Wardle gardener publishes debut children's book based on real-life experience

Date published: 09 January 2020

A keen Wardle gardener has had her first children’s book published – based on a real-life experience.

Joanne Timperley decided to document the story as ‘Who Stole My Seeds?’ after she repeatedly discovered sunflower seeds missing from her pots.

“Every morning I came outside, and one was tipped over with something taking the seeds. I watched to see who it was and became aware of all these creatures visiting my sunflowers. I ended up moving my plants from my patio to a table at the end of the garden,” she said.

Joanne’s 42-page ‘whodunnit’, illustrated by the award-winning children’s book illustrator Sarah-Leigh Wills, recounts how she saved her last sunflower seed from the attentions of various hungry garden visitors, including a squirrel, hedgehog, blackbird and robin.

In a happy ending, the 8ft sunflower grows into the tallest anyone has ever seen, creating hundreds of sunflower seeds for all the garden creatures to feast on to produce a host of giant sunflowers the next year.


Joanne Timperley with her sunflowers
Joanne Timperley with her sunflowers


Joanne said: “The story I tell actually happened to me. I told the tale to Sarah-Leigh and she encouraged me to write the book. I love the finished product, which is designed to share with young children as a bedtime read.

“They really get drawn into the drama of saving the last seed as the story unfolds and it grows from a small seedling into an 8ft giant sunflower.”

The book is educational too, giving simple instructions for parent and child alike to plant sunflower seeds in pots or in their garden, care for them and watch them grow.

“Children love the idea of planning their own giant ‘beanstalk-like’ sunflowers – and they really do grow to over 8ft tall.  

“Despite their size, they are the easiest of plants to grow, as long as you protect them from garden visitors! They are a spectacular summer sight,” she added.

Joanne will be signing copies of her book at the All-in-One Garden Centre, Castleton, on Sunday 15 March:

‘Who Stole My Seeds?’ is available from Pegasus Elliott Mackenzie Publishers, Amazon and all good bookshops.

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