ONCE upon a time three children planted three sunflower seeds at the side of their home in Marrowbrook Lane, Farnborough.

Then the two boys and their little sister watched in fascination to see the outcome.

Pride of place went to the flower planted by five-year-old Luke Parry, which raced up at pantomime beanstalk speed to a height of well over 12 feet. A few inches behind was the one belonging to older brother Sean (9). But little sister Samantha (two) saw hers grow only about 18 inches before bursting into flower.

Said their dad, Carl Parry: "Luke's shot up so fast that we thought it might snap, so we had to tie it from the upstairs window."

Anyone out there seen a bigger one this year?