An English summer may not always mean lots of sunshine but 12ft tall sunflowers are brightening up one family’s garden, whatever the weather.

Claire Whittaker, of Cherry Garden, Maldon, and her children, Mark Nicholas, 12, and Autumn Louise, three, have been growing sunflowers every year for the last but this year they are the tallest yet.

Miss Whittaker, 34, said: “Our fence is 6ft and these are twice as high!

“The children are really pleased and can't believe they grow so tall."