Monday, 15 August 2022

Support town’s bloom awards bid and buy a hanging basket

THE chairman of Henley in Bloom is calling on people to buy hanging baskets and break the record.

So far Henley in Bloom has sold 88 baskets after two weeks. At the same point last year, it had sold 119.

Businesses and residents are now able to order the baskets as part of the annual campaign supported by the Henley Standard.

They are supplied by WindowFlowers, of Burnham, which installs and maintains them all summer.

This year the baskets will contain purple or blue vein surfinia, pink pelargonium peltatum ivy leaf, begonia, fuchsia, bidens aurea and silver cineraria maritima, which have been selected to support bees and other pollinating insects.

They also contain “hairy” plants to absorb toxins from the air in order to tackle pollution.

Town councillor David Eggleton, who chairs Henley in Bloom, said: “I would like to get more than last year by at least 50, I think we can do it. Let’s see if we can get up to 150 baskets by next week and make our town look really, really special. A big thank-you to everyone who has supported us so far.”

Sue Vivian-Wright, 66, who lives with her husband Tony, 66, in Greys Road, has bought two baskets again this year. She said: “We always have two. We have done it since the beginning of the scheme. They are always extremely pretty and well looked after. They do look spectacular.

“They make a lovely bright statement. I think they are very cheerful to look at when people stop at the traffic lights and they are good for the environment.

“They also make our house look more attractive. We have one either side of our bay window and to have plants anywhere near is always good.”

Joy Ferguson, who lives with her husband Tim and son Paris, 18, in St Mark’s Road, has bought a summer hanging basket for the first time.

She said: “My friend had one and she said it was the best money she had ever spent — she said it was brilliant and they are just stunning to look at.

“For a reasonable amount of money it saves so much time and effort. We are busy and both work, so it is very convenient.

“I have lived here for over 30 years and every time we drive back over Henley Bridge we think that we are lucky to live here.

Alyson Donnachie, who works at Royal House Dental Care, bought one basket again this year. She said: “We take part because it’s such a lovely thing to be part of.”

She said clients at the dental surgery always appreciated how pretty it was.

Gail Barlow, 64, is the parish secretary at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Vicarage Road.  It has ordered two again this year. 

She said: “I think it is brilliant. Henley is so beautiful. It really does enhance the beauty of the church from the outside. It looks so nice and it’s orchestrated and managed so well. 

“I do know that people are very admiring because they just look so stunning. I’ve seen tourists almost stepping in the middle of the road to take photos of the flowers.”

Eric Kench, managing director of Kench & Co in Station Road, has bought two baskets again this year. 

Mr Kench said: “I think everybody should be doing it. I do not think there should be gaps. Usually it is the big national businesses that do not take part. 

“The baskets make the town look that much better. It is a relatively small cost and brightens up the front of our building. I think they are fantastic. The watering that is done makes them look so good.”

The cost of a basket, including maintenance, is £64, including VAT. You can order them by completing the form, printed on this page.

Order forms can also be found at the tourist information desk at the town hall and should be returned by Friday, May 24. For more information, call Becky Walker at Henley Town Council on (01491) 630076 or email

Buyers this year include: Six — Henley Self Storage; Four — Gibbs & Dandy, Higgs & Co, Ruth Cassidy; Three — 1st Henley scouts; Two — Aura Creatives, Villars Hayard LLP, Accession, Lord Remnant, Kench & Co, Handelsbanken, Sacred Heart Church, Andrew Martin-Davis, Sue Vivian-Wright, Facy; One — Vinegar Hill, Mr Louth, Thomas Naskret, Anne Rayner, Next Call, Safebuy, Joy Ferguson, Nicola Pickup, Royal House Dental Care, Malthouse Management.

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