Monday, 20 September 2021

Henley will be blooming this summer

A RECORD number of summer hanging baskets have been sold by Henley in Bloom

A RECORD number of summer hanging baskets have been sold by Henley in Bloom.

A total of 184 baskets have been bought by shops, businesses and residents, comfortably beating last year?s previous best figure of 171. It is the third year running that the record has been broken.

Town councillor Kellie Hinton, the outgoing chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said ?It was great when we first set the record but three years in a row is amazing.

?We couldn?t have done it without the businesses, shopkeepers and residents who buy the baskets.

?Thank you, too, to the Henley Standard for supporting the campaign.?

Cllr Hinton said the display of so many baskets would boost the town?s attempt to win Britain in Bloom at the third attempt and the Entente Florale competition.

?The baskets look incredible for when the judges come,? she said.

The baskets, which started going up this week, contain purple and sky blue surfinia petunias, pink and red ivy leaf geraniums, blue scaevola, white bacopa, violet verbena and red begonia dragon wing.

As in previous years, they are supplied by and maintained over the summer by Windowflowers, of Burnham.

Caroline Langler, a member of Henley in Bloom and organiser of the hanging baskets scheme, said: ?I?m so thrilled that we have broken the record and that people are still promising to buy baskets.

?On behalf of the Henley in Bloom committee, may I saw a very big thank-you to all the generous people in private houses and in businesses who have been involved.?

She said it was an ?honour? to be Britain?s representative in Entente Florale, a Europe-wide competition. Mrs Langler said: ?We felt we couldn?t turn down the chance to enter as we?ll not have a second chance for at least another five years.?

Noa-Noa in Hart Street bought the basket that broke the record.

Co-owner Marilyn Farmar said: ?We were later to order than we had planned because I have been away and I lost the form. Luckily, the date for orders was extended.

?We haven?t ordered a basket before because we have always done our own. This year we decided we would get involved as we had seen the baskets in previous years and wanted to help make Henley a prettier place.?

It is also the first time that Direct Wines in New Street has ordered a basket.

Spokeswoman Maxine Thompson said: ?We love the town. When the bunting goes up for the regatta and the flowers are out it makes it feel more of a loved community.

?We had thought about getting involved before but speaking to Carlone Langler made us sure.?

Builders merchants Gibbs & Dandy, of Reading Road, have ordered four baskets.

Branch manager Michael Fuller said: ?We buy the baskets every year. For us it?s a good way to be part of the community. It also helps to brighten up the place.?

Clive Hemsley, chairman of Billings Publicity, has ordered two summer baskets for Longlands House in Hart Street.

He said: ?We have been ordering baskets for as long as they have been on offer ? both winter and summer baskets as well as the window boxes.

?They provide a nice floral feature and if all the businesses got involved it would be even better. Some of the chains are not buying baskets and they should be named and shamed.?

Mrs Langler agreed, saying: ?The chain stores and banks, particularly those sitting on prominent corners, could help enormously if they participated a little.

?While they benefit from being in the centre of the town, the attitude of head office seems to be to avoid contributing towards even one small basket.

?The local staff usually say they would love to help but the powers up high ignore any requests passed on.

?There are exceptions, such as Waitrose and Jaeger, both of which are generous in their support.?

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