Grandmother of five Joan Hemp was amazed when old seeds she planted on a whim grew into enormous sunflowers.

Mrs Hemp, 77, who tends the communal gardens at her home in The Wharf, Calne, estimates the flowers are 15 feet tall.

She said: “The seeds were very old and I planted them quite late in the Spring. I didn’t think they would come into anything.”

Mrs Hemp lost all hope of the flowers ever appearing when the stems continued to grow taller and taller with no heads.

“I thought they wouldn’t flower and I nearly cut them down,” she said. “But now they look lovely.

“My neighbour who lived in one of the ground floor flats loves them and she says hello to them every morning in her window.”

Mrs Hemp was awarded a prize in the recent Calne in Bloom competition.