THE best gardens in Henley were celebrated during the Henley in Bloom awards last night.
The overall winners were David and Karen Thatcher, of Gainsborough Crescent, who entered the awards for the first time this year.
Mrs Thatcher said: It is really nice to win and a complete surprise to us. We have always just had the garden for ourselves, but so many people said 'why dont you enter? and our neighbours even offered to enter our garden for us.
A new award was introduced this year for dedication and commitment to Henley in Bloom and the wider community.
The award was named after Elizabeth Hodgkin, who runs the Gardening Buddies group, and was won by buddy Viv Greenwood.
Joan Edwards was named Gardening Buddy of the Year having joined the group for the first time this year.
Some of the towns winning businesses included the Three Horseshoes pub in Reading Road and the Spice Merchant restaurant in Thames Side.
Town councillor Kellie Hinton, who chairs the Henley in Bloom committee, hosted the event at Henley town hall.
The awards were presented by sponsors and supporters of Henley in Bloom, including Henley Standard news editor Phil Simms, representatives from Southern Plant Hire, Shiplake singer Vince Hill and Henley Mayor Martin Akehurst.
Councillor Akehurst said: Henley in Bloom, the Allotment Association and Britain in Bloom are very close to my heart because they make an enormous difference to the town. They get people to focus on the town and notice what needs doing in the town. It makes an enormous difference and I really am grateful to all of you.
See next weeks Henley Standard for more pictures and a full report of the awards evening.