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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13 December 2017

......And then the sun came out!!

The main lawn
Shed of the Year runner-Up!


For one single whole day, the garden looked utterly magical in its blanket of snow glittering in the frosty sunshine. Despite it being 10" deep, how could I resist going out with a camera? Everything was utterly transformed and so silent. Difficult to even imagine lawn mowing! Here's a link to more snowy garden pictures: Sun & Snow at PTC! If you know the garden, they're absolutely worth a look.

The Henclosure.

10 December 2017

A seasonal video from Pear Tree Cottage


Yet More Snow!

Rob's Retreat
Such is the dramatic overnight change in the garden that, despite the persistent falling snow on the camera lens, I couldn't resist attempting a few fuzzy pictures. When this lot thaws, things are going to be a tad on the soggy side!
With so much snow on its roof, unusually, the greenhouse is really rather dark  inside but, at least the heater is maintaining the temperature just above freezing.


The Top Terrace


An unusually dark greenhouse!

Snow at PTC

The Henclosure
A festive & snowy barrel

It's looking VERY festive here at PTC. We've had about 8" of snow and the garden looks amazing! It's totally silent as the snow always muffles sounds. Definitely no gardening jobs - that is, apart from spotting that the tall Bamboos we're bent over and touching the ground under the weight of snow. When I knocked if off, they sprang upright ferociously and covering me in even more snow!


The chickens have the Hennery in which to stay cosy. It's their very own conservatory and they had extra rations today as it's their very first experience of snow.






The Phone Box

30 November 2017

Not another shed.........................!

Whilst a certain Chris Pugh was living it up and exploring the Caribbean, there have been shady goings on down by the hut! 

The original 6 x 4 hut
A nearly finished 'Folly!'
A very long time ago, we had realised that our tiny little old hut, at 6' x 4', was far too small for PTC garden needs. So much so, Chris appeared with an unwanted 12' x 8' version with a single sloping felt roof. He left all the sections leaning up against the hedge before going away.

After returning from the tropical adventures, as well as discovering freezing temperatures, Chris (Pugh) found that Chris (Genever) and I had built the prettiest replacement with a pitched green corrugated tin roof crowned with ridge cresting (bought on EBay), antique insulators (another Chris present!), the door with its pear shaped window at the opposite end and the interior insulated and lined with a built-in apple store and shelving for out door seat cushions with storage space for the usual seasonal garden miscellania!  As if that wasn't enough, we had made pretty shaped barge boards for both gables and an overhanging canopy above the door. We also used the leftover granite setts to lay a little curved path to the door. 
Shed with a view!

In order to squeeze in a bigger shed without losing other shrubs and trees, we moved it very close to the conifer and the upshot is that it can hardly be seen from anywhere else which makes it quite secretive. 

With west facing windows, it enjoys spectacular views across the cider apple orchards to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and even Abberley clock tower - a BIG bonus!

Needless to say, our Chris was mightily surprised when he returned from his travels and found exactly what we'd been up to. He immediately christened it: the Folly!

Only one question. Exactly why do I enjoy doing this stuff so very much???

19 November 2017

Birdsong in November!

Fieldfares in the cider apple orchards







On this blog, I've bleating on and on about garden colour and birds and also trying to take photos of both. Well, photographing the autumn colours is easy enough but vast flocks of Fieldfares are a different matter entirely. These are the best I could do. There are literally thousands and thousands of Fieldfares down in those apple trees and the ones seen in the photos are the very tiniest minority. It's a pity that readers can't hear them without all the background noise in the video! It's just that most people don't associate lots of birdsong with the month of November and the song from this many birds is quite incredible! At least a few can be hear in the video. (Photos are best viewed full screen!)

A few more Fieldfares!

18 November 2017

Autumn beats spring when it comes to colour!


Head Gardener and Chief Blogger's been a tad quiet lately because she's up to something at the bottom of the garden!  All will be revealed but, not quite yet.


As for the rest of the garden it's surrounded by the fabulous gold, russet and amber hues of autumn. In contrast, the Acer's are like big red balls of fire glowing in the garden and there's lovely damp earth rotting leaf smell in the air.

The Fieldfares are back in their hundreds and great wheeling flocks can be seen overhead. I love hearing so many of them twittering and fluttering around in the garden and the nearby orchards feasting on the remaining fallen apples. It's amazing to think that each year, they fly in from Russia and Scandinavia for their winter holiday before all disappearing in the spring. Photos don't show hundreds of Fieldfares in the trees but, I promise they're there!

Robins are also very much in evidence and as soon as they spot any soil being moved, they're right on it! Tiny wrens are always hopping shyly in and out of shrubs and the feeding station is full of blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, black caps, nuthatches and woodpeckers not to mention greedy sparrows.

31 October 2017

Got it all wrapped up!

Dicksonia Antarctica incognito
Being planted earlier in the year.
We had our first frost of the season yesterday so time to think about some TLC for our tree fern as it will have its first winter in the ground. I reckon I did a much better job than even Monty!

En route to the greenhouse last year!
 
All the fronds were trimmed off and used as insulation. Straw was placed in the crown followed by an inverted saucer to keep out water, garden felt was then wrapped around and secured in place with string. More straw gently pushed down the inside with a plastic carrier bag over the top. Lastly a recycled hessian coffee sack was placed over the top and tied in place. I think it looks rather fetching and hopefully will keep it safe until next spring. 

Although, I did rather miss the antics of the big move indoors this year!


Seasonal Garden Maintenance

Halfway through...
..& finished gates drying in the sun.

The most beautiful sunny warm autumnal day!  After potting up Cyclamens, planting out Sweet Williams, mowing the verges, and planting the last of the bulbs in pots, it was perfect weather for creosoting the drive gates ready for winter! It's only a year since they were done but it's always surprising how the sun bleaches out the stain and how much more is absorbed when re staining. I reckon they look pretty smart right now and ready to take on all that winter throws at them! It's hard to believe that it's three and a half years since Chris and I made these gates and built the stone piers. My design & Chris's skill replaced fairly ordinary five bar diamond laced field gates hinged on wooden gate posts. The fabulous old hinges were a present from Chris Pugh.

28 October 2017

Canine Visitors Distract the Gardeners!

Verbena Bonariensis plants
A fine dry Saturday and a long list of jobs!  First up: leaf clearing, weeding and then mulching the Lower Border with compost before planting out all 37 Verbena Bonariensis plants. These had been purchased as tiny plug plants, potted up and grown on.  We have woven them through the border in high hopes for an even higher purple haze of flowers next year! Hopefully they will thrive and seed themselves further.

Meet Marv!
After lunch it was time to reach for the ladder, hedge cutter and head towards the conifers beneath the Oak tree. My job is holding the ladder but halfway through, we were visited by a couple of fabulous Basset Hounds. I came very close to being found guilty of hound-knapping! The moment I was introduced to Marv, it was love at first sight! Alas, I wasn't allowed to keep him and it was back to work. Chris finished conifer cutting so it was time to clear up and then Chris strimmed the ditch and I was allowed to use his strimmer! As a complete novice, I strimmed beneath an old hedge where I can mow. The other handicap was the fading light. I'm hoping it won't look too bad in daylight!

Chris in action