Month: August 2017

What a difference a year makes

2016 saw new members of staff come to Beyond the Wall, to support people to engage with meaningful activities and learn new life skills and also to support the rejuvenation of the walled garden into a colourful and beautiful space, that when complete could be reopened to the public.

Initially the garden rejuvenation project was estimated to reach fruition within a three year period, but it was clear six months in, that the hard work, drive and dedication of everyone who worked in the garden was well ahead of schedule. With clients, support workers, volunteers and staff as well as members of the local community all pitching in with time, energy and plants as well as being resourceful and creative. The double border was planted up in the spring of 2017 and has grown hugely and been a colourful jewel in the centre of the garden.

The polytunel has been cleared, this space and the large greenhouses have been highly productive, producing fresh vegetables during the winter and all the way through the summer, and we have even been picking melons recently, a great tasting treat!

With walls cleared of ivy, trees pruned and borders revitalised as well as hedges tamed and now starting to take on their new neat shape, the whole garden has been transformed, even the vegetable beds and pond have been reconfigured, so that they are both productive and look great.

With staff pursuing fundraising bids, new plants are being bought to replace ones that had died, to revitalise the borders. Gravel has started to arrive, to bring a fresh new crunch when walking along the formal paths.

Even the aging greenhouse rafters have been given an overhaul, to get them looking smart, and ensuring that they last well into the future.

The spaces outside the walled garden are also being looked after with Yew hedging starting to undergo a two year pruning plan, even our bonfire site was landscaped so that it looks more attractive.

The last 12 months has seen a huge transformation in the garden, a transformation that is the product of a community of people all working together with a shared vision of making the garden an amazing space to work within and or visit. But the work does not stop there. With plans for further projects in the garden afoot, Beyond the Wall are excited to be offering the opportunity for members of the public to be a part of the team who will ensure the service and garden go form strength to strength. You can volunteer with us, spending just a few hours a week or even a whole day, supporting the various activities and projects we run. Take a look at our website for more details ( ) , or follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram, as we share what’s going on ‘Beyond the Wall’.




The garden is still evolving

The beauty of a garden is that it is always changing, evolving and being developed. New ideas can be tried out and honed, to produce beautiful spaces. At Beyond the Wall, our garden is just this, a year into having an overhaul, it is still evolving, with spaces becoming ever tidier, maintained, inviting and of value to the people who work and use the space.

With the revamp of the large chicken run, our Bantams moved from their old run, which has freed up a south westerly facing corner of the garden. With the garden all being very open, this looked to be the perfect site for a small garden that is tucked away, a place to retreat to and have some quiet space and time.

With the ground being cleared in the last two weeks, work has started on marking out beds, with everyone’s help the grass seed was sown ahead of a forecast of a couple of days of rain, which will hopefully give the seed a head start with germinating.

Volunteers have already set to work on collecting together plant material for propagation, to fulfil the planting list, which will incorporate elements of a sensory garden (though we all know that every garden is a sensory space!) Scent, taste, sound and colour will all feature and when we have fundraised, will hopefully be accompanied by a new bench and arbour for climbing plants. Watch this space for progress on this new project in the coming months.




Garden Tour

With May 2017 seeing the Thornham Walled Garden reopened to the public after a number of years with the gates closed, it has been great to have had so many visitors enjoy a walk around the garden and enjoy the fruits of everyones labours in revitalising the space.As well as popping along during the week to have a look around and enjoy a cuppa at our glasshouse café, we have also provided a number of formal visits and tours to local gardening groups, and even hosted a day where local artists immortalised the newly planted beds and borders on canvas.

While with working to ensure that our path ways are fully accessible, we are keen that as many people as possible have the opportunity to enjoy the plants and atmosphere that we have crafted, of course with being set in a rural environment, it isn’t always easy to get to the garden, which is why we have created our 15 second garden tour video.

Even on a wet day, you can click on the video and enjoy the seasonal delights that the garden has to offer. We plan to update the video on a month by month basis, so check back here to watch how the garden develops without even leaving your home!

If you would like to book a garden tour please drop us a line at 

Posted by Phill, August 2017

Hedge cutting

With our annual week of trips being enjoyed by everyone, mid August has seen us all return to a regular routine of running the new café and maintaining the walled garden as well as numerous other activities.The last 11 months has seen work on all aspects of the garden taking place, including clearing, pruning, planting, growing and mulching. The last of the big jobs still remains; the pruning of the yew hedges situated at the front of the garden outside of the walls.

The hedges have grown to a great scale, having not been pruned hard for a number of years, and so getting them back into shape is our aim. With a very hard prune required, the job was considered too big to do in one year. We have adopted a strategy, to cut the fronts and tops hard to get them into shape, next year will see the sides being cut back hard, but for this year a trim will do, so that what remains after our efforts is not completely devoid of green growth.

The job is being completed in a number of stages, little by little, by clients, volunteers and staff, the pruning from which will form a part of our bonfire, November 5th isn’t many weeks away now after all!

Postedby Phill

Mad Hatters Tea Party

Our latest family open day at the walled garden was the Mad Hatters Tea Party. Held on a Sunday during the school summer holidays it was a great opportunity for the whole family to be involved. For children there were a variety of arts and craft activities as well as treasure hunt, with prizes for fancy dress the main event, the tea party itself, was both vibrant and tasty. Parents and other family members were able to enjoy a quiet cuppa and cake at our glasshouse café, as well as a wander around the garden, enjoying the shade of the apple trees and vibrant colour of our newly restored herbaceous border.Our next event is scheduled for October, our annual Apple day, which will be another opportunity to see the changes in the garden, as well as buy local crafts and produce from the garden itself. Watch this space, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more details.

Posted by Phill

Summer trips

With the summer upon us it’s great to have a few days getting away from the usual routine, so at BTW we have recently held a week of summer day trips.With Phill at the wheel, excursions have included visiting the Suffolk Owl Centre, Needham Lake, Hollow Trees farm, Kingpin and Felixstowe sea front.

With everyone working to leave the garden spick and span, we were able to have a week of day trips knowing that members of the public visiting the garden would be able to enjoy the colour of the double border while having cuppa and homemade cake in the glasshouse café.

The trips were all great fun, and enjoyed by everyone involved. Already people are planning other days out we can put together to further enrich the activities that we put on at the walled garden.

Posted by Phill