Spalding’s Punchbowl pub is a picture perfect floral paradise and takes competition crown

Pete and Stephanie Williams in their flower-filled pub garden. SG230816-136TW
Pete and Stephanie Williams in their flower-filled pub garden. SG230816-136TW
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Spalding’s Punchbowl pub has been crowned the best flower-decorated premises in our competition to find the cream of the crop of pubs, restaurants and hotels.

We teamed up with Spalding in Bloom and Birchgrove Garden Centre to run this fun competition, asking readers to pick a winner. The most votes were given to the Punchbowl, followed by The Moorings, in Commercial Road.

Punchbowl landlord Pete Williams and wife Stephanie (pictured) have doubled the number of flowers in their New Road pub garden and have their fingers crossed that this competition win might herald an individual gold in East Midlands in Bloom this year after four silver gilts in a row.

Pete said: “We are absolutely over the moon to win, it’s an honour, really.”

The Punchbowl wins a £50 Birchgrove voucher and a framed photograph of the building. Guardian reader Mr W Parker, who took part in the vote, wins a £20 Birchgrove voucher.

Pete is a staunch supporter of Spalding in Bloom and last year took on the watering for the hanging baskets in town.

But he said the job was too much for him to repeat this year because there’s so much to do at the pub.

“It’s been a lot of hard work,” said Pete. “When you plant this huge amount of plants it’s easy to forget how much maintenance they need – and when you get a summer like this one, I am dreading my water bill.

“We will get charged an absolute fortune but I think it’s worth it.

“I am very, very keen on the Bloom.”

The Punchbowl is looking better than ever.

Pete has not only doubled the number of plants, he’s picked up some gardening tips along the way which means he’s been able to save some of his plants, like begonias, from last year – and that means some of the blooms are double their normal size.