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West Farleigh in Bloom



West Farleigh in Bloom


West Farleigh entered the Village category of South and South East in Bloom for the first time in 2018 and we received a Bronze certificate which we were all very pleased with.


In 2019 we have once again entered the Village cateogry and also the Churchyard category additionally. We look forward to a colourful year ahead (and hopefully Silver!)


2019 Entries


If you would like to see our presentations to the South and South East in Bloom judges, please see both editions here:


Village 2019


Churchyard 2019

Read more about our floral efforts in the community:


The churchyard is looking good


Flower Arrangers at All Saints


Monthly Litter Picking


All Saints Plant Sale (Coming Soon)


Smiths Hall NGS Open Day (Coming Soon)

Read our Monthly blog about birds, animals and wildlife in West Farleigh by local resident Ray Morris.  Farleigh Feathers 

Read our Monthly blog about gardening by professional gardener Jon Fenlon.

This Month in the Garden




West Farleigh in Bloom monthly blog

Read through my latest blog posts and feel free to comment on them if you like.



Latest Posts

December: 50kg of Daffofils

Posted on 29th November, 2019

You may have spotted the team out and about planting a massive 50 kgs of bulbs for the spring – mainly daffodils along grass verges - but in the Teston Lane Triangle there are snowdrops, tulips and British bluebells as well – something to look forward to in 2020! We are still looking for somewhere to plant fruit trees – if anyone can think of a place where they could be enjoyed by all our villagers please let us know at bloom@thefarleighs.co.uk


Finally, someone clearly liked our lovely wooden sign at the bottom of Charlton Lane which disappeared a couple of months ago – but re-appeared at the Detling Antiques Fair last weekend as a garden table!!!

November: Goulston Bungalows

Posted on 29th November, 2019

The West Farleigh in Bloom team have been hard at work over the past month in preparation for next year’s competition. With 2 silver medals this year our hopes of further success are high in 2020. At the start of the month we worked on the triangle at the bottom of Ewell Lane. A new planter underneath the road sign was filled with Skimmia and ornamental grasses and the middle section dug over in preparation for wild flowers. The area does look much neater, however a car has already driven right across it. This is a regular occurrence but we will keep on trying. We also had a working party on the bank next to Goulston bungalows that leads down to the Hollow. It was thoroughly weeded and planted up with daffodils for spring. We would like to add some shrubs there too for all yearround interest. At the same time, we planted many more daffodils by the bus stop and around the village noticeboard. We look forward to the colour these will bring next year. Both the bank by Goulston Bungalows and the Daffodil planting round the bus stop and notice board were ideas sent us to by neighbours in the village. If anyone else has any ideas for us please do let us know via the email address 'Bloom@TheFarleighs.co.uk'. We would especially like to plant some fruit trees but would appreciate suggestions where! To keep up to date with our progress do 'like' TheFarleighs on Facebook where we always post pictures and progress updates. The next meeting is at 7:30pm on 30th October at the Good Intent. Please do come along and join us

October: Double Silver!

Posted on 29th November, 2019

Success for West Farleigh in Bloom! At the recent South East in Bloom Awards we won two silvers!! One for the Village in Bloom – improving on our bronze last year, and one for the churchyard in our first year of entering – which is an amazing achievement for Martyn and his team. Thanks to everyone who has supported us. Now we need to up our game again if we are to do even better next year. We are planning more bulb planting around the village – if anyone has a spare grass verge in front of their property they would like us to plant up please let us know – bloom@thefarleighs.co.uk. Wild flower planting is very popular with the judges and to impress them even more we are going to establish a wild flower meadow on the Ewell Lane Triangle. To involve younger people in our projects and to raise awareness of the plight of the bees and butterflies, we wonder if any of the younger generation would be like to look after a bee/butterfly attracting plant which we would provide. In return we would ask for photos and information to include next year: have more bees/butterflies have come to your garden since having the plant, time of year, time of day etc. If you would be interested in this project please contact bloom@thefarleighs.co.uk. Finally – a big thank you to all of you who grew sunflowers. We hope even more of you will grow them next year – particularly as one of us discovered an interesting fact about sunflowers this week. A recent study shows that sunflowers co-operate below the surface, sharing nutrients and demonstrating collaborative behavior – could we ask for a better symbol for our village?

September: Sunflower competition

Posted on 29th November, 2019

Sunflower contest What a lovely morning the West Farleigh in Bloom judges had going round the village admiring all your sunflowers in search of the tallest. The winner was Jackie Ellis of Church Lane whose sunflower was 3m 40 cms, closely followed by joint runners up Pauline and Peter from Charlton Lane and Linda from Mill Cottages whose came in at 3m 20cms. Thank you all for your efforts - it was heartening to find more sunflowers than we did last year (38 households in 2019). Let’s keep this going and put West Farleigh firmly on the Britain in Bloom map as the “village of sunflowers” Garden Party The rain held off for our West Farleigh in Bloom garden party and a wonderful time was had by all. Our guests were treated to a sumptuous afternoon tea and royally entertained by the fabulous Pete & Co. As well as raising money for future West Farleigh in Bloom projects, our guests generously donated £161.50 to Spadeworks in Offham. It was nice to see so many of you there - thank you for your support Bug Hutch competition The West Farleigh in Bloom competition to name the Bug Hotel at the Top of Teston Lane in the designated wildlife area was a tough run contest by the younger members of the village. The judges had a very difficult task but managed to whittle the entries down to 2 that split opinions. It was decided that: 1. The Teston Wildlife Bug Hotel will now be called: ‘The Bug Disco – where bugs do the bug bop’ courtesy of William Fowle (aged 5) which included his pictorial image of the party. 2. An additional Bug Hotel will be built for the Church Yard and be called: Casa Coleoptera courtesy of Oscar Waters (aged 12). Both our finalists won their own mini bug hotels to promote wildlife in their gardens too. Thank-you to all who entered. Next Village in Bloom meeting: Wednesday 18th September, 7:30pm at the Good Intent pub.

August: Garden Party

Posted on 29th November, 2019

August: Garden Party


West Farleigh was visited on Thursday 4th July by Vince Gradwell and Paul Dalby, our 2 designated judges for the South and South East in Bloom competition. The Good Intent kindly hosted us for the start of our presentation with many Bloom members welcoming the judges and giving progress updates. The pub was looking beautiful with their hanging baskets, sunflowers and table posies, the latter courtesy of Bow Meadow flowers on Bow Hill. We discussed the Green and drove down Charlton Lane noting the additions to the village information signs an beautifully kept front gardens, stopped off at Teston Triangle Wildlife area for an update from Ray, our Farleigh Feathers columnist, admired the group effort made by Mill Lane residents and pointed out all the new planters built and filled. The ‘Village’ entry culminated as the ‘Churchyard’ entry started at All Saints church where we were met by more of our volunteers as well as the Kent Messenger for a photograph and article. The judges gave constructive feedback to help guide our efforts and were very impressed across the horticulture, environmental and community categories. We find out the results in September… Unfortunately 3 new planters have been stolen from Charlton Lane over the past month. This will not deter our efforts but is very sad, especially to those residents who created and looked after them. On a more positive note we have received entries for the Name the Bug Hotel competition featured last month and will announce the winner shortly. Date for your diary: on Sunday 11 August 3-5 pm we will be holding our first ever GARDEN PARTY!

July@ Bug Hotel

Posted on 29th November, 2019

Our bug hotel on the wildlife triangle at the top of Teston Lane needs a name!


We would love the children of West Farleigh to suggest a new name – and the person who comes up with the best name will win their very own bug hotel (right)! Please send your suggestions to bloom@thefarleighs.co.uk by 15 July.


The South East in Bloom judges are coming to West Farleigh on 4 July to assess our efforts this year – both in the village and the churchyard. You may not be aware of what we have been doing but can see our presentations to the judges on the Farleighs website.


Let’s hope we get some sun before then to get those sunflowers flowering! Date for your diary: on Sunday 11 August 3-5 pm we will be holding our first ever GARDEN PARTY! Tickets are £7.50 each – please ask one of the Bloom team or email us at bloom@thefarleighs.co.uk if you would like to come. The ticket includes afternoon tea and entertainment from the fantastic Pete & Co. Prosecco will be available for a donation.

June: One month to Go!

Posted on 29th November, 2019

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who supported the plant sale and cream teas – it was a most successful event.


There is only one month to go before the Britain in Bloom judges come to West Farleigh on 4th July – please get those sunflowers going! If they are in your back garden or not visible from the road please send us photos to add to our album. We appreciate your efforts in keeping front gardens looking lovely – we are sure the judges will be as impressed as they were last year – so thank you everyone.


We hope that our Fathers Day Ramble on Sunday 16th June will be as popular as it was last year – this year we have devised a quiz to make the walk more interesting. The route and quiz sheet is enclosed with this month’s edition – the entry fee is £1. Entries will be collected at the two main refreshment points on the day (The Green and 2 Court Lodge Cottages (along from the church)), but you can complete the quiz at any time and post your entry with £1 to 1 The Green, Charlton Lane (by the white picket fence). Closing date is Friday 21 June. For the children we will give prizes on the day for finding a shiny stone, large leaf, pretty wild flower, something unusual like a feather or nut, and a piece of rubbish – but please don’t post this through 1 The Green!!


We are looking for a graphic designer who could help us with a poster to make into an information type notice – please contact us if you know someone!


Another date for your diary:

Sunday 11 August - we are planning a garden party with the fabulous Pete & Co to entertain us! Our next meeting is on Thursday 6 June at 7.30 pm at the Good Intent – please feel free to join us and hear more about what we are doing.

May: Sunflower Seeds

Posted on 29th November, 2019

With your Lifeline, you should have received a packet of sunflower seeds. You can plant these and help the village [in] Bloom! With judicious watering, you might win the sunflower competition as well! Plant seeds somewhere sunny, not boggy, 6” apart, 1 or 2” deep. Water lightly until seeds sprout. When true leaves appear, separate plants to 2’ apart. That’s it! Need help? email bloom@thefarleighs.co.uk


The West Farleigh in Bloom team have been busy this month – finding sunflower seeds and packing them up to give to you! Please plant them somewhere prominent where they will be seen by the judges when they visit us on 4 July. We will be holding our tallest sunflower competition again this year with judging to take place on Saturday 24 August – let’s see if we can beat the number of entries this year and put West Farleigh on the map as the village of sunflowers!


There is exciting news from our wildlife area on the triangle at the top of Teston Lane. Ray has been to inspect the three bird boxes and one of them has a nest with 8 eggs in!! (SEE RAY’S PHOTO IN FARLEIGH FEATHERS over). Last Sunday some of the team were out digging up the triangle at the bottom of Ewell Lane in preparation for the seeding of wild flowers. Typically we haven’t had any rain since - we are hoping they will germinate and grow! We have also tidied up the rocks on the top corner of the Green and are hoping to build a rockery there. If anyone has any boulders they no longer need please let us know and we will collect them.


As the judges will be viewing the village from the road anything we can do to tidy up the verges and plant nice flowers will help our entry enormously! Our next meeting is on 9 May at 7.30 pm at the Good Intent. New members are always welcome to join us, and of course if anyone has any ideas please let us know

Evidence of bulb Planting?

Posted on 29th November, 2019

Hopefully by the time you read this there will be evidence of the bulb planting we did last year and there will be daffodils galore in West Farleigh – and hopefully crocuses too (although there isn’t much sign of them yet!)


We were delighted to welcome 5 new members to our group this month when we met discuss our entry into this year’s South East in Bloom and what we could do to better our bronze award last year. One of the areas we didn’t score very well in last year was ‘conservation and biodiversity’ and with this in mind we plan to turn the triangle at the top of Teston Lane (which is proving exceedingly difficult to cultivate) into a wildlife area. We already have the bug hotel there and you may have noticed the two bird boxes we now have.We are planning another cleanup of the area this month and hope to promote more wildlife to the area, for example dormice and reptiles.


The parish council kindly donated some money towards planters on the village green which will be coming soon. As we got a special mention at South East in Bloom for our sunflowers we would like to encourage everyone to get involved again this year. Judging this year of the tallest sunflower will be in August, a little later this year to give our sunflowers a chance to grow another few inches. We are happy to provide sunflower seeds to anyone who is willing to grow them – please just let the editor know and we will be in touch.


We are very excited as this year we are entering the churchyard into the competition – so we might come away with two prizes!!


A couple of dates for your diaries:

Sunday 12 May – Church plant sale – we will be making an appearance to offer cream teas and selling sunflower plants as well as bird and bat boxes.

Fathers Day – Sunday 16 June – following our successful Fathers Day walk with refreshments en route last year, we are planning to repeat this – but with a scavenger hunt as well this year.


Our aim is to make the village bright and colourful and we are very grateful to those villagers who have put out planters and planted bulbs.

April: Guardians of the Churchyard

Posted on 29th November, 2019

Guardians of the Churchyard 


Keeping a churchyard tidy is hard work. Think of the uneven ground, the gravestones and the trees. And there are lots of corners. So next time you are passing, stop by All Saints churchyard and admire the work of Martyn Jones and his assistants. The Village in Bloom committee was so impressed, they decided to have a go at the special “Churchyard of the Year” award this year.


With Village in Bloom in mind, work has accelerated.  Donating several days of labour, Martyn and his crew have cleared the spaces under the trees, planted meadow flowers by the gate, and removed piles of old tiles and debris.  Even the old bonfire site has been planted with wild flowers. The work has exposed graves and memorials that haven’t been seen for a generation 


Come and see the churchyard for yourself at the annual plant sale on Sunday, 12th May 2019, 11am to 5pm.  This year, it’s a joint venture with the PCC and Village in Bloom.  You can enjoy Kentish Cream Tea and buy a wide variety bedding plants and more exotic things for your garden.  And bird boxes (which can be personalised to give as presents)!