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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16 September 2019

Sucesses & Failures

Looking back at summer's ups and downs; tomatoes have to be top of the failure list!  It was one long long battle against plague proportions of whitefly from the beginning.  Crops were poor and foliage looked unhealthy at the outset.   As well as pestilence in the greenhouse, we endured an unusually long, cold and dry spring.  The Brugmansia has also looked miserable all season with yellowing leaves and few blooms.  A Canna bought from Costco by my Under Gardener has been a total failure and is heading for the compost heap!

Pelargonium Palace Penthouse!
Autumn Kings & Scarlet Emporers!
Sweet Williams were an amazing sucess but I sacrificed  the Dahlia border for them.  Chrysanths have also been successful and continue to provide lots of colour for the house.  The Pelargonium Palace Penthouse also proved a great success in providing a perfect spot to display miniature and dwarf Pelargoniums.  The avian penthouse remains vacant but hopefully will attract some tenants next spring!

In the vegetable patch: potatoes and peas did well.  Runner beans suffered in gales and high winds and broad beans didn't crop very well.  Carrots have done better than ever before! Hopefully, I can organise some well rotted manure before next spring.

September Catch-Up

Japanese anemones - Anemone hupehensis var. japonica
Our view of Woodbury looking more autumnal.

Head Gardener & Chief Blogger has been a tad quiet of late so here's an overdue update. 

Autumn is fast arriving here at Pear Tree Cottage and we had been enjoying some beautifully, still and warm days.  Many robins fill the garden with their songs and as Rudbeckias, Echinaceas and Phlox begin to fade, Japanese anemones sparkle, Sedums  are nearing their moment of glory and the rich reds of the Rowan berries, rose hips and haws glisten in the sun. Cider apples in the adjacent orchards glitter like jewels as they catch the ever lowering sun. Mornings are cool and dewy with mists hanging in the valley below.  Pears are ripening and over ripe figs are falling. Butterflies are feeding on the figs and wasps are feeding on both!

Gradually I'm returing the Pelargoniums and tender plants to the greenhouse. I should have preferred a big clean out first but alas, a shoulder injury is preventing this annual activity - sigh!

30 August 2019

Copying Castles!

Maybe, I should have posted a photo of Chris's finished Yew hedge! As the shapes have grown, so has Chris grown to like it!  In 3 years it's really taken shape.  Prior to that it was just boring straight lines. It's certainly one of those annual but transforming jobs.  What you can't see are the Secret Steps which fun up through it or the window!  All that is visible is the Magic Mirror door. The idea was stolen from Powys Castle but has been dramatically scaled down as their Yew hedge is ENORMOUS!  This is a mini version.


Pugh's Take on Powys!

29 August 2019

Hopsy Turvey!

It's that time of year again! New hops are filling the kitchen with their perfume. Once again we went to Haven Hops - which I highly recommend enjoying  their heady perfume all the way home! Dried flowers from the garden and statice from Francis Hosken's flower farm on Scilly (https://g.co/kgs/sKZe94 ) are hung up every year. On a dark winter's day, they provide some happy and much longed for colour! If you don't  have an Aga, they are brilliant  for absorbing  cooking  smells.

All ready for the long winter days.

27 August 2019

Twilight Gardens by Candlelight 2019

The conservatory.
Following many long hours of garden grafting, finally, the winds dropped, the sun shone, the temperatures rose as the garden basked in perfect still conditions for a Candlelit Opening! At long last, it WAS that perfect balmy summer's evening!

The Yew hedge sparkled as laser stars were projected on to it, 250 candles and tea lights lined the paths, fairy lights festooned the trees and lanterns hung from the branches as 180 (gulp!) visitors came from near and far to enjoy homemade teas on the terraces and Pimms & Prosecco in the garage!  It was a totally magical evening and the garden twinkled everywhere.  Chris made  Swedish log candles and lit them on the drive - a great focus of interest for the uninformed! A HUGE thanks to Chris & Ollie who were largely responsible for all the garden magic. 

The terrace steps.
In the conservatory, we had Iris, Pauline, Lindy, Tony and Pat.  In the garage, our barmaid for the evning was Sandra.  Later, she was joined by Pat and togther they served delicious drinks to appreciative visitors.  We were so lucky to have their help!  Pat made more cakes and even served gourmet homemade cheesy nibbles.  She even provided proper tables with elegant white table cloths and glasses.  It was SUCH an improvement on trying to serve everything in the conservatory.  We're even considering doing teas in the garage next time - (Deo volente!) it's actually nearer to the kitchen!

The Yew hedge never looked like this before!
We had 2 Paul's who ferried the less able up the bank - to and from the parking area.  Their services were much appreciated by everyone as they assisted with wheelchairs, walking frames.  Not too many gardens provide such a service!  A BIG thank you to them.

...And now get this! After we counted everything up, emptied the donation boxes, deducted the cost of the alcohol, done all our sums, we raised a massive 
£1,378.83 
in a single evening!!!  

It's interesting to note that our opening hours were 2 hours less than previous evening events as, instead of starting at 2pm, we didn't open until 4pm.  Having said that, 4 visitors came at noon!

The only thing we don't have are photos of any of our visitors in the garden.  Most of us were simply too busy. In such low lighting conditions, tripods are needed ...fat chance!!  Here's a few taken after they went home and some by Ollie! 


Midlands Air Ambulance Hijacked by Gardeners.....

Their best cheesey smiles!
Al fancies a test drive!!

...with a cheque for £820.00!!  Never before had they had a donation from a gardening group. The Gardens of Wichenford event was their very first!!

19 August 2019

....And the Vicar Came Too!!


The Gardens of Wichenford 2019 - FINALE


Gardening lessons PTC style!

As a follow-up to the success of The Gardens of Wichenford, garden owners, helpers and a few beneficiaries spent an evening in the gardenwhen the sun actually shone!  Pat and Sandra helped with drinks and refreshements and cheques were presented. I was very nice to see the Rev. David Sherwin and his wife.