Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Blooming gardeners get One Show once-over

HENLEY’S abundance of hanging baskets have been filmed for an episode of The One Show.

HENLEY’S abundance of hanging baskets have been filmed for an episode of The One Show.

A camera crew from the BBC1 programme followed presenter and celebrity gardener Christine Walkden on a tour of the town on Monday to shoot a feature for their regular Front Garden Stars slot.

The programme producers selected Henley after it won gold in the regional finals of Britain in Bloom last year. The town is also vying to win this year’s regional finals.

Walkden interviewed three previous winners of Henley in Bloom and visited the Three Horseshoes in Reading Road, which won the contest’s Boozers in Bloom section last year.

She also filmed shots in the town centre, where a record 163 hanging baskets have been set up as a result of the Henley Standard’s Buy A Basket campaign.

Her first port of call was Swiss Farm, where she met residents Jackie and David Durose, whose verandah is decorated with more than a dozen baskets and planters containing petunias, fuchsias, geraniums, lobelias and begonias. Mrs Durose, 65, has won several Henley In Bloom gold awards in the patio garden section.

She said: “The crews got here at 8.40am and were here for three hours. I had no idea it would take that long. They were all lovely though and Christine really put me at my ease. They talked to me about all sorts of things — how I made the baskets up, how often I fed them and removed the dead heads and so on. It will be good publicity for Henley in Bloom and I hope it will encourage more people to take part.”

The crew spent several hours on the Gainsborough estate, off Greys Road, where Walkden met Gainsborough Road resident David Eggleton.

Mr Eggleton, 55, is the founder of the Gainsborough Project which planted two new flower beds at the entrance to the estate earlier this year.

His own front garden includes four old lawn rollers which have been planted with yellow petunias in keeping with this year’s Henley in Bloom theme of gold. Mr Eggleton, who runs a house clearance firm, picked up the rollers while clearing various properties. When she saw them, Walkden told him: “I thought you must be a groundsman”.

Last year, Mr Eggleton won a gold award for his jubilee flower display and a silver gilt award for his front garden.

He said: “I was honoured to be asked to take part in the filming. It was great to meet Christine. She is a real character who loves what she does and can convey it to other people through her television work.”

Walkden then visited Mr Eggleton’s parents Ann and Chris, who have lived in Gainsborough Crescent for almost 50 years. Their front garden is planted with a mix of geraniums, petunias, begonias and busy lizzies, with a large hanging basket either side of the front porch. The couple won a gold award for their back garden last year.

Mrs Eggleton, 72, said: “Christine and the crew were really friendly. We will most definitely tune in when it goes out as the crews said David and I made a great double act.”

Walkden then moved on to the Three Horseshoes and interviewed landlord Nigel Rainbow, 50, who runs the pub with his wife, Julie. The couple have planted 30 boxes in front of the pub, including 14 hanging baskets, with dianthus, geraniums, surfinias and hebes.

He said: “I’ve done interviews before and they can be quite difficult but this was very relaxed. Being publicised on national television will hopefully make more people want to get involved in Henley in Bloom.”

At the end of the day, the crew returned to Gainsborough Hill and filmed some closing shots in the garden of 67-year-old Heather Durrant, who won three silver gilt awards last year. She was due to be interviewed earlier in the day but the crew ran out of time.

“I didn’t get to record a speaking part but at least I will get a look-in. They were all nice people. It was great to meet Christine — she was lovely,” she said.

A broadcast date is yet to be announced but it is thought it will be aired within the next month. The finished segment is expected to be about four minutes long.

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