4,000 golden marigolds planted in shape of flowers

Marigolds have been planted in the shape of flowers to mark 50 years of Britain in Bloom. 

The 4,000 plants are in two raised beds either side of the obelisk in Mill Meadows in Henley. They were planted by the Henley Gardening Buddies with the help of offenders as part of the Community Payback scheme.

Elizabeth Hodgkin, who runs the buddies, said: “We have orange marigolds to make up the petals and yellow for the centre of the flowers with bark in between each petal.”

The plants were donated by Martin Sheldrake, of Toad Hall garden centre, who also helped with the design.

An information board will be installed to explain the significance of the beds. The buddies have also planted 4,000 flowers in the town’s floral train in Station Park.

The plants include alternanthera, sempervivum and calcareum in bright red, purple, burgundy and greens.

Mrs Hodgkin said: “The design has blocks of colour with a big ‘H’ for Henley on the front.”

The floral train was installed last year on the site of a former train turntable which was in operation until 1925. It was first used in Henley in 2007 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Henley railway line.

It was brought from Barnstaple, where it had been used as part of the town’s entry for regional, national and international In Bloom competitions.

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