Friday, 19 August 2022

Bloom baskets total hits 180 and counting...

THE number of hanging baskets sold by Henley in Bloom has passed 180. 

It follows an appeal by chairman David Eggleton to businesses and residents to place an order and help make the town look beautiful again this summer.

The baskets, which are supplied and maintained all summer by WindowFlowers, of Burnham, will contain purple or blue vein surfinia, pink pelargonium peltatum ivy leaf, begonia, fuchsia, bidens aurea and silver cineraria maritima.

These plants were chosen to support bees and other pollinating insects.

They also contain “hairy” plants to absorb toxins in the air, which will help tackle pollution.

Emma Lawrenson, who owns the Chiltern House Business Centre in Station Road, has bought five baskets to hang on the front of its building for the second year running.

She said: “I think it’s a nice thing to do and they look lovely throughout the town. They are so environmentally helpful as well. It’s a really nice, positive thing.

“They were fabulous and beautiful last year. I am hoping they will be as attractive this year.

“I have a number of clients in the building and they all absolutely loved them.”

Claudia Klaver, who lives in St Mark’s Road with her husband Will Schoenmakers and her daughters Natalie, 16, Lisanne, 13, and Roxanna, 10, has bought a basket to hang by their front door. 

She said: “I love the baskets. They are really nice and I think they are very good value for money.

“They are much better than any baskets I have tried myself. I just do not get the same effect.

“What I also really like is that if you happen to be away a little while over the summer they are still looked after and this also adds to the safety of the houses which aren’t in central Henley.

“It’s a shame that more people in our road do not have them. If people have to drop something off or pick up one of my children I say I am the one with the really nice hanging baskets. It’s true because my basket is so much better and nicer than my neighbours, who have their own.

“We always take our back to school picture next to the baskets in September and it is amazing because at that time they are still flowering. It is really nice.”

Pamela Stewart, of Thames Side, who has bought a basket again, said: “I really do think they look just stunning.

“When they first go up they look quite unimpressive but within a week they are just stunning and they came out so quickly.

“The town looks so gorgeous for the regatta and the festival and then, of course, the literary festival.”

The Henley Group International has bought a basket for the third year. 

Managing director James Tate said: “It makes the town a more attractive place to do business in and it shows our commitment to the town and local community.

“It probably helps us. We are a Henley group and we have a commitment to the town itself. The baskets are a nice way of demonstrating that and it’s a good way of supporting the town and making it nicer for those who live, work and shop here.”

Sue Gentilli has bought two baskets for her mother, Kate Woodward, who lives in Ravenscroft Road. 

She said: “It’s the fourth year I have done them for her and she doesn’t have to maintain them herself. It gives her so much pleasure. To have them on a residential street is actually quite stunning. She loves them.”

The cost of a basket is £64, including VAT. To place an order, complete and return the form printed here. Order forms can also be found at the tourist information desk at the town hall.

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