Shrewsbury's giant sunflower grower shows off his monster pumpkin
A Shrewsbury grower of giant flowers and vegetables has been at it again - this time by producing a mammoth 720lb (326kg) pumpkin.
Andrew Florendine, an IT consultant, has been growing gigantic vegetables and flowers for a number of years, and recently claimed to have grown the UK's largest sunflower this year, at 20 feet, in his Shrewsbury garden.
Now the 43-year-old father of two has grown a gigantic pumpkin ahead of Halloween, which has just won him second prize at a the Malvern Autumn Show.
Andrew, who is now taking a two-year break from prodigious vegetable growing - as he is set to move to New Zealand with his family - said his gargantuan gourd was beaten by a Barry Island grower whose pumpkin weighed in at a massive 1,300lbs.
"I don't mind coming second because everybody is very friendly at these competitions - although we treat it as a competitive sport and everyone has their secrets," said Andrew.
He said his pumpkin, which was transported by flat-bed truck and loaded and unloaded by a crane, was probably not going to make it back home following the Malvern Show.
"They tend to break and you get a bit of seepage," said Andrew, who started growing the pumpkin in March, after being challenged by his daughter.
He said his giant pumpkin was grown using a pedigree seed belonging to a "legendary pumpkin" called "Tiger King".
"That pumpkin grew to be 2,350lb and just that one seed cost me £90, as it is all about genetics. I then had to grow it under LEDs with the right amount of food and tender loving care," he said.
"I probably did give it a bit too much attention and have neglected work and family life, but it will be my last effort for a couple of years as we are moving to New Zealand this week.
"I perhaps shouldn't say this as my wife doesn't know but I actually delayed our trip by a few days so I could display the pumpkin!"