Saturday, 31 July 2021

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty

A RECORD number of summer hanging baskets started to go up in Henley this week.

A RECORD number of summer hanging baskets started to go up in Henley this week.

A total of 233 has been bought by residents, shops and other businesses, including 13 in the last few days before today’s deadline for orders.

This year is the fourth in a row that a record total has been set.

The baskets, which are supplied and maintained by WindowFlowers, of Burnham, will feature red, white and blue flowering plants to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The owners of Lady Sew and Sew have ordered two hanging baskets for the outside of its warehouse in Farm Road after admiring them in previous years.

Vanessa Tomlin, one of the proprietors, said: “The baskets are absolutely beautiful. Every year they’re stunning and make the town look really, really good.

“Now when our customers are coming into our warehouse, which is old, it will make the place look lovely. The fact that they are watered for us was the decider. It means it does not involve too much effort.”

The Chocolate Café in Thames Side will have two hanging baskets.

Manager Hattie Barford said: “We’re about the aesthetic and it’s important for us to draw people in before they even get to the café. It’s nice to have a consistent and high standard look across the town. Everyone wants to look like they’re trying and the good thing about Henley is we’re a small community and we do our best to help each other.”

Five baskets will go up at the office shared by SAER Ltd and ERCL Ltd on the corner of Station Road and Queen Street after they added three to their initial order.

Debbie Corcoran, office manager, said the businesses wanted to help contribute to the colourful scene in Queen Street where is there is to be a street party for the Queen’s birthday on June 11. She said: “It’s part of that and one of the business owners does not live in the UK but wanted to help make it look pretty at this end of the street. Now we have five baskets, which is fabulous.”

Eleven residents of Queen Street have also ordered a basket.

There will be one outside Jonkers Rare Books in Hart Street. Founder Christiaan Jonkers said: “It supports the community, which is something we like to do.”

The Zizzi restaurant in Hart Street will have two baskets after manager Luba Chamberlain asked her area manager for permission.

She said: “We used to have our own baskets outside the store but the company stopped doing them. I discussed it with my boss and he agreed. It will make the frontage nice. Ours is not very big and you can’t see in the restaurant so I thought if we make it look nice it will be attractive for customers.”

Town councillor Kellie Hinton, vice-chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said: “It’s wonderful that more baskets then ever before have been bought and the amount is double the total of some years.

“We’ve seen an increase in individuals buying baskets and groups of people have come together with group orders, for example in Queen Street. It would be wonderful if another group could come together and buy the last 10 baskets.”

Each basket will have petunia surfinia blue vein (white with blue), petunia surfinia (red), pelargonium peltatum ivy leaved geranium (red), lobelia sapphire (blue), scaevola (blue), verbena tapien blue violet (blue) and begonia dragon wing (red).

Late orders can still be made but these baskets may contain a different mix of flowers and colours, A basket costs £60, including VAT, which is £1 less than last year. A discount of £20 will be given on orders of 10 or more baskets. 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 b.walker@henleytown

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