Gardeners Visit Wrabness Announce 2021-22 Programme

The Gardeners 2021-22 Programme Started in Wrabness

Despite being unable to meet up since early 2020 the Gardeners’ Club have tried to keep in touch with members; they have done this via email newsletters and also through a self drive visit to Strandlands, Wrabness. Strandlands is an NGS garden; the visit gave them a chance to meet in the lovely setting of an unique, natural garden overlooking the estuary. They also had a stall at the Village Fete in July to publicise the group and to attract new members. They reassured visitors that they are a very informal and friendly club of enthusiastic amateurs; their joint ambition being to gain inspiration and advice from interesting and experienced speakers.

Now that Autumn is rapidly approaching, with shorter days and cooler weather and with the ending of social gathering restrictions we plan to resume monthly meetings from September. They have already booked a full programme of speakers for 2021/2022 dependent upon Covid regulations. All being well, they look forward to being back in the Orpen Hall on Monday, 20th September at 7.30 pm. They look forward to welcoming existing and new members. The full programme will be available at that meeting; it will include a very short AGM and a talk by Roger Pawsey, a rose grower.

After that, on 18th October, Richard Grant, Head Gardener from Madingley Hall, Cambridge will be their speaker. In November they will be learning how to make a Christmas Wreath and they will finish the year with their annual Christmas Quiz evening in December.

Gardeners’ Summer Visits

Summer visits to Shrubs farmGardeners’ Summer Visits

The Gardeners’ summer visits this year started after their 2018/19 programme of talks came to a conclusion.  They were particularly happy that the weather remained on their side.

Shrubs Farm

In June, a group went on a self-drive trip to Shrubs Farm in Lamarsh, a garden in the National Garden Scheme.  The owners, Robert & Sara Erith have lived at the farm since 1966.  The farm has superb views over the Stour Valley.  Members were given an entertaining and informative tour of the garden, parkland and ancient woodland by the owner.  Robert explained the planning and ethos behind the beautiful planting and vistas.

Continue reading “Gardeners’ Summer Visits”

Wild Flowers of Essex

Dr Chris Gibson talking to WB Gardeners

Dr Chris Gibson talking to WB GardenersWild Flowers of Essex

West Bergholt Gardeners recently enjoyed an interesting talk by Dr. Chris Gibson about “Wild Flowers of Essex”.  Chris drew on his 30+ year career as a nature conservationist, working to preserve Essex wildlife and landscapes.  The Gardeners learnt about the large areas of ancient woodland around the county (which includes Hillhouse Wood) and the flowers and plants which flourish there.

Threats to Wild Flowers

Continue reading “Wild Flowers of Essex”

Open Gardens 2018

Open Gardens 2018Open Gardens 2018

The Open Gardens 2018 event is on 1st July with over 20 gardens (see below) and the allotments being open from 11 am to 5.30 pm.  Some gardens and the church halls will be selling refreshments and there will be local artists exhibiting.  Morris Dancers will perform at two gardens and “Quire” will be singing songs from around the world at Continue reading “Open Gardens 2018”

Summer Events at Beth Chatto Gardens

Summer Events at Beth Chatto Gardens

The Beth Chatto Gardens have recently been in touch with a summer offer:

Beth Chatto Water Garden
The Beth Chatto Water Garden

We’ve come to realise that a lot of the local community have never visited the Beth Chatto Gardens before and so we’re offering free entry to the garden for children under 14, throughout the summer holidays (3 children per paying adult at £6.95), and we’d also like to invite you to a FREE evening of music and art on the 20th September.

It would be lovely to welcome members of your parish to the gardens and if you’d like to sign up for the events newsletter, please do here:

More events are listed on their website at:

Beth Chatto Gardens are based on the ecological and creative principles of their founder. They aim to provide an inspirational and sustainable, quality experience for all visitors. Education and enjoyment underpin the gardens’ philosophy.  They are located at:

Elmstead Market
Nr Colchester
Essex CO7 7DB

Contacts & links are:


Open Gardens 2015

Coggeshall Hidden Gardens 2015Open Gardens 2015

In previous years West Bergholt Gardeners have opened their gardens to the public in aid of charity, most recently in 2014 where well over £3,000 was raised for teenage cancer charities.  This year the organizers are taking a break, hopefully to be back reinvigorated next year, but for those still hoping to visit local gardens and get some ideas, we have recently received details of another similar event:

Coggeshall Hidden Gardens 2015

Sunday, 7 June 2:00 PM To 6:00 PM

This year Coggeshall is opening its garden gates so that you can visit walled gardens, kitchen gardens, tiny gardens, gardens that will delight and inspire you. There’s lots to do and see for young and old alike. Follow the children’s trail, visit the plant stall, enjoy a delicious home-made tea – a perfect afternoon out for the whole family! For more information visit the website at

If You Can’t Make Coggeshall

There are some 23 Villages/Parishes running Open Gardens in Essex this year, a small sample includes some relatively local:

  • Walton-on-the Naze – 27th & 28th June – Various gardens open in Walton-on-the-Naze for the benefit of Walton in Bloom. Come and spend a wonderful day by the sea. Refreshments, tombola, raffle, plant sales and crafts for sale.  –
  • Chappel & Wakes Colne – 7th June – About 12 beautiful gardens open in and around the Essex Colne Valley. Lovely garden location for refreshments.
  • Earls Colne – 21st June – A number of gardens will be open to visit, all within easy walking distance with garden trail for the young ones. St. Andrews church and tower will be open for views across the beautiful Colne valley. Refreshments on sale.
  • Tollesbury – 27th & 28th June – Over twenty gardens will be open, from small courtyard gardens to larger gardens, from community gardens to gardens as yet unseen by the public.
  • Pebmarsh – 7th June – This Trail includes a variety of gardens. Snipelands is a stunning two-acre garden in a peaceful setting, on the outskirts of Pebmarsh, at 10 Mill Lane are mature shrubs, herbaceous borders, and a fern garden under trees whilst Matson Lodge is a 1½ acre garden developed for wildlife.

There are more listed at the Open Gardens website.


Allotments December 2014 Update

Sowing & Harvest Guidelines – Click to view full size

Allotments December 2014 Update

The West Bergholt Allotment Holders committee have recently announced Important Allotment Dates for 2015 which have now been published on their webpage and the village calendar.  Other important news updates, with more details in the latest minutes published on the webpage, are as follows:

Committee Vacancies

There are currently 2 vacancies on the committee, if any plotholders are interested in becoming more involved they should contact one of the current committee members who will be able to advise them on what is involved.

Available Plots

There are approximately half a dozen plots currently available; precedence will be given to those on the waiting list, but should you be interested in acquiring a plot for yourself (think of all those home grown veggies!), then please contact Terry Claydon on 01206 241256 or by email to [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Vehicle Restrictions

The committee has recently agreed that, in order to protect the pathways, there should be no vehicular access to the allotments between the months of November and March, this is because of typical weather conditions at these times.  Any access must be expressly approved by the Allotment Committee Chair, Terry Claydon.


Given recent trends in income & expenditure, the Allotment Holders Committee are recommending to the Parish Council that there should be no increase in rents for 2015.  This recommendation will be considered by the Parish Council Environment & Highways Sub-Committee.

Manure update

As previously advised (September news update), whilst some limited supplies were secured for 2014, there is, as yet, no ready source of supply for 2015 and plot holders may have to organise their own supply.  Should anybody be aware of a supply that would provide adequate quantities with minimal transport issues, please let a committee member know.

Happy Gardening for 2015

Last, but not least, seasons greetings for the upcoming New Year!

Get Sheducated

Garden shed

Is your garden and shed secure?

The garden and its perimeter

Your garden should be your first line of defence against burglars. If someone can get into your back garden easily without attracting attention, it gives him/her more time to steal from you.

  • Keep hedges and fences low at the front of the house so an intruder has nowhere to hide.
  • Gravel on paths and driveways will alert you to someone approaching.
  • Make sure your fences and gates are in good repair.  Trellis fixed to the top of your garden fence and carefully-placed prickly plants will provide extra protection from intruders.
  • If there is a gate at the side of your house which leads to the back garden, it should be as close to the front of your house as possible.
  • Keep this gate securely locked. A simple bolt is not enough – use a good padlock.
  • Install security lighting. Low energy dusk to dawn lighting is environmentally friendly, cheap to run and better for home security than passive infra-red activated lighting.
  • Don’t make a burglar’s life easier by leaving tools around which can be used to force entry. Always lock them away securely after use and consider chaining them together with a padlock attached to a hasp and staple.
  • Likewise, don’t leave ladders lying around as these can be used by a burglar to reach other parts of your house. Ladders should be chained and padlocked to a strong post or wall.
  • Try to avoid leaving things like dustbins lying around they can also be used as a climbing aid.
  • Remote-movement detectors can protect costly garden furniture and valuable ornaments such as statues or stone planters. However, these are only suitable for heavy objects not affected by wind or casual vibration.  Alternatively, you can anchor these items to the ground using ground anchors designed for this purpose – even valuable plants can be protected in this way.
  • Hanging baskets are also worth protecting. Bending the bracket and/or hook so the basket cannot be removed may be enough to deter thieves, although locking brackets are also available for this purpose.

Sheds, garages and outbuildings

Garden sheds are a popular target with burglars as valuable items are often stored in them. Power tools, lawnmowers, cycles, golf clubs, etc., are all attractive to
thieves and very expensive to replace.
Garden shed

  • Has your shed survived the winter without any damage?  If not, don’t delay – fix it today!
  • Shed doors are notoriously easy to break into, so strengthen the door and frame if you can. Outside door hinges should be secured with coach bolts or
    non-return screws.  Use strong pad-bars and close shackle padlocks.
  • Up-and-over garage doors can be secured by putting padlocks through the inside runners or by fitting padlocks with a hasp and staple on either side of the
    door. Five-lever mortise locks are the best thing to use on normal solid doors.
  • Are the windows secure? Does the glass need replacing?  You could use perspex or polycarbonate sheet as a more secure alternative, as long as it is securely fixed.  Use a window lock on any windows which can be opened, along with a strong grille or heavy wire mesh panel. Consider using net curtains so people can’t see inside.
  • Battery operated alarms may act as a deterrent. If you have a house alarm, you could have it upgraded to include your shed or garage. If the garage is an
    integral part of your house, make sure the alarm conforms to BS 4737.

Thief in gardenYour property

You also need to protect everything you keep in your shed and garage.

  • Does your insurance cover the shed and garage and all the equipment stored in them?
  • Is everything postcoded so you could identify it if it was stolen?
  • Items can be postcoded by a variety of methods (etching, branding, paint stencilling, etc.) Making them easy to identify will make it more difficult for a thief to dispose of them, so they are less likely to be stolen in the first place.
  • Keep a record of serial numbers.
  • Photograph valuable items and keep the photos somewhere safe.
  • Make everything secure inside the shed, so even if someone did break in they wouldn’t be able to walk away with all your valuable items.
  • Chain cycles, mowers, ladders and tools to a strong anchor point, such as metal rings fixed in concrete to the floor, and use a close shackle padlock.
  • Sheds are not really designed for safe storage, so it might be better to keep a strong lockable box or cage inside your shed. Better still, store valuable items in a more secure place.
  • Ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your shed as well as the house and do the same for them in return.
  • If your shed is screened from view, cut down some foliage so you’re not providing cover for a thief.
  • When you’ve made your garden, shed or outbuildings more secure, remember to lock things away every time. It only takes a minute to pick something up and walk off, so don’t be tempted to leave everything outside while you go inside for a cup of tea. And NEVER leave cycles unlocked.

Natural protection

One of the best ways to keep thieves out of your back garden is to use nature’s own defence mechanisms. A barrier of prickly hedge may be all the protection you
need around your property. Here are some suggestions for plants to use. You can also ask for advice at your local garden centre.

  • BARBERRY (Berberis)
  • BLACKTHORN (Prunus Spinosa)
  • BUCKTHORN (Rhamnus)
  • FIRETHORN (Pyracantha)
  • GORSE (Ulex Europaeus)
  • HAWTHORN (Crataegus Monogyna)
  • HEDGING ROSE (Rosa Rugosa)
  • HOLLY (Ilex)
  • QUINCE (Chaenomeles)
  • ROSES – eg climbing and rambling roses, plus Rosa Pteracantha
  • SEA BUCKTHORN (Hippaphae Rhamnoides)

Thief gaining entryNeighbourhood Watch

And finally . . . are you a member of Neighbourhood Watch? If not, would you like to join a scheme, or perhaps even start one yourself?

For further information and advice please contact the crime reduction officer or problem solving officer at your local police station on 01268 532212.