The greenhouse grow bed

The grow bed in the glasshouse has been used to grow cucumbers, chillis, tomatoes and melons over the last three summers. With the poly tunnel also coming into operation and production in this time, we thought that it would be good to make a few changes and try something different. 

With the bed cleared, it was all hand on deck to bring lots of organic matter into the greenhouse to help improve the soil. With manure, compost and some nutrients added, it was time to plant up. From a bare patch, and with a budget of creativity and generosity, we were able to assemble a collection of plants that in their ranks included plants that like hot arid environments, plants that are suited to warm tropical conditions and also plants that were a part of our existing collection of New Zealand planet and succulents. The bed was planted up by a number of people over the course of a week and has been finished off with a  top dressing of wood chipping, to help keep moisture locked away where it is needed and to finish the bed off uniformly. With July upon is the bed has come into its own, filling up with lush foliage and colour. we hope that it is  pleasing addition for our visitors to look around when exploring the garden and greenhouse. Some of the plants are now being propagated by clients and volunteers, so upon visiting, it will be possible to buy a number of the inspiring plants that are on display for your own windowsill, conservatory or greenhouse. 

BTW would like to thank the many generous people in the local and horticultural community who have donated plants that have formed a part of the collection in this bed.


Posted by Phill, July 2019

Trips Out

July brings with it warm weather and is associated with holidays and days out, which means one thing to us all here at BTW… Day Trips!

This year rather than having all of our trips in one week we have spread the trips, so that people are able to come on a number of day trips to different places over a three week period. We have been blessed with dry weather and managed to visit many locations in the region and take part in some great activities. Museums, castles, bowling alleys and zoos have all featured in our selection of trips, as well as the coast, walks, fish and chips and picnic lunches. We have already had some great feedback, so it looks like we will need to plan some more fun days out for the future.


Posted By Phill, July 2019

Summer Plant Sale

With June having been unseasonably wet, the day of our summer plant sale was upon us and brought with it sunshine and warmth to the walled garden.

With volunteers and clients having been busy over the last six months working to propagate plants from root and stem cuttings, division and seed germination, everyones efforts culminated in a grand arrangement of potted plants ready to be purchased by visitors.

Our range of plans echoes the planting in the walled garden, particularly the double herbaceous border, so buying a plant enables visitors to take away a little piece of the garden to nurture and grow at home as well as supporting a local charity.

Proceeds from our plant sale will go towards the work that Beyond the Wall does within and beyond the walled garden, in supporting disabled adults to learn new skills, and develop their learning (including horticulture) through structured sessions an therapeutic activities.

Beyond the wall would like to say a big thank yo to the team of volunteers who made this years summer plant sale such a success, and of course to everyone who attended the day.

Plants will continue to be on sale on our plant stand daily at the end of the walled garden car park, and in addition we have a plant sale stand along the main road through Gisslingham.


Posted by Phill VWilliams, June 2019


June is the month of The Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild annual project. At BTW we are all taking part, with us spending each day in June doing something that connects us with nature.

Our first day involved us going for as walk in the woods and garden, taking photos of all things green and making a group digital collage with the photos.

Look out on our social media for other projects and activities throughout the month as we do #30dayswild.


Posted June 2019


Blossom Day

With summer almost upon us and the blossom on the apple trees out, it was time for our annual Blossom Day fundraiser to take place. With clients working hard in the garden to keep it looking good, preparation has been under way come rain or shine in the last month. The marquee was put up and stalls put out and an order of sunshine placed, the scene was set for another enjoyable day within the garden walls. With music, teas and cakes as well as refreshing glasses of Pimms on offer, stall holders offered the opportunity to buy local made produce, while games on the lawn provided entertainment for our younger visitors. With generous donations to our raffle and plant sales, everyone at Beyond the Wall is delighted that the day has again, raised valuable funds for the work that we do as a small charity. We would like to thank everyone who attended, made donations and took part in making a fun and enjoyable day.


Posted by Phill VWilliams, May 2019

Greenhouse Bed

Over the last few years the large raised bed in the glasshouse has been used to grow tomatoes and cucumbers. While also using the poly tunnel for growing similar produce, we have experienced summer gluts of both fruit, so this year the decision was made to change our growing. With the poytunnel able to provide the conditions for us to grow what we require, we decided to look at what had grown well in the greenhouse previously. Melons have been a great crop, and so we looked at if it was possible to grow a fruit salad. With melon seeds started off, we looked at acquiring plants that would add to the fruit salad, ginger and banana plants have been donated and cuttings from a pineapple have also been added to the mix. With the bed looking to take on a partly ornamental feel, we have added plants that will thrive in a  greenhouse, and taken the opportunity to make the bed more than a fruit salad, passion flowers, sempervivum, aeoniums and agave have all been added into the mix, to provide year round interest, and monopolise on the space/growing conditions. we hope that with the preparation, replanting and tending of the space that our clients have been involved with, that the bed will provide plenty of interest to visitors to our cafe, and even provide us with a fruit salad!


Posted by Phill VWilliams, April 2019

New Kitchen

March saw lots of activity going on behind the scenes at BTW, to improve one of our core facilities. Funding was received to refit the kitchen, and just before the end of March building work started. The old kitchen was looking rather past its best days and was in need of being updated. With the opening of the Glasshouse Cafe, our fundraising events and monthly community meals the kitchen gets a lot of use, and so the time came for the builders to drive with tools and materials to remove the old and fit new.

Units and surfaces have all been replaced, with surfaces fitted at different heights to make the kitchen accessible. A new dishwasher, sinks and radiators will make the kitchen function far more efficiently and comfortably for everyone who uses it, and with new tiling and a lick of paint, the whole kitchen feels fresh and airy, a far nicer environment to work in.

BTW would like to extend thanks to the kitchen fitting team, and also to the staff who did all the background work in raising funds for this project to be realised.


Posted by Phill VWilliams, April 2019