Blooming Marvellous

hib-celebration-bedFinal preparations are being made for our Britain in Bloom judging, with the Regional judging less than a month away now.  The Henley in Bloom committee have been working hard to incorporate both themes for the Regional and National competitions into their campaigns.

The Regional theme ‘Branching Out’ which the Henley in Bloom Committee have incorporated both literally – ‘branches of trees’ by planting trees, including a tree in the middle of the celebration bed at Mill Meadows (pictured above) for winning Gold last year in the competition and ‘branching out’ to different areas of the community including the brightening up of the Gainsborough estate.

The Fire Station bed on West Street is one of the initiatives for the National theme ‘Edible Britain’ which has been plantedhib-1 out with edible plants including salad plants, herbs, strawberry plants and rhubarb as well as the schools competition to grow potatoes.

The tours for the judging (Regional – 18 July and National – 29 July) will start off at the bowling green on Mill Meadows and will take in lots of different areas of the town including a school, the Greencroft allotments next to Henley Cricket Club and the Frank Crisp Memorial.

A record number of 155 hanging baskets have now been bought by businesses and residents around the town.  Kellie Hinton, Chair of the Henley in Bloom Committee, said “I am very touched by the generosity of people particularly when I found out that a member of the public who doesn’t even live in the town had bought a basket and said that she loved seeing the hanging baskets and wanted to help with the campaign.” Producers from the BBC One Show found out about the Henley in Bloom Basket Campaign when they were researching a feature on hanging baskets and they plan to visit Henley on 27 June to film a segment with presenter Christine Walkden.

The committee are delighted to have the Great Western train engine back in Station Road after last being on loan from Barnstaple for our Henley in Bloom campaign in 2006.  Liz Hodgkin, a member of the Henley in Bloom committee, hib-3tracked it down and found it rotting away in a garden centre with a tree growing through the middle of it!  It has now been repainted and replanted with 4,000 flowers by the Henley Gardening Buddies and First Great Western helped with sourcing and paying for some new wheels.  A new town crest badge to go on the front is currently being made.  First Great Western have also sponsored planters at the station and at other locations around the town.

The Gardening Buddies have also been busy over the last few weeks weeding and planting including planting flowers in tyres outside National Tyres and Autocare on the Reading Road.

Kellie would like to thank all of the volunteers and sponsors of Henley in Bloom which include Toad Hall, Hotel du Vin, hib-2Southern Plant and First Great Western.  She would also like to hear from you if there is anything in your area or road you would like to do.  Please contact her by email