Monday, 24 September 2018

207 baskets and counting...

207 baskets and counting...

A TOTAL of 207 hanging baskets has now been sold by Henley in Bloom.

Businesses and residents have been encouraged to place their orders by the current spell of sunny weather and the baskets will be delivered in the next week.

With more orders still expected, the total is only 32 off the number sold last year and 34 short of the record figure set in 2016.

Each basket will be filled with blue, white and lilac flowers, some with hairy leaves to help tackle the town’s air quality problem.

They will be supplied by WindowFlowers, of Burnham, which will maintain them over the summer months.

Among the buyers is Joy Bloggs, of fabric and needlecraft warehouse Lady Sew and Sew in Farm Road, which will have two baskets.

She said: “I love hanging baskets and flowers. They make our building so much brighter for us and everyone who visits.

“I hope it helps us get more business. If you are in a more pleasant-looking building then it helps to attract people.

“If we didn’t have the baskets I would do my own but the fact is that they are watered every day to make sure they are kept flowering right through to the autumn. They are worth the money.”

Builders’ merchants Gibbs & Dandy in Reading Road will have four hanging baskets.

Branch manager Michael Fuller said: “We try to be part of the community by supporting the scheme. It makes the whole town look good.”

Kench & Co accountants in Station Road has ordered two baskets.

Managing director Eric Kench said: “We do our best to support the scheme because it makes the town look better. If all the businesses took part it would have a huge impact.

“I expect we are not the only ones who think the baskets would not look as good if we had to look after them and water them ourselves.”

Funeral directors A B Walker in Reading Road will also have two baskets.

Office manager Claudine Russell said: “It makes the town pretty for all the residents and the people coming into town.”

Scott Investment Partners in Thames Side has ordered four baskets.

Office manager Jeanette Cronin said they complemented the floral windowboxes outside the building and around its car park near Singers Park.

She said: “It’s the partners’ way of giving something back to the town. It makes people smile when they see them. We are on the riverfront and it’s lovely for people coming over to see the display. People always say how lovely it is to see the colours.”

Michael Sharp, of Gravel Hill, will have a basket for the front of his home.

He said: “Flowers are truly lovely and inspiring in themselves, especially when they are featured en-masse.

“The baskets scheme is a great initiative and works as long as people support it. It makes the town so much more pleasing and enjoyable.”

Clive Hemsley, of Hart Street, has ordered two hanging baskets and has also ordered windowboxes from WindowFlowers.

He said: “Longlands House is in a great position so if ever there was a place that needs baskets it’s there.

“Everyone I speak to always loves my flowers but I can’t take the credit, all I do is pick up the tab.

“I have the living wall around the corner and that is really coming on well. I’m a great supporter of Henley in Bloom.”

Investment managers Redmayne Bentley in Market Place will have four summer hanging baskets as well as four winter baskets later this year.

Nick McGregor, head of office, said: “For us, the baskets look nice, they are well maintained and it’s nice to support the town’s efforts.

“It enhances the whole place and the look and the feel of our premises.”

There will be three baskets on the scout hut in Greys Road.

Members work to maintain the front of the building and the pathway to Makins recreation ground to encourage people to visit the area.

A spokesman for the scouts said: “For people who are walking through or using it as a thoroughfare they feel better and safer when the area is well kept, tidy and being well looked after.

“The baskets are a final touch which will help make it even nicer for people.”

The Regal Cinema in Boroma Way will have two summer hanging baskets.

 General manager Melissa MacFarlane said: “We like to support local initiatives and to make the town look even more beautiful.

“The baskets make the front of our building look more attractive for people who visit.

“We have supported the scheme for a long time and we also take part in the town council’s Christmas tree scheme, which always looks fantastic too.”

Councillor Kellie Hinton, who chairs Henley in Bloom, said: “We’re in the home run now so for anyone who is umm-ing and ahh-ing about getting a basket, now is the time to do it.

“I hope people do because it has such an impact on the high street.

“I’m constantly hearing about shop closures, so it’s important we do our best to attract people into town. The baskets are a wonderful way to help Henley, whether it is for people just popping in for some shopping or visitors coming from far away.

“They provide a huge amount of colour and vibrancy right until October. We are not just dressing the town up for the regatta and the festival season from May to September but for much longer then that.”

The baskets will contain petunia surfinia sky blue and sweet pink, dichondra argentea silver falls, plectranthus madagascariensis variegated mintleaf, begonia illumination white and pelargonium peltatum lilac.

Orders can still be made. Each basket costs £62, including VAT. A new bracket to hang the basket costs £26.40, including VAT.

To order, pick up a form from the town hall or email Becky Walker at Henley Town Council on b.walker@henleytowncouncil.gov.uk

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