zoo with their seedlings.

After the zoo, our sunshine bus stopped at Carrara Park in Newtown, much to the children’s joy. There we met Shane and Simon, who are City Gardeners from Wellington City Council. Carrara Park is about to have a new community garden built in it – a special spot tucked away in a neighbourhood that will really take care of it. The children were allowed to plant anywhere they wanted to in the park, so each child selected a spot to plant a whole family of sunflower seeds. We also planted some two-week-old sunflower seedlings in a stand together with some swan plants, which should flower before Christmas.

We also gave several hundred of our children’s sunflower seeds to Shane, so that he can plant them around some of the central gardens that he works in the city. He planted some of these on Wednesday in a cool new planting in Glover Park, in Ghuznee Street. They have been planted along with wildflowers, fruit trees and other delicious edible plants. Magic!