Pumpkin Carving at Llangollen Show and late October news.

We were delighted to see that both our pumpkins featured at the Llangollen Food Festival on Saturday 14th October, and you can see the size of ‘Pumpkin 2’ compared to a ‘normal’ pumpkin….Nick Pengelly who ‘looked after’ it’s cultivation said that the pumpkin probably weighed around 170lb, and would have grown even bigger if we have fed it more regularly. So there is a challenge open to us for next year!

Simon O’Rourke, the sculptor, had taken this pumpkin to the Tesco Store in Cefn Mawr, but is no longer on display. However, we are also thrilled to hear we came in second place in the recent Tesco Bags of Help Community Scheme where people voted for their favourite local project in the Wrexham Super Store in Crescent Road. Thank you to all who voted for us!

Talking of pumpkins, we hosted a ‘Pumpkin Day’ on Saturday 21st October. Thanks go to Sheila and Mike, and to Emma and Pat for braving the weather on that stormy day. The children loved picking their own apples, and there were potatoes, beetroot, courgettes, swede, kale, cabbages and tomatoes also for sale.

News about our forthcoming Xmas Fayre. This will be held on Saturday 18th November between 1 and 3.30pm. There will be a tombola, a craft stall, a raffle, face-painting, a second hand book stall, Emma’s cushions, seasonal refreshments, fruit and vegetables and good company to enjoy. Also a chance to buy our 2018 calendar!

Please follow this link to a poster about the event and help advertise the afternoon.

xmas fair 2017

We are still looking for volunteers to help in our everyday activities! Especially over the colder winter months, our education classes are popular. We are keen to hear from anyone who has a love of art, and would be prepared to support our students in art classes, currently held on Mondays and Friday mornings- please contact us on 01978265058 if you could spare some time.

Some examples of our student’s art work:

Pumpkins’ final week at EVWG, plus our gratitude to the late Trevor Lewis and his family.

Our giant pumpkins, after being planted back in the middle of May, have grown to giants. We believe Pumpkin 2, which is the bigger one, weighs in the region of 200lb. Simon O’Rourke, the chainsaw sculptor, will be carving one of the pumpkins at the Llangollen Food Festival this Saturday 14th October. (more details at http://www.llangollenfoodfestival.com).

One pumpkin on 27th May 2017.

‘Family and Friends of the Late Trevor Lewis make kind gesture to Erlas Victorian Walled Garden.’
Trevor had volunteered at Erlas Victorian Walled Garden for 18 months before he had to step down as his ill health made it difficult for him to work. Trevor had had an interesting life, coming from the Caernarvon area. and was active in the armed services during the Northern Ireland Conflict. He had had many jobs, and unfortunately lost his right arm in a motor cycling accident. This did not prevent Trevor volunteering at the gardens, and he soon established himself as a maker of all things wooden- including 50 reindeer, which were very popular at the Christmas Fayre. Trevor also made wooden stools and wooden cages to protect the crops from birds. He was an asset to the gardens, and will be sorely missed. Annie and Trevor also helped out at our Open Days.
The Charity wish to show their gratitude to Annie and Trevor’s family and friends, who made this kind offer to donate the proceeds of £331 from Trevor’s funeral to the walled garden. It is hoped that we may buy some roses (which we will use to make confetti), and a pyrography set.

Trevor with one of his wooden reindeers.

Here you can see Annie present the proceeds of the offertory plate to Avril at EVWG.

Fantastic News from Masonic Charitable Foundation Award plus ‘highlights’ from our day out to Forhall Farm, Market Drayton!

EVWG learnt early in September that we had come in second place, within the Province of North Wales, to benefit from an Award of £15,000 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England.

We were thrilled to hear this news, and on Thursday 28th September, Alan Powell and Nick Woodward of the Masonic Province of North Wales visited and met our students and were given a tour of the gardens and heard about our development so far. Both gentlemen were impressed by what we do here, and learnt about our plans to use the award to develop and update our IT provision here, so that our students can become more familiar with using IT and understand how it can help them learn about many things. We will also install an IT network within the newly re-furbished round-house, so that visiting groups can also have computer access.

Here you can see Ann and Mike (Director), receive the funding certificate from Alan and Nick.

Annual Trip Out to Fordhall Farm, in Market Drayton was a huge success.

Last Wednesday 27th September, a party of 32 students, volunteers and staff travelled on a comfortable coach (thanks to Strafford’s Coaches who kindly sent a larger coach than the 33 seater booked) to Fordhall Organic Farm, the first Community owned farm in England.

We were met by Rachael, who showed us all to the community room where we enjoyed a cup of tea. We were then shown around their community garden (and Emily and Ray could not resist a try of their see-saw!)

Travelling over parts of their impressive farm, we walked to see their roundhouse, bird-hide, and learned about their development and how the recognition of the advantages of organic farming back in the 1940’s by Arthur Hollins, and the tenacity of the family back in 2006 to raise £800,000 saved the farm from closure.

After so much walking, listening and talking, we walked back to the café, where we were able to enjoy our sandwiches, or to sample some of the delicious home produced food. The farm shop had a good range of organic foods too, and I can recommend  their pork sausages.


Damon enjoyed trying out their tractor too!

If you want to learn more about Fordhall Farm, their web-site is www.fordhallfarm.com.



Talk at Llangollen Garden Club; reminder of next Birdwatching meeting (and apologies!)

Emma and Ann gave a talk to the Llangollen Gardening Club on Tuesday 19th September. The group were very welcoming, and interested in the work we do here. Emma spoke about her gardening experiences, and presented the raffle prize to a delighted member of the group. It is hoped that the Llangollen Male Voice Choir will sing at our next Summer Fayre. Watch this space!

Our next session for ‘Twitchers of all ages’ is to be held next Monday 2nd October at the gardens, meeting at 9.30am. The bird feeders have been regularly topped up and many different birds are visiting now. A kingfisher was even observed last Monday morning, which is a first, as far as we know! Ann spoke to Dave Williams on Calon FM last Tuesday 19th September, between 9am and 10am to advertise this project, and can be listened to on catch up by visiting www.calonfm.com. (105FM)

Finally, apologies must be made to those who do keep up with the news section of our web-site.The last post incorrectly stated that the giant pumpkin 2, weighing 160lb; and pumpkin 1, weighing 100lb; equated to 352kg and 220kg respectively (if only!) The weights should have been 91kg and 45.5 kg respectively!

Here is a picture of some smaller pumpkins, which we hope to sell on our ‘Pumpkin Open Day’ on Saturday 21st October between 11am and 1pm. More details to follow!

Roundhouse Refurbishment almost completed!

Ray and Carlton continue to work on re-furbishing the round-hose in the West Garden, thanks to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund. Rob (and Deb), 2 new volunteers also help out. The timber cladding is almost completed, and all the windows have been installed. When completed, the building will be used by learners from the supported learning department at Coleg Cambria; by volunteers from Ty Dewr; and by local interest groups such as the U3A and gardening groups.

Pumpkin Update:

Nick measured pumpkin 2 this morning, and estimated that it now weighed a healthy 160lb (or 352kg in metric!). Pumpkin 1 is a bit smaller at 100lb (or 220kg), but Nick is delighted in the results so far. He anticipates the biggest pumpkin will be ready to carve by Halloween….

Hadrian’s Wall Challenge.

Sheila and Ann completed their 25 mile walk along Hadrian’s wall last weekend. Here you can see both ‘trekkers’ by Robin Hood’s sycamore tree. The weather was fairly kind and not too cold for camping! Looks like we are in for a few days of strong winds and showers, but our harvest so far looks tempting!

Enjoyable start to our Bird-watching project – ‘Twitchers of all ages’ + Pumpkin update!

Yesterday, Monday 4th September, saw the ‘start’ of our Bird Watching Project for people of all ages in our community – older members very welcome!

Alan, a new volunteer, has agreed to ‘lead’ the meetings at the walled garden every 4th Monday of each month, starting at 9.30am. We welcomed 3 new people, who had heard about the project from our web-site and by word of mouth. Our own beneficiaries joined the group too, which started with new bird feeders being added to the bird feeding stations; fallen apples being picked and chopped; and then waiting quietly in the bird hide to see how quickly the birds came to feed.

We were pleased to see blue, coal and great tits: nuthatches; dunnocks; sparrows; robins and pigeons and also heard a buzzard. 10 people could easily sit and watch within the hide too. Lots of suggestions were made, and we hope to clean up existing bird boxes, and erect another 6 by the winter to encourage nesting next year.

Our next session is on Monday 2nd October starting at 9.30am. Ann will also be advertising the project on Calon FM on Tuesday 17th September between 9am and 10am- please tune in on 105FM or go to www.calonfm.com.

Here you see Nick, a Director and ‘supervisor’ of the 2 giant pumpkin’s growth. Nick is measuring pumpkin 2 in 4 different ways, and estimates this pumpkin weighs 120lb!

Pumpkin 1 is not quite as big, but still amazing to see.

Nick says that the cooler nights will be slowing their growth now – but he is pleased with things so far….Watch this space!

Guides enjoy late August BBQ at EVWG, Pumpkin update, and a reminder that our Bird watching project starts next Monday.

On Friday 25th August, the 2nd Johnstown Guides came to cook some delicious food on the BBQ in the West Garden. The picture shows the girls preparing bacon for ‘butties’ and this was followed by cakes, filled with raspberries picked from the garden.

Pumpkin Update:

Pumpkin 2 now measures 30″ from top to bottom

Pumpkin 1 measures 60″ in circumference.

A reminder that our project: ‘Bird Watching for Twitchers of any age’ will be starting next Monday 4th September at 9.30 am. Just come along and join a group of people who share a love of birds and wild-life in the wonderful and peaceful setting of a restored walled garden!




August activities and pumpkin up-date

Zach is proudly displaying the tray of tomatoes which he picked last Friday – there is always lots of cropping going on at the moment, with swedes being available too.

Our giant pumpkins continue to grow rapidly in weight and girth. Pumpkin 2 is ‘winning’ at the moment, and weighs approximately 63lb. Nick tells us that he hopes that both pumpkins will be ready for cropping by the end of September. Anyone want to predict their final weight?

Louis, Avril and Pat are busy pruning the raspberry bushes(and obviously enjoying the activity!).Louis has joined us for the summer holidays, before he goes back to Derwen College in September.

Finally, the Tuesday craft class has been creating lots of different items in readiness for our Christmas Craft Fayre on November 18th. However, our walnut tree has benefited from the knitting, and Cathy, who has sown the pieces together, proudly displays the colourful trunk.


Pumpkins are growing into giants!

Both our pumpkins are growing almost visibly overnight now. There is a 2 to 3 lb increase in weight every 24 hours, apparently……

The larger pumpkin, known affectionately as ‘Pumpkin 2’ now weighs around 32lb, according to Nick and his calculations involving the girth of each pumpkin.

‘Pumpkin 1 is lagging behind slightly, but has increased in girth to 170cm.

We will keep you posted on their growth, so ‘Watch this Space!’

Phil, Tia and Hilary are busy cropping mulberries.

Emma is busy pinching out the side shots of the tomatoes.

Do come along to see what we are cropping. There is always something available! (Between 9 and 4pm, Monday to Thursday, and between 9 and 3pm on Fridays).

Raspberries and Mulberries now ready and pumpkins start to grow more rapidly……

The mulberries are starting to ripen and Pat and Helen show the punnets of Autumn raspberries which are ready. Tomatoes, French and runner beans are also being cropped as well as potatoes, beetroot, onions, garlic and apples. Do call by and see what we have available Monday to Friday 9 to 3pm.

The pumpkins are now starting to really increase in size. The circumference of Pumpkin 1 is 125cm (and Nick estimates this means the pumpkin weighs about 10 lb).

Pumpkin 2, which is on a slightly larger plant, now measures 138cm (or 54″). Nick has said that when the pumpkins have a circumference of 96″, then the increase in growth will be very impressive.

The recent heavy rain that we have been having has really helped their growth – although it has washed our roadway and pathways away (again!)

Finally, Ray and Carlton’s hard work on the roundhouse is really paying off. Three sides have had windows put in, and have been cladded too.

Ray outside the roundhouse this morning.