The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and 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! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


4 August 2020

Autumn Golds.

This year, I'm wondering if the autumn colours have been more spectacular than usual or: have I had a whole year to forget last year's colours? Even looking out of the windows, the garden has been ablaze with colour and the surrounding cider apple orchards are just pure gold!

With the mild weather, I certainly haven't needed a single excuse to find a garden job but then, that's true anyway!  If it's a toss up between indoor and outdoor jobs; outdoor always wins hands down! Leaves are falling fast now so the leaf mould pile is getting bigger!

More Visitors Return.

More visitors today!  A group from nearby Whitbourne spent several hours in the garden this afternoon.  They brought their own refreshments and sat out on the terrace.   The weather, although cool and breezy, remained dry.  Yours truly was working in the studio.  More money raised for the National Garden Scheme - every little helps!!

13 July 2020

Garden Visitors on a Saturday!!

Cheryl Pearsall & family
Alison & Merv Hardwell & friends
Saturday was a mixed day in the garden!  Firstly, a rush to ensure that all mowing and edging was done and then pruning the Philadelphus shrubs before garden visitors arrived and log splitting, lugging and stacking began.  Logging is one of those nice 'squirrel' jobs as it's looking ahead and preparing for winter.

It all worked perfectly as while we were logging, the visitors wandered, explored and enjoyed picnics on the lawns in warm sunshine!  I do have to say that it seemed a tad weird having visitors whilst working but I did warn them and they didn't seem to mind.  As the logs were already sawn, there was no chainsawing noises to disturb visitors but just the gentle sound of an axe splitting wood! (Can axing even be described as gentle??!!)

We made money for the NGS and filled an entire bay with logs for winter - all thanks to Chris!!  What a star he really is!

All ready for winter!

7 July 2020

Preserving Produce!

Blackcurrant 'conserve'.
Harvesting blackcurrants

The cold, wet and windy weather has been ideal for jobs of a more culinary nature.  Having picked our blackcurrants it's been jam making time and actually enjoying the warmth of the Aga.  I can't believe I'm saying that in the middle of summer!  The blackcurrant jam set well and has a lovely tangy flavour.  

Chris arrived with some gooseberries so I made more jam with them.  As it's too late for elderflowers, so I added some Attar of Roses Pelargonium leaves.  It has a lovely clear colour but the seeds make it look like frogspawn!   Because of the high fruit content it qualifies for conserve rather than jam!

Lids were made with with brown paper & jute twine and raffia - the only materials to hand but a suitably rustic finish.

Better flavour than frogspawn!

Summer Fruit Tree Pruning

Did I miss summer?  Nothing but cold grey skies and damaging gusty winds. As for summer pruning fruit trees, it was more like late autumn.  Not that weather hindered progress.  Chris was out with the Niwaki steps skillfully wielding loppers. Before you knew it, both pear trees and our grafted apple had had haircuts and, as we had a bonfire on the go, we were able to burn all the prunings immediately.

Now THAT's efficient!

1 July 2020

The Return of Garden Visitors

Visitors explore the main lawn.
One super smart Studio!

Whoopie!  It was lovely to see the return of some garden visitors today. We enjoyed the company of 16 visitors from Ludlow U3A and made £80 for nurses and carers under the National Garden Scheme.  The rain arrived with the visitors but unlike them, only stayed 10 minutes and then the sun came out.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to offer the usual level of hospitality so there were no homemade teas just a big welcome!  It was the first outing for our visitors had made since the relaxing of lockdown restrictions so how lovely they came to Pear Tree Cottage garden!! 

Of course there had been much preparation as Simon had been very busy in the garden with his paint brushes. The Studio was looking super smart with its new red roof, newly glazed and leaded windows and beautifully painted window frames. Simon also transformed the swing seat roof, the Pear Hut and even the Herb Garden niche, fence and the barn.

They certainly enjoyed the handywork of both Chris's!!  Chris Pugh's sculptures were a big hit and much commented upon.  Another lady asked for the name of our builder as she liked Chris Genever's hard landscaping and paving so much!! Also very popular was the greenhouse and its new floor!!  Let's hope this heralds the return of more visitors and more money raised for our caring charities!!

Our resident tour guide chats to visitors.
Self service ticketing & checkout systems!

25 June 2020

Studio Make-Over: Phase II

Restyled windows in the door.
The galvanised rainwater tank.

We were most definitely NOT so clever when it came to installing the guttering!!  It poured with rain both days. Water was running along the guttering and down the outlets as it was being installed!!  We were soaked through - especially Chris who refused all water proofing! However, the end result is perfect.  As well as finishing off the appearance of a little wooden shed, it's hugely practical for collecting rainwater.

Boxed in shelving disguise the horizontal downpipe & the newly leaded north window.

It was time to turn our attention to the windows. The thin, loose glass rattled, the putty was falling out and the homemade mini portholes (constructed from glass held in by plastic tupperware lids) on the door was all falling to bits.  It was impossible to any of the large panes of glass without breaking them so new glass was ordered. These were installed with putty and beading and we decided to paint the frames white and to use strips of lead and mimic the same glass patterning as in the Herb Garden mirror and stained glass window - thus maintaining a PTC garden theme.  I should mention the addition of a rather nice & very useful little window sill.  - courtesy of more of Chris Genever's patience and skills! Simon kindly agreed to paint that in with the window frames & just a top coat remains outstanding.

Having timed the first one seriously badly ie. just before making all the mess: all that remained was another major spring clean this time in 30 degrees + of tropical heat.  Luckily Janine and I managed that before having lunch in the shade!!

Who loves their new look studio I wonder???