Month: March 2017

The Masters Border

The Masters Border (along the Southern side of the garden) is now nearing the completion of a makeover. From speaking with volunteers, it has been established that the last major work on the border was around 2002, stories the border being dug out and planted have come to light while digging out weeds and splitting herbaceous plants.

With a very limited budget for this project, we have been fortunate that Jan, one of our trustees, has donated plants that he has propagated, that will grace either side of the Masters gate, in the centre of the border. Either side, in a  mirroring effect, our volunteer Kevin has supplied a number of Hydrangeas, plants that he has grown from cuttings from established plants on the Thornham Estate. With each end of the border then being planted up with plant material that already existed in the border, gaps where fruit trees filled with new planting and Ivy removed from the walls, the border, while as yet not fully established looks rejuvenated. With spring now here, everything is starting to shoot and with a warm summer we hope that it will be  good year for each plant to settle in and grow into place.

While most of the planting is complete, there is still considerable work to be don on this project, hedging is going to be cut back to a more appropriate size (a two year project) and a final dressing of mulch will be added in the next few weeks to help show off the young plants and give them every opportunity of establishing themselves quickly.

We are looking forward to inviting people into the garden throughout the summer to see what has been done on this part of the walled garden of late, and offer the opportunity to watch the border establish and grow through the comping seasons.

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Posted by Phill, March 2017

The double border, March progress

If anyone said six months ago that the restoration of the double border, at Thornham Walled Garden, would be nearing planting, running to schedule at a fraction of the anticipated cost, they may have been met with a look of disbelief. However with now being in the middle of March, this is exactly where we are.

The hard work and dedication of Clients, volunteers, staff and trustees has all worked towards building an air of excitement and motivation to getting the job done, and getting it done well.

The tremendous task of digging out plants, splitting and dividing plants, caring for them over wonder and preparing the now empty beds has been a huge undertaking, especially when the amount of bindweed and buttercup growing therein is taken into consideration.

But our team working alone was not quite enough to ensure the success we have had so far. Working with people and businesses in our community has provided the opportunity to cement friendships, make new friends and contacts. The generous donation of plants from people living in our local community (Irene and Jan), as well as new volunteers giving their time and loan of equipment for cultivating the beds (Simon) has been invaluable, and the generosity of a local business (@ProTecGardening) donating weed suppressing membrane, and then giving us a large discount on more of the great product, that they supplied for free, to finish the job have all added up to being at the point of replanting at the optimum time.

We are all very excited now that the beds are nearing completion, and that they will in coming months start to grow, providing colour and contrasts to the walled garden. We are also really excited that we will be opening to the public to share what has been done so far.

At this point Beyond the Wall would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has assisted in this project so far, and that we are all looking forward to continuing working together to finish the restoration of the double border and meeting many more people who we know will assist us in developing this project in coming years.

If you would like to volunteer to help work on this project, or would like to find out about other volunteering opportunities at Beyond the Wall, then get in contact with us via email ( admin@beyondthewall.org.uk ) to request a volunteer application pack, or arrange to visit us.

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Posted by Phill, March 2017

Ferntastic

One of the glasshouses at Beyond The Wall is known as the fernery. Sadly however the collection of ferns is no more, time has gradually taken its toll on this beautiful and mysterious plant family within the walled garden.

With cleaning around other glasshouses a small number of ferns were found and potted up, it seemed only right that they end up back in the fernery. With talking about this, a stag horn fern was re-introduced by one of our volunteers. One had been propagated from the collection that once lived in the greenhouse, and for it to return was the start of us looking at rebuilding a modest collection.

With a generous donation of several dozen ferns from Nick Adams, a collection has started to form, but given that we love plants at Beyond the Wall, we are still looking to build our collection further.

If you have any ‘spare’ ferns in your possession, or are tired of an old plant or have run out of space for a specimen, we would be happy to re-home your plant. With our small collection having already had two donors from gardeners and volunteers in our community, it would be great if we are able to continue building the collection as a ‘community collection’.

To donate, please be in contact with us, pop past the garden, or give us a call or drop an email to admin@beyondthewall.org.uk

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Posted by Phill, March 2017

Vegetable bed prep

Vegetable beds don’t just make themselves! They need lots of time and hard work to ensure that the crops that will be planted have every chance of flourishing. Our 2017 harvest started back in 2016, with volunteer Simon spending a day inside the walls with his rotorvator, cultivating the two main vegetable beds as well as the there planting strips that will be home to our cut flower garden.

With the beds freshly turned over, the edge gutters were cut back out, the whole area looked crisp and sharp, and ready to receive the frosts that the winter delivered.

With spring around the corner, a hard working team of people including our trusty volunteers set about marking out the beds in preparation for growing this year’s crops. Weeds were removed and the ground forked over and raked flat. Paths were put in and clearly marked, to help us have good access to plants when planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. The gutter was tidied up and the whole area looks ready for business. Our first seeds will be planted in the next week or so, with other seeds already germinated in the greenhouse. Potatoes are chitting and we look set to have the beds all up and running to schedule. Meantime people have been busy planting our stock of flowering perennials in the cut flower area, so as well as delicious it is hoped that the main productive growing area will look great and be filled with colour.

Vegetable boxes will be made up with some of our produce, these will be on sale to the public, so watch this space for more details on how you can get a taste of what is growing Beyond the Wall this year.

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Posted by Phill, March 2017