Japanese fly in to celebrate Richmond in Bloom sponsorship
A Japanese cosmetics company flew staff half way around the world to admire where new flower displays, which they are sponsoring, will be planted in future.
Four giant hanging baskets and some tall columns of plants will be planted near Richmond station, as part of Borough in Bloom, after beauty firm XOne became impressed by the borough’s bloom efforts this year.
Interpreter and tourist guide Miki Bartley, from Richmond, recommended the town to XOne and said the company was so impressed by its beauty and history they decided to invest.
XOne sales manager Takafumi Kato said: “It is our pleasure to sponsor Richmond in Bloom and we want to study more about environmental issues in England.”
Mr Kato was one of several company representatives who visited the borough last month.
They were shown around the gardens of York House in Twickenham and exchanged gifts with council members.
It is the first time a foreign company has sponsored Richmond in Bloom in its 21-year history.
Richmond Borough in Bloom chairman Pat Schooling said: “We are absolutely delighted that XOne has sponsored the hanging baskets and columns.
“It is a very special thing for this to happen to us.”
Richmond won a silver gilt medal at this year’s Britain in Bloom, and gold at London in Bloom and was supported throughout by this newspaper.
Deputy mayor Councillor Meena Bond accompanied visitors from the Japanese firm.
She said: “We are honoured that a company from so far away has chosen to sponsor us.”
XOne produces environmentally-friendly products and donates to environmental and horticultural projects around the world.
Last year, the company sponsored a tree in Vienna.
Richmond tourism and marketing manager Angela Irey said the town had a lot to offer foreign visitors.
She said: “Richmond is beautiful. Not only do we have beautiful spaces but we also have lots of rich and famous people who live here.”
Other sponsors of Richmond Borough in Bloom include eBay and the Rugby Football Union.