The gardens at Pear Tree Cottage sit in a cider apple orchard in the green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England. It enjoys a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury & Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener!

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24 July 2017

Hay Making Pear Tree Cottage Style!

Drying in the sun
The girls approving their nest box material!
We have been really lucky this year as Rob and Sally-Ann gave up precious time to cut our very small patch of meadow grass. It's the same old problem for us: cutting a small area of long grass to use for hay. Rather than the big expense of hiring an Allen scythe which would only be used for 20 minutes, Rob and Sally-Ann used hedge cutters - not an easy job to cut grass and leave it in swathes. Unconventional maybe but effective and now we need some dry and sunny weather.

The girls came out on slug patrol and gave it their stamp of approval which is just as well as we use it in their nest boxes!  Thanks very much Rob and Sally-Ann!!  Oh, and I should also say that it smells fabulous as it dries in the sun.

Earwig Traps





"This week I 'ave bin mostly..."



........making earwig traps and placing them in our Dahlia border! It's such a shame to see half eaten flowers.

Theft of Moss

 


Here's a picture of our antique armillary sundial with its beautiful mossy surface.




Here's another and more recent photograph depicting missing moss.


Just how awful does that look? At first we thought it had been stolen by birds for nest building (which would have been tricky to prove!) but whilst being interviewed, a certain Under Gardener coughed under interrogation! Was it theft or was it criminal damage? There were excuses - of course but none that could possibly cut any ice or stand up in court. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." Everyone KNOWS that any kind of antique garden statuary is always admired for the lichens and mosses that grow on them or, so we thought! We HATE the bleached appearance of modern sculptures and take time and trouble to positively encourage mosses and lichens to grow as quickly as possible. Painting on the well known recipe of yogurt, cow manure and sour milk aids their growth and is therefore much practised.

As a guilty plea has been recorded, the defendant has been bound over to keep the peace under section 1 (7) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1968. Our Under Gardener has had the errors of his ways pointed out - hopefully ensuring that there will be no future misdemeanours and certainly no further incidents involving illegal moss removal!!

The Luxury of an Old Sink.

Earth to plate in half an hour & no mess!
Scarlet Globes, Arran Pilots, Autumn Kings & Pantheons
Freshly washed & prepared.

A few years ago, we installed a very old (and pretty beat up) second hand sink by the back door tap. It didn't look up to much at the time and, indeed doesn't now. However, it's been worth its weight in gold - especially at this time of year. Root vegetables from the vegetable garden are lifted and placed immediately in the old sink where all the soil is washed off and preparation completed. No mess in the house whatsoever. 
The edges of sink are all chipped and it's really nothing to look at but it's so useful - not just for vegetables but also for cleaning out poultry troughs and drinkers. A piece of hose on the tap means that the sink can be swilled clean so easily. With a compost bucket nearby for the waste and carrot tops for the chickens everything is recycled - one way or another! We really wouldn't be without it and couldn't recommend installing one enough.


19 July 2017

WE DID IT!!!







This was way more than expected & certainly more than we dared hope for. Our beneficiaries include St. Richard's Hospice, Marie Curie, The Nora Parsons Day Centre, Wichenford Church & Memorial Hall and the Ladybird Trust. Once again - heartfelt thanks to all who made donations especially those who helped & laboured away behind the scenes. Give yourselves a BIG pat on the back & enjoy a well deserved rest! 

A more personal thank you goes to the team who helped at Pear Tree Cottage. You know who you are and we couldn't have done it without your generosity of spirit!

       

13 July 2017

Flavours & Fruits + Fragrance & Flowers - all in one greenhouse!





This week and on one side of the greenhouse, Jasmines and Heliotropes are providing the scent whilst zonal Pelargoniums come up with the colour! It's a pleasure to walk into the greenhouse just to sniff the perfume in the air.

Meanwhile on the other side of the path, we have edibles in the form or tomatoes. The Tigerellas are just beginning to colour up whilst overhead, the grapes are swelling and ripening.  If only I could speed up the ripening process!

Now - just why is one label out of place?

Jasminum Sambac

10 July 2017

When an expert visits.

 A few garden photos taken by a professional garden photographer: Ian Thwaites who visited Pear Tree Cottage back in May - when the garden looked very different with the limey fresh greens of spring. Right now, the garden is looking pretty parched and we really need rain. It's always so interesting to see what catches someone else's eye. 





7 July 2017

Loads of Lovely Lavender



Preparations for yummy Lavender shortbread need to begin early! Lavender flowers have just been picked and bunched and are now drying ready for storage. The most tedious job is de-flowering the stalks when it has dried! Sometimes I make Lavender sugar as well as keeping the dried flowers for shortbread. 


This year, Chris suggested we leave some to self seed in the gravel by the summerhouse. Our Lavender came from a late customer/friend of Chris's and is known as Mrs. Slingby's Lavender! The flowers were all covered in 100's of bees and hover flies and not all enjoyed being displaced!

2 July 2017

Enjoying our reclaimed view

On a glorious summer's day, we have been enjoying our view of Woodbury Hill once again.  It was exposed yesterday by the pollarding of a Tibetan cherry. A difficult decision but we believe that  the view is worth tolerating a rather bare tree for a while. Difficult to believe that the tree bottom left completely obscured the entire hill!


Woodbury Hill in the summer sunshine