Forthcoming Events

We have a number of exciting events coming up in the next few weeks where we will be delighted to welcome new visitors and to see old friends alike.

Gardening Club 18th April 2019: 

A few weeks back we floated the idea of a gardening club at Erlas Victorian Walled Garden. We were blown away by the response so we are hosting a pop in session, on Thursday 18th April 15:30 – 18:30, at the garden to gauge the enthusiasm, find out what you would like from a gardening club and how you can help us!

If you have any queries, suggestions or won’t be able to attend but would like to be involved, please email kate.harcus@erlas.org

 

 

Plant Sale 24th April – 27th April 2019:

We will be holding our plant sale from Wednesday 24th April – Saturday 27th April where we will have a large range of range of bedding plants, annuals, perennials, herbs and vegtable plants all on sale at reasonable prices.

We will be open from 10:00 – 15:00 each day with a special late night opening until 19:00 on the Thursday.

As well as plant sales you will be most welcome to have a look around our beautiful garden?

Future Events:

We have a number of other exciting events planned for 2019 including:

Sunday 19th May: National Garden Scheme  10.30am – 3.30pm.

Saturday 15th June: Summer Fayre:   1pm – 4pm.

Sunday 15th September: second NGS garden opening, 10.30am – 3.30pm.

Saturday 16th November: Christmas Fayre , 1pm – 3.30pm

Further information will be available closer to the time and you can also keep up to date with our latest events on our Forthcoming Events page or our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/erlasvwg/events/

We look forward to seeing you at these events and please feel free to share with your family and friends.

 

 

Marching Into Spring

This time last year we were battling the arctic conditions of the Beast from the East. In recent weeks the weather in the garden has been wonderful, and makes us feel like spring is already here, even though the calendar still says winter. Our greenhouse is bursting at the seams with seedlings, including antirrhinums for our plant sale, onions which we have grown from seed, sweet peas for planting in the garden, and much more besides. The seed potatoes are chitting so that they should be ready for planting after the middle of March.

The rhubarb forcers are already hard at work preparing early season rhubarb both for us, and for Caffi Florence, at Loggerheads near Mold, who we supply with fresh seasonal produce. It is very unusual, but quite exciting for us to be supplying fresh produce so early in the year.

Over the winter months Greg has been working away at new signage for our fruit trees (we have 112), which will help us, and visitors to our lovely garden, see just what a wide variety of fruit we grow. In particular, we hope the new signs will help us manage our apple harvest better, so that we know which apples we can pick and store (and for how long), and which ones need eating straight from the tree.

 

Another on-going project is the creation of more raised beds around the garden to provide more opportunities for less able adults to get involved with gardening. We are working with brick-laying students from the local college who are spending one day per week in the garden constructing long-lasting brick raised beds for us, as well as other much-needed brickwork renovation around the garden.

Thanks to a generous donation last year, we have been able to purchase some more climbing roses for the north-facing wall at the bottom of the west garden. The roses, a mix of dark red and peach, arrived in early January, and were planted by Emma. Hopefully we will have a fantastic display this summer, and the flowers will contribute to production of our dried flower confetti.

 

Our horticultural director Richard Lewis ran a pruning course in the garden, for 4 of our fantastic volunteers, so that over the next few years they can help us maintain healthy and productive, fruit trees.

 

 

Our annual series of events and open days is expanding again this year; in addition to the Summer and winter fayres, we are adding a late night shopping evening to our plant sale in April, which will allow more people to access us after work. We are also opening twice this year under the National Garden Scheme, in May and September. Crikey! 2019 is going to be a really busy year.

 

Ann’s final week at EVWG…..

It is a nostalgic week for me, as I will be ‘retiring’ on Friday as an employee of EVWG after fifteen and a half years of playing a role in the development of the Charity.

My final few days has involved me looking around the gardens to see what wild-life is around – and a male pheasant (who has 5 female pheasants for company) is looking particularly handsome at this time of the year.

I was also invited to talk to a garden loving audience on Monday afternoon about 2 gardening books which have inspired me. The venue was Bellis Brothers Restaurant, and the event was part of the Wrexham Carnival of Words. I choose a book called ‘Charleston Kedding, a History of Kitchen Gardening’ by Susan Campell, and also ‘The Family Kitchen Garden’ by Karen Liebrech, as both books are relevant to what we do in the gardens here.

Emma has been knitting her unique cushions, and in collaboration with Lynne at Busy Bees Shop in the newly opened Ty Pawb Market Place in Wrexham, there is a beautiful display of her work, and information about the events at EVWG.

I was also reminded about some of the work that has gone on at Erlas, and took this picture of the small pond near the raised board walk at the top project.

Do remember it will be the first day of our 4 Day Plant Sale tomorrow from Wednesday 25th April until Saturday 28th April between 10am and 3pm.

Look what is just peeping out of the ground too…

 

Planting starts in earnest at EVWG in temperatures of 25 Degrees!

Well, Spring has well and truly arrived! There is lots of planting going on at the gardens now, both in readiness for our forthcoming Plant Sale (see ‘Forthcoming Events’ Section) and for our vegetable, fruit and herb planting programme.

Here you can see Kate, our new fundraiser, helping prepare the ground for beetroot, with the support of Louis and his mum, Yvonne, and with a new volunteer, Brian..

Cathy is busy planting lettuce in the raised beds, with Iphia Pearce, who is a trainee social worker, and is having a 20 day placement with us.

Rob is working with Bartek, Alyn and Damon, and fixing kerb edges to the blackcurrant bed. (Bartek is ensuring that the work is done safely!)

One of the trains that was at Carrog Station last weekend as part of the Llangollen Steam Extravaganza. Kelly had invited a number of her friends from the gardens to ride on a miniature engine, ‘Holy War’ – unfortunately the engine was not working last Saturday, but we learn from other volunteers that Kelly is a loyal and enthusiastic volunteer!

And finally… Ann and Kate will be on Calon FM tomorrow morning (Friday 20th April) between 9 and 10 am. Please tune in if you have some spare time (105FM or catch up on www.calonfm.com)

 

Peacock Butterflies herald the start of Spring at EVWG – at last?

It was such a lovely sunny day at the walled garden yesterday (Monday 10th April), with butterflies and bumblebees flying around the gardens. Our vegetables, especially the rhubarb is growing quickly – why not pop along between 10am and 3pm to see what we have for sale?

There are sightings of unusual birdlife too…

A mistlethrush sighted in the trees last week.

Everyone is busy in the greenhouse too, in readiness for the plant sale on Wednesday 25th – Saturday 28th April, 12noon – 3pm.

Ann and Emma gave a talk to the Bronwylfa Women’s Institute last Wednesday evening. The audience were very interested to hear about the work we do here, and invited Emma to judge their competition for the best floral display.

Sadly, after 15 years of helping EVWG grow and develop into what we are today, I am stepping down as Charity Officer/Fundraiser. My last day as an employee is Friday 27th April. Kate Harcus, who has been involved with EVWG for 4 years, will be stepping into my shoes and brings a wealth of experience, enthusiasm (and youth!) to the post too. I wish her, and all the friends I have made over the years the very best for the future…

 

 

 

Monday’s Art Class proudly display the Welsh Dragon.

Gareth, John, Dan, Cath and Hilary have finished their Red Welsh Dragon, after weeks of hard work in the Monday Art Class. The fiery flames coming from its mouth are reaching the wheel made in the Tuesdays Craft Class. Our education room is always colourful with examples of our student’s work, and everyone feels a sense of achievement when they see their work displayed.

Double digging is one way to keep fit, and Paul, Kevin and Bartek are enjoying some banter together as they double dig the large bottom plot in readiness for planting.

The finishing touches to the roundhouse re-furbishment are taking place, thanks to funding from the Armed Forces Covenant. Community Groups such as Coleg Cambria; volunteers from the Haddfan Unit and youngsters from the Haulfan Referral Unit are enjoying using the facilities as they help in gardening tasks.

Visits from the Tuesday Gresford Group; the U3A walking group and the Llangollen Gardening Group are already planned for this coming Spring, and refreshments will be served in the roundhouse. Thanks again to Ray and Carlton who have spend a year carrying out this work for 3 days a week.

Dates for your diary: 4 Day plant sale – please tell your friends. Link to poster: Plant sale 2018. Advert. (Also see under ‘Forthcoming Events’)

 

 

 

Is Spring finally here?

After a cold and snowy few weeks, there are signs that Spring has arrived in the gardens. Frogspawn is visible in the pond:

-And Rhubarb is starting to sprout:

 Our gardeners always find something to do out-side:

-And Pete, Noel, Mark and Rob are busy laying new footpaths in the wild-life area. We were recently successful in obtaining nearly £9960 from the People’s Postcode Local Trust, and upgrading existing pathways, and putting in new paths are very much part of our on-going work.

Lots of seeds have been planted in readiness for our 4 day plant sale at the end of April (25th, 26th,27th and 28th), so please put these dates into your diaries.

We are always looking for more volunteers to join us.-Whatever your interest, there is something here for you. As the weather warms, there will be lots to do in the gardens. The classroom activities continue to be popular, and we are still keen to hear from anyone who could spare a few hours a week to run a morning session of art/craft activities, which are currently held on Mondays and Fridays. Please contact Libby or Jane on 01978265058, or e-mail us at info@erlas.org.

Cath and the Monday morning students are busy making a Welsh Dragon – we will finish it for next year’s St David’s Day!

Keeping Busy in January at EVWG.

The roundhouse refurbishment is almost completed thanks to the hours of work that (super) Ray and Carlton have done since March last year, and to funding from the 3rd Sector Intermediate Care Fund and from the Armed Forces Covenant Grant. The photo shows the finishing touches being made by building apprentices from Bersham Road. 4 apprentice plasterers and 2 tutors have spent around 3 weeks before and after Christmas plastering the ceiling. Alterations are being made so that computers can be installed into the roundhouse thanks to funding from the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The supported learning Coleg Cambria students will be restarting back this Friday 26th January, and it is hoped that many more community groups will now be able to rest in comfort whilst helping us maintain our 2 walled gardens and the surrounding wild-life areas.

We always celebrate our student’s birthdays, and to start our year, we shared a birthday cake with Damon, who reached the grand age of 30 years in early January.

We also said ‘farewell’ to Patsi, who has been volunteering as our Art tutor every fortnight on a Friday morning since last April. We will miss her friendship and creativity. (Please feel free to contact us if you would like to volunteer with us – we have lots of varied roles for volunteers, and leading an art/creativity session is one such role. Phone 01978265058)

Noel, Mark and Rob clearing an area of the gardens.

Peter taking the waste clippings for a bon-fire.

John (a new volunteer) helps Bartek weed around fruit trees in the West Garden.  Damon, Alyn and Rob work together to dig a drainage pit near the round-house.

David and Gareth prepare wood for the log burning stove.

These photos are just some of the activities that are carried out in the winter months – and keeps everyone healthy and smiling! Come and join us! Why not volunteer?

And finally….Emily joined Ann at a talk at the Overton Women’s institute last week. Emily spoke about what she does when she comes to Erlas, and was asked to judge a ‘competition’ for the ladies, which she did with enthusiasm.

 

Happy New Year to all our supporters for 2018!

A very Happy New Year to all our followers for 2018!

It has seemed like a quiet few weeks here at the gardens, as the final week  last year was curtailed due to the snow and cold weather. However, we were able to celebrate an award for one of our volunteers, Carlton, who has contributed greatly to our activities over time.

Carlton’s mum Pat: Ann and Kelly attended a luncheon Christmas Reception convened by AVOW at the Catrin Finch Centre on Friday 15th December, where volunteers all over Wrexham were awarded for their work.

Here you can see Pat holding the Marjorie Dykins Volunteer Memorial Award Certificate, which she collected from the Major of Wrexham, on behalf of Carlton.

The contribution made by our volunteers is fundamental to the running of the Charity. Carlton is one of 40 volunteers who attend the gardens regularly, who help by working in the gardens; by helping in maintenance and landscaping projects; by helping in administration/planning an event; or by supporting a beneficiary achieve something.

We are currently looking for (maybe) 2 enthusiastic and creative volunteers who would be willing to deliver an art/craft session for one morning to between 4 and 6 ‘students’. (currently Monday mornings and Friday mornings are available) The activity would be planned by the volunteer, but we have lots of ideas too, and our students enjoy trying out most things! Some students have support, so there will be lots of help!

If you would be interested to learn more, then please phone either Libby, Jane or Ann on 01978265058. (Some examples of the student’s art work can also be seen on this web-site).

Finally, just a few more pictures of our ‘postponed’ Christmas Party, which was held on Tuesday 9th January 2018.

Greg, Ann and Emily enjoy a scrumptious Xmas Buffet in the greenhouse.

Damon leads the happy dancers in the ‘musical statues’ game.

Gareth singing ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ in the Talent Competition, which was won by James:

These pictures are just some of the reasons that you should consider becoming a volunteer at EVWG for 2018!