News & events

Open Day – 15th May 2022

The BHAS Open Day will be on Sunday 15th May this year from 2 – 5pm. It’s been three years since we have been able to host an open day and we would like you to join us in welcoming all the new plot holders who have taken up plots since then. 

What is the Open Day?

The Open Day is an opportunity to meet new plot holders, see what other members are growing and socialise with the allotment community. It also enables the wider East Sheen community to visit the allotments and get inspiration. It’s a great family event and we will be selling afternoon teas too, so come hungry!

Activities at the Open Day

  • Throughout the afternoon we will have tea, coffee, squash and delicious cakes available to purchase. 
  • We will also have a plant stall and for the first time a seed swap. Please bring any seeds you would like to swap (labelled with name and variety, if not in a commercial envelope). 
  • For the first time we will also have an ‘Ask an Expert’ station. We will be on hand to answer all your general gardening and growing questions!

We need help with the following:

  • Plants donations for the plant stall. Perhaps when you divide some plants at home or on your plot? Vegetable plugs are always popular too if you have any spare seedlings. If you have any seed packets to donate to help us start the seed swap, that would also be helpful. 
  • Baking cakes. If you could bake your favourite cake for us to sell as part of the afternoon teas that would be great. We would be grateful to receive whole cakes, tray bakes, brownies or cupcakes.
  • Setting up/clearing away and serving afternoon teas. If you are free on the day to help set up or serve afternoon teas for an hour or so we would love to hear from you. Please reply to this email. 

Please let us know if you can contribute anything by emailing us

We look forward to seeing you all!

2021 BHAS Annual General Meeting – Minutes, Chair’s & Treasurer’s Reports

The 2021 BHAS Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 6 November 2021 at the Communal Garden at Hertford Avenue. After no AGM was held in 2020 and a delayed 2021 AGM, both due to COVID-19, it was wonderful to see many BHAS members and to address the business of the allotment society.

The BHAS remains in good financial standing and any ideas for improvements on the plots can be put forward to your site rep. Additionally, donations were made to four charities, each to receive £250.

Our sincere thanks to the committee members continuing in their positions and a big welcome to the newly elected committee members! The Allotment Society Committee are all volunteers and the Society’s principal concerns are the well-being of the allotments and promoting the interests of our members.

If you are interested in volunteering for the society, please let us know as there remain a few open positions.

The agenda, minutes, chair’s report, and treasurer’s report can be accessed here:

BHAS Annual Show 2021

On Sunday 12th September 2021 we held our first Annual Show for two years. It was brilliant to see so many plot holders return to show their produce and enjoy delicious cakes and tea. Here is a snapshot of the day, showing the excellent array of produce being judged.

Thank you to everyone who kindly volunteering their time setting up, judging, hosting the plant stall and raffle and baking delicious cakes.

We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Congratulations to all our show winners.

Cup winners:

Best Showperson – John Hynd

Best Plot – Dino Franz and Sarah Willard

Best newcomer’s plot – Cath Brooks and Ben Gothard (pictured above).

Show category winners:

Class 1st
1Aubergines x 2John Hynd
2Peppers x 3John Hynd
3Chili peppers x 4John Padgett
4Beetroot x 4 – with 8cm of topsPam Islip
5French Beans x 6 – any colour, any type (keep stalks on)John Padgett
6Runner Bean x 6 (keep stalks on)Clara Molden
7Carrot x 4 – with 8cm carrot topsDiane Black
8Courgette x 4Chris Lawrence
9Cucumber x 1Clara  Molden & Rob Ayward
10Garlic x 3John & Carol Lyons
11Marrow x 1 – no longer than 38 cm (15 inches)    –
12Onions x 4 – outer skins only removed (leave 3 inches of stem)   –
13Shallots x 6Harriet Graham
14Potatoes x 4Diane Black
15Pumpkin / Squash x 1                                               Joint FirstOliver Family & Fiona Heath
16Sweetcorn x 2 (with outer leaves)John Padgett
17Beef tomato x 4 – with stalksJohn Hynd
18Cherry tomato x 6 – with stalksJohn Padgett
19Medium tomato x 4 – with stalks                         Joint FirstPam Islip &         (no name)
20Mixed vegetables – 1 each of 5 kinds (presentation up to you!)                                                                          Joint FirstMark Gourley & John Hynd
21Any vegetable x 1 (this is for any vegetable NOT in the above categories)Yvonne Langley
22Biggest vegetable x 1Oliver Family
23Herbs in a jam jar – please write a list of the herbs you display and place with the jarHarriet Graham
24Apples x 4Diane Black
25Top fruit (pears, plums, quinces, etc.) any kind x 4      –
26Soft fruit, any kind x 10 (where possible leave stems)John Padgett
27Any other fruitGary Hazel
28Mixed flowers in a vase, arrange as you wishHarriet Graham
29A single variety of flowers in vaseClara Molden
30Dahlias x 6 stems, same varietyJohn Hynd
31Largest diameter Sunflower Head x 1John Padgett
32Tallest Sunflower plant inc. Head x 1Charlie Armour
34aAged up to 10 years. Mini garden on a seed tray – create your own miniature garden.Myles Goodwin
34bAged 11 – 18 years. Mini garden on a seed tray – create your own miniature garden.    –
35aAged up to 10 years. Vegetable monster/pet – decorate and create using vegetables, fruit and/or herbs.Myles Goodwin
35bAged 11 – 18 years. Vegetable monster/pet – decorate and create using vegetables, fruit and/or herbs.Oliver Goodwin
36A glass jar of homemade fruit jam, any kindAlastair Kennedy
37A Victoria Sponge Cake – your family’s favourite recipeDiane Black
38A glass jar of homemade chutney, any kindPam Islip
41‘Make us laugh’ category for the funniest or weirdest shaped Vegetable or Fruit – open to all ages.Oliver Family

The Grape Collective

The Grape Collective

Fellow plot holder Gary Hazell has produced several bottles of wine from his harvest of grapes. He harvested over 83 kilos from one vine that produced 56 75cl bottles. His grapes were delivered to the team at Urban Wines last September, who produce a range of products under Chateau Tooting. The 2020 vintage is a Rose made up of grapes collected from several plot sites including Gary’s.

Gary has created a new not-for-profit organisation called The Grape Collective. This is a small voluntary business that will look to collect grapes from different plot holders and sites with the aim to take these to the Urban Wines team to produce more wine from the next set of harvests due in September. You can then buy back the fruits of your labour as bottled wine.

Gary is also interested to know if any plot holders would like to learn how to tend their vines, when and how to prune and general care and harvest. He is considering offering a short viticulture course for those interested. 

Dealing with weeds

Follow plot holder Janet Bostock has shared her tips on dealing with weeds at the plot.

“The old adage, “a plant in the wrong place” is true. Whether native or a plant from another country, pretty and attractive to pollinators, if they spread too easily and are difficult to control then they become a problem.

You can save time by knowing them and removing them BEFORE they have settled in!

Why might that pretty plant become a problem?

Because it is difficult to control and difficult to remove once established.

Because the plant readily spreads across your plot, to neighbouring plots, gardens or over the fence into the wild.

Some examples:

Plants with deep roots (dandelions, blackberry, horse radish, green alkanet, ash, oak). Many arrive as seedlings which are easy to remove while small.

Plants with runners above or below ground (ground ivy, bindweed, nettles)

Plants seeding and spreading easily (dandelions, euphorbias, pendulous sedge)

Plants with bulbs, increasing both by seed and new bulbs (garlics, oxalis, Spanish bluebells)

Removing “weeds” when small, before they establish, is much easier than waiting till they become a problem.

Monty Don’s advice.

I haven’t mentioned horsetails. Just a nightmare of an invasive weed!

There are others that appear, foxgloves or forget me not for example, which are easy to pull up if in the way so can be enjoyed or moved to a convenient place.

Some can be eaten and enjoyed – Three cornered leek, all of the plant can be eaten, treated as a small leek.  Young nettle leaves make a delicious nettle soup.

Enjoy your gardening.

Janet Bostock”

Updated Trading Shed price list now available

An updated price list for the Trading Shed has been updated to the Trading Shed website along with sizes and general stock.

The Shed is currently open on Saturday and Sundays from 11am and noon.

The Trading Shed is located at the Hertford Avenue allotment site located at Hertford Avenue, SW14 8EQ and run by Mark and Sheena.

The Trading Shed is one of the benefits of Barnes Horticultural and Allotment Society (BHAS) membership; discounted seeds, fertilisers, and other gardening supplies are available for purchase during the growing season.

All stock is offered at a discount to garden centre prices to BHAS members.

Pick up your 2021 Sunflower Competition seeds at the Trading Shed

Following last year’s very competitive sunflower competition, BHAS is again offering its members free sunflower seeds at the trading shed for spring planting. Pick up a pack of seeds (one pack per BHAS plotholder) at the trading shed and start to prepare your garden for some bee-friendly competition!

The variety available this year is Giant Sunflower Titan.

The seeds will be at the trading shed starting Saturday, 20 March while supplies last.

How to enter

Sunflowers will form two new categories in the Annual Show in September and your sunflower can be entered into the show along with the other categories; if the show is not able to go forward, we will arrange an online entry form like we did last year – so the sunflower competition will go forward!

Pick up a packet of seeds or use your own; plant them when you’re ready.

Growing instructions

Giant Sunflower Titan.

One of the tallest-growing and easily the biggest-headed and seeded variety available to gardeners.   Perfect for impressing your neighbors and winning competitions.  The plants will need support reaching up to 12ft with large yellow flower heads plants can reaching 18-24″ across! The seeds are large and ideal for consumption or leaving for over-winter birds.  Annual.

Cultiviation Advice Giant Sunflower Titan

  • Days To Germination:  14-21 days Optimum Soil Temp. for Germination: 68F-86F Planting Depth: 1/4  inch  Spacing, Seed: 4-6 inch  Spacing, Plant: 24-36 inches Plant Height: 10-14 ft inches Light:  Full Sun
  • Seeds can be started indoors 3 to 4 weeks before last spring frost. Or direct-sow seeds outside after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of 1/4 inch. Can be sown as late as 100 days before last frost.
  • When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high, thin to individual pots. Replant thinned plants.
  • Steadily harden off before planting out after all danger of frost has passed.
  • These will require staking / support in all but the most sheltered locations.

Source: Premier Seeds Direct

Competition rules

Categories & guidance on how to measure

1. Biggest sunflower head

Measure the diameter of the seed head. The flower petals should not be included. Heads should be cut from the stock (unless also entering the same plant into the tallest sunflower category).

2. Tallest sunflower plant

Measured from the base of the stem (not including the roots) to the top of the head. The head can be extended to measure the full height of the plant. We ask that gardeners cut off the roots to make it easier to measure the stem. Please also remove leaves from the stalk.

Photos of your sunflower journey

Please do send us any photos you have of your sunflowers (from seed to competition-winning size!) as we would like to share the journey on social media or on the website. Photos can be sent to

Thank you and good luck!