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


20 March 2023

Never Nothing to Do!!

 Never a week passes without fairly major seasonal jobs and/or repairs taking place in and around the garden.  This week, we had the pleasure of Chris Genever's company for a day which resulted in the empty compost bay being lined with reclaimed corrugated iron, a blockage in the pond pump removed and a connection tap being replaced, the potting shed door repaired, a couple of tiles in the greenhouse cut & laid and the rear door on the House for Hens repaired.

Chris Pugh and I barrowed a load of wood chip down to the Henclosure, Woodland Border path and Nutberry Noak before digging out nearly half a barrow full of Bindweed and Japanese Anemone in order to plant a Euphorbia subs. characias wulfenni Marjery Fish Lambrook Gold. (Bindweed never makes the compost bay!)  I have high hopes for this plant following all the trouble we went to!! 
 With the newly lined compost bay, Chris spent the last half hour making a start on turning a year's accumulated compost into it.  Next year, the whole process begins again!

11 March 2023

Major Greenhouse Border Preparation

With snow still lying on the ground following 3 days of totally unexpected snowfall - in March meant it was perfect weather to retreat into the greenhouse and sort out the border.  Funny thing was: Chris ended up having to discard layers of clothing as he was expecting outdoor jobs!! 

Now: from day 1, this border has never been a great success. We been disappointed with tomatoes, disappointed with carnations and disappointed with chrysanthemums. Time for action!

Having cleared all the pots aside, we removed all the soil and compost and then dug out another spade's depth of solid clay and marl.  This meant carefully detaching Ed's passion flower from it.'s support,  moving it  aside and very, VERY carefully repotting it (in a classy vintage clay pot) while keeping it attached to its cane!!!  The idea is for it to extend it roots out from the pot and into the border.

Having barred out deep holes and filled them with grit to aid drainage, we refilled the border with lovely rich loamy soil. It was then time for a major clean up.  That meant washing all the paintwork and floor tiles before mving all the pots and plants back!

Chris barrowed out and then back in about 12 barrows of soil and clay!   Hear's hoping for a little more success with some tomatoes this year.

10 March 2023

Serious Snow in March!



Having woken to 2" (seen being accurately measured with my depth gauges) of snow with more falling, it was

ime to read the seed catalogues and clean out the tool shed!

Surpise Snowfall

  This is definitely a very long way from ideal gardening weather for March!!!

26 February 2023


For much of the year, roses are mostly thorns and not much else.  For this reason, ourS are underplanted with Golden Majoram which provides a nice bright carpet and suppresses weeds.  

Over time the marjoram had encroached on the roses a little too much and things were looking a tad congested.  Also, ivy was was beginning to proliferate in the beech hedge. Time to remove all the rose supports for ease of access and clear out the invading ivy and marjoram from around each rose, prune and feed them before mulching with compost.  Chris mastermined marjoram and ivy removal whilst I tackled the thornier side of things and did the pruning.  Of course, Chris wasn't content with just doing roses but did the Top Lawn Border before tackling ivy which had invaded a Philadelphus.

Throughtout the summer months the marjoram is trimmed 2 - 3 times to prevent flopping.  Now, each rose has a circle of bare soil around its base with all herbs cleared away.  The metal supports will be re-sited inside each circle making future marjoram trimming MUCH easier. Let's hope we have even more flowers than last year in our little rose garden!

18 February 2023

Bad Day at Black Rock!

 Have you ever had one of those gardening days when NOTHING goes right???  Well I certainly had one today! Apart from toppling over in a border - to be fair: it slopes and I just lost my balance.  Having rolled ober backwards down the slop, Chris tried to pull me up from the side - a complete loss of dignity but no injuries. 

Having recovered, I walked all the way from the bonfire to the tool shed (longest distance in the garden) to fetch the muck fork and couldn't find it - at all.  Thinking that we must have left it out somewhere, I eventually returned empty handed.  Needless to say it was standing in its proper place (according to Chris) as he appeared carrying it! Sigh!

Then I was wrong about the make of my treasured hand fork and, as if all of that was enough, I accidentally tipped out the contents of a very full wheelbarrow before it got to the bonfire!

Apart from that, we moved a Hydrangea and an Abelia - both big shrubs so, fingers crossed, trimmed a Berberis and removed a lot of ivy from beneath it oh, and I modelled a rather large hat while Chris had a nap under the Berberis!

5 February 2023


 For ages a self seeded Cotoneaster franchetii has been growing between the end of the Yew sofa and the edge of the path. It's a silly place but we never got around to moving it or even finding another place for it.  When walking past it, I kept nipping out the side shoots rather than allow it to branch out!  Eventually the single leader got to that annoying height and whipped across faces when walking up the path. No more!!  With the aid of a couple of pieces of old angle iron driven into the ground and a Wisteria offcut wired to the angle iron - hey presto!  A homemade and somwehat rustic garden arch.  It won't be very long lived but it seemed such a shame to ditch the Cotoneaster and now, we can at least walk beneath it - in safety!