THE makeover of a roundabout at an entrance to Henley is almost complete.
The new flower beds on the roundabout in Reading Road were planted by Henley in Bloom?s Gardening Buddies following the design of landscape gardener Paul Terroni.
The design features five interlocking Olympic-style rings which have been planted with brightly-coloured flowering annuals and evergreen plants.
A wire sculpture, designed by artist Rachel Ducker, was due to be added and unveiled next week but the ceremony was postponed by the town council due to the purdah period in the run-up to the local elections on May 7.
The roundabout, which is sponsored by the Henley Standard, is meant to represent Henley as a gateway to a healthy lifestyle. Town councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin, who organises the Buddies, said: ?I am really pleased that we can almost see the finished result ? the icing on the cake will be the piece in the middle.
?I remember 12 years ago the wooden boat on the same roundabout and the impact it had on the town ? people were really pleased with it.
?This roundabout shows a healthy lifestyle. It is a welcoming entrance to our town. We are about more than the river and rowing.?
Mr Terroni, 35, from Abingdon, won a competition run by Henley in Bloom to redesign the roundabout, which is 15m in diameter.
He said: ?Everything has gone really smoothly and to plan. There have been no problems. I am really pleased to see it coming together and could not be happier.? Mr Terroni?s design was chosen by the competition judges, Cllr Hodgkin, Henley in Bloom chairwoman Kellie Hinton, Miles Watson-Smyth, of Windowflowers, Shiplake landscape and garden designer Ana Mari Bull and the town council?s parks manager Gareth Bartle.
Cllr Hodgkin said: ?It has been a pleasure working with Paul. We wanted the roundabout to be a community project, which is why the Gardening Buddies are involved. It is all part of making the environment of Henley better.?
Cllr Hinton said: ?I am absolutely thrilled that the Gardening Buddies were able to take part in planting the roundabout.
?They do work around Henley and have done so for many years. It?s hard work but they enjoy being involved.?
Cllr Hodgkin said the roundabout should help Henley?s entry into the Entente Florale Europe contest.
The town is representing Britain in the competition, which seeks to improve the quality of life of different communities and promotes the ?greening? of towns and villages using plants, parks and other outdoor spaces.
The judges, who will visit Henley in July, will consider aspects such as tourism and public involvement.
Cllr Hodgkin said: ?They will see the roundabout so we wanted to have something special to show them.?
Entrants from the UK are only allowed to take part once every five years and must have been a finalist in the national Britain in Bloom competition, as Henley has been for the past two years.
The town is being mentored by Peter Holman, one of two vice-chairmen of Entente Florale Europe and the lead UK judge.