A BIT of friendly rivalry has helped a friendship blossom between Peter Carney and his two-year-old next-door neighbour Travis Jobling.
Peter, 53, and his little mate Travis had a competition to see who could grow the tallest sunflower.
Seasoned gardener Peter, of St David’s Walk, in the Throston Grange area of Hartlepool, admitted defeat when Travis grew a whopper measuring 8ft tall and another that was 7ft.
Peter’s sunflower was pipped to the post at 6ft 6in.
But he said: “It was a fair thing and I was saying to him ‘this is how you do it, I’ll show you, but mine is going to be better than yours’.
“But he actually beat me. It’s a friendly thing between neighbours and a bit of banter.
“I’m thinking of doing it again and getting the full block involved.”
Peter and his wife Carol, also 53, said Travis, who turned two on Sunday, is a regular visitor.
Carol, who is mum to Anthony, 28, and 24-year-old Emma, added: “He is always in our back garden, Peter can’t cut the grass at the front, as soon as Travis sees him he’s wanting to come over.
“Peter was gutted when he lost, but he was pleased the little one won.
“He is such a lovely little boy.”
Carol said Travis, who lives with his parents Simone Ward, 31, and Andrew Jobling, 30, has been regularly watering his sunflowers, with one in his own garden and one in Peter’s.
But heavy winds earlier this month caused the blooms to snap.
l HAVE you managed to grow a whopping sunflower this year? Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org