Sunshine all the way for little gardeners: Tall order as green-fingered pupils take up Carrick in Bloom sunflower challenge
Four thousand packets of sunflower seed are to be distributed to schoolchildren in the hope of turning their fingers green.
The initiative in Carrickfergus will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom scheme, Europe's largest community gardening campaign.
Carrickfergus and Whitehead towns will represent Northern Ireland this summer in the Britain in Bloom finals.
Carrickfergus in Bloom is asking the borough's green-fingered youngsters to join the thousands of young gardeners throughout the UK in a mass planting of sunflower seeds during National Gardening Week (April 14-21).
A council spokesman said: "Carrickfergus Borough Council is distributing the sunflower seeds to primary and secondary schoolchildren as part of the Carrickfergus in Bloom Tallest Sunflower Competition.
"What better way to celebrate this huge anniversary for Britain in Bloom than a mass planting of beautiful golden sunflowers?
"These gorgeous and uplifting plants have been known to grow an astonishing four metres high, which reflects the sort of spirit and drive we associate with our local young people and other volunteers who transform our borough each year.
"We're providing the seeds as a big thank-you to all the industrious and passionate young people who work to ensure that our borough stays clean, green and beautiful. It is also a chance to do something big for the environment – sunflowers provide vital food for pollinators in summer."
The Carrickfergus in Bloom Children's Community Competition has a total prize fund of £350. Other competitions include poetry and painting. Entries for these competitions must be received by September 30.
"Everybody who lives within the borough is invited to take part in Carrickfergus in Bloom. There is something for everyone," the spokesman said.
"By entering you not only brighten up your own house but you also aid our borough's entry to the Ulster and Britain in Bloom competition.
"The winners and runner-up of all Carrickfergus in Bloom competitions will attend a prize-giving ceremony at the Town Hall in October. In 2013, 1,850 people took part in the Carrickfergus in Bloom community competitions."