Month: February 2017

Jan donates plants

A part of the restoration of the Double Herbaceous Border at Thornham Walled garden is about re stocking the border, with new plants, following the loss of many plants to time and being overrun by bindweed. With everything carefully dug out, split and potted on by staff, clients and volunteers over the autumn of 2016, January became the time to look carefully at what plant stock is already in place and what might be needed to fill the gaps.

A conversation with Jan, one of our trustees was held, Jan is passionate about plants and spoke of having stock in his garden that he has propagated, as well as having the need of many of his herbaceous plants being divided. We were invited to his home for an afternoon to assist with the division, and to take away plant material that was generated in the process.

A couple of hours later and the car boot was almost over flowing with crates, with carefully labelled plants, plants that keyed into three of the projects currently under way in the garden; the Herbaceous Border, the Masters Gate Border and the Rose Border.

The following few days saw a big team effort potting up and labelling the plants, Jan followed up the giving of his plants with emails showing them in flower, which has helped us worth them into planting scheme ideas. Watch this space as the border gets planted up with some exciting plant varieties in the coming months.

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Posted by Phill, February 2017

Walk leader training

It wasn’t expected that Lisa and Phill would make the news when they booked onto Walk Leader Training over in Bury St Edmunds in February. They did however make an appearance in the Bury Free Press, while promoting health walks, a project that Beyond the Wall has been involved with for a number of years, and one that many of the people who attend the service continue to enjoy.

Lisa and Phill took part in an afternoon of Walk Leader Training, covering aspects such as safety and navigation. In the next couple of months they will be completing the practical side of becoming walk leader volunteers, and will lead monthly walks that Beyond the Wall will key into during the day as well as a couple of evening walks, where people can join the group to enjoy warm summer evenings together.

Would you like to join us on a walk around Thornham Magna, check out the Stepping Out In Suffolk walks brochure at www.onelifesuffolk.co.uk

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Posted by Phill, February 2017

Fire Circle

November saw the burning of a massive bonfire, made up of garden prunings, in an area just outside of the walled garden. While having an autumn bonfire looked great and was great fun to watch, we are always looking at ways of doing things better.

Armed with a spade, turf that had been put around the burning area from the cutting of the apple tree beds, was moved around to form a circular mound around a small pile of garden waste that was needed to be burned. With digging out the ground a little within the circle the burning pile was defined a little more clearly. This will mean smaller fires, but it is likely that we might have a couple extra each year, a great opportunity for baking potatoes and making bonfires a team and social event.

With a shade loving plant being moved and divided in the garden, a few crowns were planted in the ground around the circle. The hope is that the shady environment that they like will allow them to settle in and flower in the autumn, making that space look more attractive, and in a sense becoming a part of the area that we garden, not just an area for depositing garden rubbish.

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Posted by Phill, February 2017

Weed Membrane

Restoring a 40 metre long double herbaceous border is quite a task, one that everyone at Beyond the Wall has risen to. So far progress has been going to plan, which has been great. With spring approaching the next part of the plan is starting to swing into action, and as with all projects resources are required. With a limited budget for planting and materials, staff have been creative an resourceful in obtaining the plant material required, but also in the other materials that are needed to ensure that the border when complete will be easy to maintain and look great for many years to come.
The border despite having had hours of hard work put in to remove buttercup and bindweed, still will have roots in the ground that without a long term solution will start to take over the planned planting. Lots of options were looked at but eventually for a number of reasons, the solution was arrived at, a weed suppressing membrane. The downside was that its cost would reduce the amount of money available for plants.
A call was put out on Twitter, to see if anyone had any unused membrane sitting around in a shed or outhouse. It was hoped that we may be able to acquire membrane that would allow us to reduce this cost. What we actually got was however was better than that. A message was received from @ProTecGardening asking us about the project and subsequently a donation of a large roll of membrane was offered, and then delivered in person to the project. It was great to receive such a great donation, the membrane being exactly to the specification that we were going for, and with it being brand new, will ensure that it will last for as long as is possible. Importantly this has had significant impact on our spend on materials for the project, reducing what we had expected to spend dramatically. What’s more, with the company retailing the membrane at a very competitive price (cheaper than on eBay and Amazon) guess where we will be going to get the remainder of what’s needed to ensure the success of our double herbaceous border restoration project.
A massive thanks to @ProTecGardening for your generosity, we are really excited that we will be able to share photos of the project with you in coming months.

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Posted By Phill, February 2017