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Buddies team up to help Henley in Bloom
Published 14/07/14

FIVE students from Gillotts School planted shrubs in Mill Meadows, Henley.

Max Blunden, Matthew Laye, Kailon Wheatley, Declan Edwards and Steven Corrigan, all 15, have learning disabilities and work with learning charity SkillForce at school.

As part of a Prince’s Trust scheme called 24 Hours Makes a Difference, the boys are required to do community work and approached Henley in Bloom offering to replant 30 gold and silver euonymus plants.

The original shrubs were planted behind the coronation bench in 2012 to celebrate the London Olympics but had to be removed after being damaged in the winter floods.

The plants were donated to Henley in Bloom by Toad Hall garden centre and the boys borrowed tools from the town council’s parks team. SkillForce is a charity run by former military personnel which offers learning support to children in schools across the country.

Meanwhile, the Lions Club of Henley and volunteers joined forces to spruce up a garden.

The Lions Wishing Well Garden in Reading Road was tidied up and replanted and the pathway bark replaced.

The garden was originally planted four years ago and was designed and built by the Lions.

Elizabeth Hodgkin, who runs Henley in Bloom’s Gardening Buddies, said: “It needed tidying up as it’s in a prime position coming into the town. The Lions have always been a great supporter of the Buddies — they have given us funds over the years.”

Lion Chris Adam added: “It was excellent to have the Gardening Buddies. It’s more fun doing it with other people.” The edible garden outside Henley fire station has been tidied up by buddy Sue Staines.

The community garden was installed outside the station in West Street for last year’s Britain in Bloom competition, which had a theme of “incredible edibles”.

It is filled with a variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers donated by buddies and residents, which people can pick and take home.

Earlier this year, the garden was replanted with horseradish, asparagus, fennel, strawberries, artichokes, chives, sage, mint, lavender, marjoram, thyme, bay and rosemary. There are also non-edible plants including hebe, marigolds and ox-eye daisies.

Mrs Staines, who spent two hours tidying the garden, said: “Certain plants have taken over, hiding the small plants, so I was trimming them back. Now the bed looks very healthy.”

Published 14/07/14

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