Landlords and landladies of Harveys’ pubs throughout the South East demonstrated they have far more talent than simply pulling pints.
Harveys’ chairman, Hamish Elder, and fellow company directors Julia Prescott and Adele Smith joined gardening guru Jim Buttress to go on the road last Friday and present prizes in the brewery’s annual gardens competition.
The prizes were awarded in categories - best use of a small space, best medium garden, best hanging baskets, best community activity, best large garden and supreme champion.
All said the wet spring and a warm summer helped bring plants on early and maintain them in tip top condition throughout the season.
Overall winner of both the best large garden and supreme championship was the Blackboys Inn, Blackboys - the second time the pub has won the award under current managers Nick and Amanda Pearce with lots of help from general manager Jay Dunbar and his head gardener Jim Buttress.
The best use of a small space award went to The Bricklayers’ Arms at Chipstead. Best medium garden was The Red Lion at Turners Hill and the best community activity award went to the Fountain Inn at Cowden near Edenbridge.
The unusual award of the best surprise went to The Plough Inn, Plumpton, and the King’s Head, Hailsham, won plaudits as the best newcomer.
The Wheatsheaf at Crowborough won the award for the best hanging baskets but coming in ahead of all the competition was the magnificent display at the 14th century Blackboys - comprising herbaceous borders, hanging baskets, shrubs and neat rows of trimmed conifers lining the path to the pub steps.