Kew Horticultural Fair


Kew Horticultural Fair

The Kew Horticultural Society will be holding their 72nd Annual Summer Show on Kew Green, today, Saturday 27th August.

It is one of the few shows in a marquee, with a traditional village atmosphere. Although vegetables, fruit and flowers play the major part, there is something for everyone – photography, arts and crafts, cookery, and special classes for children. There are many stalls, a lively jazz band, a barbecue and a tea tent. Any profits from the show will go to local and horticultural charities. (As quoted by the Kew Horticultural Society)

Kew Horticultural Society

Roll up, roll up come & help us out at Palewell Common Tuesday 2nd Sep 11am with some woodland activities!

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Let’s not forget to help out at Palewell Common tomorrow, 2.8.14 at 11am in maintaining the lovely space we have called Palewell Common and Fields. Volunteers needed please

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Roll up, roll up come & help us out at Palewell Common Tuesday 2nd Sep 11am with some woodland activities!

Improve your health and well being by taking part in conservation activities in nature reserves, parks and green spaces in Richmond. Nature’s Gym is free and fun – and no experience is needed.

We meet outside Pistachios around 11am, just come along as you are, perhaps some wellies if wet, Nature’s Gym provides the rest.  Gina will be organising the group and directing people to all kinds of different interesting activities.  It’s a great opportunity to learn a new skill and socialize.

Activities proposed

Trail along our Tree ID walk!

Optional tasks include; sycamore sapling removal, building a Stag beetle loggery


A selection of fun pictures from some of our other gardening volunteering days!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please take a look at our website for further…

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Hertford Avenue Allotments Annual Show, the good life! Sun 7.9.14 1-3pm

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Hertford Avenue Allotments Annual Show, the good life!

Sunday 7th September 2014


Hertford Avenue Annual Show

Hertford Avenue Annual Show

As you can see there is a huge variety going on with the show schedule, even children can enter, why not get them to come along and generate an interest in ‘The Good Life!’

There is even an allotment bake off, our very own East Sheen British Bake off!

Come and see the jam section, perhaps you are stuck like me at knowing how to set the mixtures to gain the various end results, ie not slop instead of jam, I am sure there are many jam professionals to get advice from on the day.

See you there and thank you for reading!

Graphics © Justine Nagaur of

Team building, volunteering & serving the community all in one!

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Volunteering is an essential part of our Community and team building an essential part of creating the building blocks for a dynamic team of staff members, why not combine the two and give back and receive all at the same time?

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Teamwork by Olswang LLP & Nature’s Gym from Glendales

There was fun to be had on the 16th of this month when a group of staff from Olswang LLP, a law firm joined with Gina who runs Nature’s Gym through Glendales who maintain Palewell Common & Fields.

Smiles were to be found all around, the weather was good and colleagues got to spend some quality and healthy time together.  Team bonding  is important for any business and to throw volunteering in to the mix a great way to give back to the Community and to forging stronger links between personnel.

Various things such as fixing a dead fence, clearing pathways and an obstructive tree that had fallen across a popular path was dealt with.

So from the Friends of Palewell Common and Fields we would like to say a big thank you to Oslwang LLP for donating hands to help…

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Barnes Open Gardens (in aid of FISH) Sunday 8th June 2pm – 6pm

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Barnes Open Gardens

in aid of FISH Neighbourhood Care


Teas are available

No dogs are permitted in to the gardens

FISH Neighbourhood Care Office:  

Barnes gren Centre, Church Road, SW13 9HE 

FISH Neighbourhood Care is a voluntary organization which provides help and support for the residents of Mortlake, Barnes & East Sheen and as such aim to combat loneliness and provide practical support.

If you wish to find out more about them or have a few hours to spare volunteering click on their website:   FISH Neighbourhood Care

Thank you as always for reading, Justine x

Low turn out but a productive volunteering session was had organized by Glendales Natures Gym


Though a low turnout, I had fun, going around butterfly and bird counting, though they seemed to fly off as soon as I arrived I managed to record a few, not that I have a clue to recognize what they are, however, nice bedtime listening! 🙂 I did manage to entice another resident to come and help as he was minding his own business having a relaxing stroll, but needs must at times and he enjoyed it 🙂

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Today at 11am we headed down to Palewell Common to meet with Glendales Nature Gym to do some volunteering work, hoping to meet with a crowd eager to help!  Perhaps a crowd was a bit optimistic.  Apart from Glendale, sadly there were only three others present at the beginning including  myself and those 3 in total were the Friends of Palewell Common Committee members.


This did not deter anyone as plants and various planting instruments were brought out.

The sun was shining and it was a fine day to be knelt amongst the long grass of the orchard to do some work.

Glendales brought along chicory, primrose, borage herb, robert wild flower and poppies to plant, the latter courtesy of David, Chairman of the Friends of Palewell Common which he had picked up from this years Chelsea Flower Show.


The wire around the various young  fruit trees in the orchard…

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Volunteers needed for tomorrow ~ fancy some fresh air, maybe socialize, learn a new skill?

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Have you ever fancied doing some fun volunteering in Richmond?

The Richmond Council Parks department have teamed up with Glendales Nature’s Gym.

This is a volunteer group that takes part in conservation work throughout local parks and nature reserves.

It is a great opportunity to meet new friends, to get out in the fresh air, learn some new skills, take some time out.

You can follow Nature’s Gym on Facebook here.

You can also find out a little more on the Glendales Nature’s Gym website which is here.

No experience is needed to take part in the activities and all ages are welcomed.  The jobs are for every level of fitness and ability and fully supervised.

The next dates that volunteers are needed are:

21st, Palewell Common, 11am (meet outside or in depending on the weather @ Pistachios Cafe) ~ Weather permitting there will be a bird count, butterfly count and Orchard maintenance.
22nd, Petersham Lodge Woods, 11am

As quoted on their Facebook…

Tasks include, planting and bird/butterfly counts as well as orchard maintenance at Palewell Common.


Telephone: 07825 860 459

To join Nature’s Gym you will need to:
– Fill out the registration form
– Sign the code of conduct
– Complete the memorandum of understanding

You can then email them back to the Nature’s Gym email.

NB: Please make sure that you contact them before attending a session as events might be cancelled or changed.

However to first time volunteer, just turn up and have some fun!

Thank you for reading/viewing

Justine x




The Open Day at the Hertford Avenue Allotment was a resounding success!


Hertford Avenue Allotment Open Day

Walking to the Hertford Avenue Allotment Open Day

Eager to see what’s going on

We trundled down to the Open Day around 1pm, expecting there to be a bevvy of burgers and cakes for us to chose from.

East Sheen Allotment BBQ man

Keith the BBQ man

No such luck the place was packed and most of the foods had been consumed, however we did manage to scoop up two sausage buns and chicken.  The latter had been sourced locally and marinated in a spicy chilli which was most yummy.

rice salad with chive flower heads

rice salad with chive flower heads

Two salads had been laid on, one very interesting with chive flower heads to decorate and eat, I bravely popped one in to my chicken burger and must say it was very delicious and has become a firm favorite for future Summer salads.  All four meals came to £8, a snip for Sunday lunch.


All cakes gone ;-(



My two children pounced on the last two cakes left, so mummy had to just smile and sup on a nice refreshing glass of water, until everyone was ready to explore through the allotment.

Money raised from the various sales which included raffle tickets, sales of plants and food, went towards general maintenance of the allotment.

At times they have had to prune trees back due to too much shadow and then insert drainage due to too much water logging.   The trading shed has also had to have money spent on it, due to vandals damaging the roof upon trying to break in.

The Trading Shed

The Trading Shed

On the matter of the ‘Trading Shed’, if you have a nice patch at home that you grow things in, you might be interested to know that if you join the Barnes, Mortlake & Sheen Horticultural Allotment Society which is very cheap,you can get heavily discounted seeds from the shed, without having to have an allotment,  details of which can easily be found on facebook here.

A story to tell

I met a very charming gardener called Keith, who also happened to be the BBQ man.

He has had his allotment for approximately 5 years.  Keith is heavily in to re-cycling and up-cycling all and any materials he can find and told me the ‘cycle’ of his allotment which tickled me pink.

As you will see, at the back of his patch the tops of the bamboo poles to support various plants have champagne corks on, ‘a time in his life before children, social life abundant and champagne a plenty’, we also moved on to a golf ball as a topper, presumably ‘a time ‘before children’ when golfing could be easily fitted in’.

We move then on to CD’s to scare away the birds, which is a great idea, ‘a time ‘before and with children.”

Moving on swiftly to the stoppers being very colourful plastic baby food lids, ‘a time ‘now with children’.’

Ending up with a lovely bit of re-cycling, using a babygate on the seedling shed, then a proud display of a small floral garden made by his now 4 1/2 yr old daughter, a baby also soon on the way, so now doubt another small bit of ‘lifes history’ will be added at some stage.

082We all took a walk down the allotment, from one end to the other as you can see it is quite vast, the picture only depicts a portion of the space used.

I noticed many things on my walk, one being that there were many areas of small tables and chairs set up, some by the river, some under pergolas and it was obvious that great friendships had been struck between allotment owners as they sat chatting and drinking a bevvy.

117There were also families, I could hear children by their own small little plots discussing the various things they had planted which was just wonderful to witness.

Below I am highlighting in a gallery some of the flower shots I took, one of my favorite things to capture as you might guess.  

If you click on the photo twice, it will bring up an enlarged version, there will also be an arrow which will allow you to scroll through the whole gallery to see the floral display in it’s full glory. 



Scarecrows were found everywhere, of which I took some photos.
There was a competition to make the scariest one, I do not know who won, which one do you think the scariest or best and why?


Different plots reflected the character of their owners too, some I found very ‘arty‘, some very ‘minimalist and functional’, some very ‘socially  orientated‘, some had birds, some ponds, it was very varied and interesting to view.

I finished off the day a little sunburnt but happy to have been given the chance to peruse this green space saved for hard working green fingers.

If you wish to apply for an allotment you apply through the Council, there is a waiting list.  Apply here.

If not and you just wish to enjoy the facilities when they are open, the next ‘Open Day’ will be in September so watch this space 🙂

Thank you as always for reading/viewing.

Justine x

© Justine @

Date for your Diary ~ Hertford Avenue Allotment Open Day Sunday 18th May 12 – 3pm



Hertford Avenue Allotments Open Day

(all pictures taken within the last two days to give a preview of what awaits you at the weekend.)


A lengthy path through the allotments


Sunday 18th May from 12 – 3pm

What better way to spend a relaxing Sunday than to amble down to one of our local allotments and enjoy food, fun & visual delights!

We are in a lovely season right now, bursts of sunshine aswell as showers of rain, all encouraging vibrant buds to open up and shows us what Mother Nature provides with the tending hands of local residents who work hard on their plots.

There will be various activities on this day including:

Plants for sale




Scarecrow Competition

A really scary scarecrow!

A really scary scarecrow!

The money raised from this day will go towards the Allotment Society to cover things such as repairing the Trading Shed which at times has been vandalized, building a drainage system to help plot holders accrue a better quality of land that is getting water drenched now trees have been removed that caused overshadow.

Many of the plot holders have a wealth of knowledge, why not pick their brains on gardening tips, let the children see all the different flowers and produce grown to eat whilst enjoying in some Sunday socializing.


Address:  Hertford Avenue Allotments is opposite Richmond Park Academy on Hertford Drive, SW14 8RE

© Justine @







Volunteers needed for help in Palewell Common

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Volunteers needed for help in Palewell Common

If you have a little bit of spare time and like to enjoy our local green spaces, fancy perhaps meeting people anew, then please pop on down to Palewell Common on either or all of the following dates:

  • Tuesday 15th April
  • Wednesday 12th May
  • Monday 16th June

Meet outside the cafe @ 11am.

You can donate as little or as much time as you like.

What is it about?

Glendale has the Glendale Nature’s Gym (click here for more info) which organizes through volunteers to go to our green spaces and do various jobs to improve nature’s space.  In the past they have planted a small orchard with daffodils amongst the trees, clearing the glades of bramble through the woods and planting bluebells.  There is also a small pond in the woods which is kept clear (I have still yet to find this) and various other jobs, there is never nothing to do.

It is also a way to keep fit, take in some fresh air, see nature and meet other people who have a goal in common, sounds like fun to me.

All you need are sensible shoes, gardening or sturdy gloves and a bottle of water.

If you have any more queries, or perhaps know of a local group who would be willing to pitch in and help, please use the contact on either the Glendale Site, or Friends of Palewell Common Site, or better still…..

Just turn up!

As always thank you for reading, Justine x

© Justine

retro chair

Let’s keep in touch!