Towns across South Holland were awarded nothing short of a Silver award at East Midlands in Bloom last week.
The awards were tinged with sadness this year, as Judy and Terry Wing, parents of Sally Preece who was killed during a charity bike ride earlier this month, won a special award from the In Bloom judges for their front garden.
Speaking after the awards, Jan Whitbourn from Tulip Radio said: “I’m really pleased for them – they really deserve it. I hope the award will be some comfort for them at this difficult time.”
A garden created in memory of Ros Knight, the Crowland in Bloom chairman who passed away in late 2013, also won a special award at the East Midlands in Bloom ceremony last week alongside the town’s Silver Gilt award in the Small Town category.
Chairman of Crowland in Bloom Helen Kempton said: “We are extremely pleased with our result as we worked very hard with such a small group of normally just six people.
“The award for the memorial garden was also very well accepted as it is very special.
“The work we did outside Trinity Court has gone down really well with the residents who love what we’ve done.”
Several schools, businesses and spaces in the area were also given special awards for their In Bloom efforts.
The Priory School in Spalding was awarded a judges award for its allotment and gardens.
Daran Bland, headteacher at the school, said: “It feels wonderful to have won this award.
“The allotment and horticultural area has developed constantly over the years and is a great resource for pupils to learn about horticulture and the environment, with two integrated polytunnels, a composting area and plots for each class at the school.
“The children fully enjoy the allotments and any produce we can get out of them we use in our meals.
“Special thanks must go to Chris Lee who is the teacher in charge of that area.”
Other winners in the area were Pete and Steph Williams from The Punchbowl in Spalding, who won a Silver Gilt award in the Best Pub Garden category.
Pete said: “We’re very pleased with our award. We felt we’d really stepped it up a notch with the garden this year so I’m glad that’s been recognised.
“I just go and buy the plants and then Steph looks after them, so she gets the hard job. We’re already swapping them around for winter but we hope to grow lots more for next year’s judging.”