RED, white and blue hanging baskets will decorate Henley this summer as the town gears up to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Shops, businesses and residents are being urged to buy the summer baskets, which are now available to order from Henley in Bloom.
The same colour scheme was used in 2012 to mark the London Olympics.
Town councillor Kellie Hinton, vice-chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said the town had become known for its colourful hanging baskets.
She said: “They add to what is already a stunning town. You notice them when you’re driving through Henley compared with other towns.
“I would really like to encourage the chain stores to participate because we always get great support from independent retailers. There is a number of new businesses and it would be good to see them take part too.”
The cost of the baskets, which will once again by supplied by WindowFlowers of Burnham, is £1 cheaper than last year.
They will be delivered in late May or early June and kept up until the end of September and be watered throughout.
Cllr Hinton added: “Not only are people getting a fantastic display but it’s cheaper and it’s good value because the baskets are maintained.
“I’m thrilled we are continuing to work with WindowFlowers as their baskets are always overflowing with colour and vibrancy.”
Last year, a record 209 baskets were sold and the town council bought another 128, ensuring the whole town centre looked its best.
Henley won its first ever gold in the Britain in Bloom competition and a fourth consecutive gold in Thames and Chilterns in Bloom.
The town was also honoured in the Entente Florale European competition with a silver award.
Caroline Langler, a member of the Henley in Bloom committee, urged more national chains to get involved.
She said: “It’s disappointing about those that don’t buy them because they benefit from the flowers around the town.
“The town would look even more wonderful if all the chain shops had them, especially the ones in prominent locations.”
Miles Watson-Smyth, owner of WindowFlowers, said: “We will concentrate, as always, on maximising the floral impact.
“What people want, I believe, is for that hanging basket to shout, ‘look at me’.”
This year Henley will only enter Thames and Chilterns in Bloom as it can’t enter the national competition more three years in a row without taking a year off.
Each hanging basket will cost £60, including VAT. There will also be a £20 discount with orders of 10 or more baskets. A bracket to hang a basket costs £22, including installation.
Order forms are available from the town hall or to order a basket, call Becky Walker at Henley Town Council on (01491) 576982 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Queen’s birthday is on Thursday and her official birthday on June 11.