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Gardening Club

Our Gardening Club is for adults with learning disabilities who want to learn how to grow their own food, or who may have a real interest in and love of horticulture.


The sessions are an excellent opportunity to learn more about gardening and different plants, to work in a team, to meet new people and make friends, to do some physical work outside and to grow your own fresh food and flowers. We have several very dedicated members who are enjoying these benefits.


Anyone who is interested in joining the Gardening Club should get in touch with Michelle (023 8048 3471 or by email for the dates of these meetings. They are a good chance to get to know other Gardening Club members and to find out what the Club is all about.


Gardening Club Open Day 2018

Saturday August 18 from 11.00am to 1.00pm

West End Allotments, Moorgreen Road, West End


You are all invited to visit our two allotments at West End to see what has changed over the last year and to meet our gardeners and volunteers.


Competitions, refreshments, home made cakes, plant sales, as well as expert gardening advice from the wonderful Rosie Yeomans.


2018 Season Gardening Club – Allotment News 


Allotment News - transformation Allotment News - transformation

May 2018 - Allotment Transformation


The transformation of our second allotment is continuing with the help of the Community Pay Back team and support from Terry and Maria.


Why not come and visit both allotments at our Open Day on Saturday August 18. Maria and the entire team have been working very hard.



April - Slow start!

It's been a slow start to the season with all the cold, snowy weather.  This puts us behind with planting out our onion sets and first early potatoes but as with all things that grow on the allotment, they will eventually catch up - good weather permitting, of course.

On March 17 it was bitterly cold but Will, Rebecca, Vicki and Stevan were brave enough to come and work on the allotment. I think they deserve a big pat on back. Not forgetting Terry and John.

Work is progressing on our second allotment now with the patio area and footpath marked out. Hopefully progress will be fast and smooth.


Maria, Gardening Co-ordinator



With spring just around the corner, we have lots of exciting work about to begin.  Our first two sessions for this year...

  • Monday, March 12th, 1.00-4.00pm and
  • Saturday, March 17th 10.00am - 1.00pm.

We will be working on a new project for our second allotment this year. The project is to enable wheelchair users access to the allotment. This will involve levelling the ground and making a new pathway and patio area. We are grateful to Community Payback volunteers for their offer to help us out. They have skilled workers coming in to do a lot of the heavy work for us soon.


Please watch this space for further updates on the progress of this new project.


2017 Season


Gardening Club Winter Meets

The dates are:

  • Saturday 16th December  2017. 11.00am – 12.30pm Xmas session
  • Monday 8th January  2018.  1.00pm -2.30pm and 
  • Saturday 10th February 2018. 11.00am – 12.30pm

Gardening Club members will plan what they are going to grow in their raised beds and the communal allotment spaces in the next season. This year they will also be contributing to the design of the second allotment.


Exciting! Get involved...

Gardening Club Open Day - 5 August 2017

Saturday 11am - 1.50pm


You are invited to come and meet our members, see their work and hear some gardening tips and advice from our celebrity guest, Rosie Yeomans!


  • Enjoy home made refreshments and buy plants for your garden at our plant sale

Moorgreen allotments on Moorgreen Road, West End. Entrance is almost opposite Southampton Arms Public House. All welcome!

Gardening Club Expansion!


We are all very excited about our new allotment which was generously offered to us at the beginning of the year. The site is not as well designed and provisioned as our first allotment - yet!


We have been grateful for the hard work of everyone who helped to clear the site and particularly Keith and Danny who worked rotovating the site. 


New allotment site Keith and Danny working on the new plot



Maria has planned just two long borders for growing this season with a central path. We are quite late for seed sowing but nonetheless this has been fortunate as it means we missed the frost of the April 22/23 weekend. Maria and the members are planting seed potatoes and beans and just using the site for basic vegetable growing this season until we have a good plan and more resources to make use of the area.  


Volunteer Wanted...

We are looking for more volunteers for the Gardening Club, in particular we want to recruit someone who has practical and carpentry skills and would enjoy doing maintenance work on fences and gates and might like to be a bit creative! We have some great plans.


Please contact the office (023 8048 3471) if this sounds like you. The commitment would only be about four hours each month, unless you wanted to do more.


Open Day, 5 August

Come along and see our work at our Gardening Club Open Day on Saturday August 5 with Maria. Rosie Yeomans will be with us again giving practical gardening advice.


We are grateful to West End Parish Council for this opportunity to expand the service and bring the benefits of working outside and growing ones’ own food to more people.


2016 Activities

We will have four monthly meetings over the winter, at Hilldene Community Centre in West End. Fee £2.50 - refreshments provided.

  • Nov 7, Mon 2.00-3.30pm
  • Dec 10, Sat 11.00am-12.30pm Xmas session
  • Jan 16, Mon 2.00-3.30pm
  • Feb 18, Sat 11.00am-12.30pm

The Club reopens on Monday March 13, 2017.


Summer season - news from Maria

It’s been a great summer season on the allotment this year and although we are heading into Autumn, there is still plenty to harvest before we wind down for the winter months...


We’ve had a bumper crop of carrots and runner beans this year and we are currently harvesting Swiss Chard, Kale, yellow courgettes and beetroot. We also have some lovely peppers to pick from plants which Ben has kindly donated to Gardening Club, which we grew in the poly tunnel.  Rosie’s Rocket seeds have done really well and some of us are already enjoying the peppery flavour in our salads and sandwiches! 

We have already put in leeks for the next season and in the last remaining weeks of the season, we hope to sow some black Spanish radish seeds which can be harvested upon our return to Gardening Club in March 2017.


It’s worth remembering that the allotment is not just for growing vegetables and a few of our members like to grow flowers and herbs. So if you’re interested in finding out more about what we do at the allotment, you are more than welcome to come along to our winter meetings.


Last but by no means least, a BIG ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has supported us at the allotment this season and for making our Open Day in August a success.


Maria, October 2016


Gardening Club Open Day with Rosie Yeomans!

We were blessed with fine weather for our Gardening Club Open Morning on August 15. Rosie Yeomans officially opened our new polytunnel and is seen here giving allotment members and friends some gardening tips. She also answered individual questions from the audience. Fifty people attended the event, some were regular members, our supporters or were people who were interested in seeing the Gardening Club for the first time. New members and volunteers from the local area are always welcome at the allotment.

The EBR MENCAP Committee provided delicious sweet and savoury cakes as well as hot or cold drinks. West End Garden and Allotment Association were very welcoming to all our visitors. Maria is to be congratulated on running such a great event.

Rosie is also manager of the GQT garden at Sparsholt College; can be heard on Radio Solent’s The Good Life programme and lectures at West Dean College. In addition she is an accomplished vegetable grower and keen allotment gardener.


Our Gardening Club 2015...

Pumpkin Triumph 2015




Members of the Gardening Club were proud to show off the pumpkin they grew last year. Although we were very pleased with it, weighing in at 56 lbs, it was easily beaten by other pumpkins from West End Gardening & Allotment Association members whose pumpkins weighed over 100lbs!



Club update May 2015...

Recently, we have been preparing beds ready for planting out potatoes and other crops such as beans, sweet corn and courgettes.

Due to the recent warm weather, the soil has warmed up nicely and after a long wait our carrot seedlings are finally beginning to appear. So far this season we have been harvesting the last leeks and Swiss chard. One of our members has already harvested his own beetroot from his raised bed which he sowed from seed last autumn!

We have put our name down for the West End Garden Allotment Association’s (WEGAA) Fuchsia competition and in a few weeks time hope to collect our cutting from them to grow on.

Lots of work happening at ground level but more sinister ‘goings-on’ underground; we have a mole in our midst! Each week we have found new mole hills in different places as he/she has clearly been working hard at creating a network of tunnels throughout our allotment. This undermining may lead to collapse of surface levels and affect any of our crops. However, not wishing to make a mountain out of a molehill, the mole can be our friend as the soil from the mole hills makes fantastic topsoil for seed beds and for scooping back onto our raised beds.

Last but by no means least, a BIG thank you to our lovely volunteers, Barry, Ben, Pat and John and support workers who do so much to help out. We will be holding an Open Morning at the allotment soon to show off our fabulous new Polytunnel, so we hope you will come along and meet the crew.

...Maria, May 2015


New Polytunnel!


The Gardening Club members are delighted with their new polytunnel which was purchased with a grant from the Hedge End, West End and Botley Local Area Committee. Thank you for this great donation, it not only means we can bring on tender plants inside but members also have somewhere to shelter, should it rain. Thanks also to West End Parish groundsmen team who helped put the tunnel up, in less than perfect weather!


The polytunnel has been equipped with two made to measure tables, which have been manufactured for us by the Minstead Training Project.



Members have decided to grow four different types of potato this year; one member has chosen Pentland Javelin and the rest of us are growing some different varieties namely

  • Carolus (new variety and blight resistant)
  • Pink Fir Apple for its flavour, and
  • Wilja, a well known Dutch variety

We will be also growing French beans, pumpkins and squash, as well as salad vegetables.


For further details about the Gardening Club, please contact Michelle 023 8048 3471.

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Phone: 02380 483471 .. Email: .. Registered Charity Number 263620 .. affiliated to Royal MENCAP Society