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!


21 March 2018

Jetty Building - Phase I

Building the base
The vernal equinox - the real first day of spring not the meteorological first day of spring! (Haven't quite worked out why we now have 2!) saw the beginning of a new garden project in the garden at PTC The pond is getting its very own jetty! A idea which has been on the cards for some time but now work is well underway. The general idea is to get as far away from the appearance of  'decking' as possible and to achieve a more rustic appearance altogether. We made huge progress and, with Chris's usual attention to detail and accuracy meant that the entire structure is 100% square, level and upright! He even cut, inserted and trimmed tiny wedges to ensure both fence posts live up to his high standards of excellence.

Boarding the base

We plan to erect a small fence around part of 2 sides to enclose it a little and to reduce the chances of a chair leg being dangerously close to an edge! I know it's difficult to imagine enjoying a sundowner when it's -4C outside but I'm ever the optimist!

Overhanging the water - safely!

2 of the 4 fence posts in position.

17 March 2018

Snowdrops in the Snow!

March blizzards??? Not exactly the best weather for dividing and planting snowdrops but, I wouldn't mind betting that these little beauties don't even know they've been moved! They have brought both light and life to the Aspen Grove. In the past we planted Dogwoods and Alchemilla Mollis but neither were a success. For a couple of years, we've just had wood chip which had the benefit of smothering 99% of all weeds. Both Chris and I love the woodland look and when the Aspens are in full leaf and the ground beneath in full shade, the snowdrops will have quietly died back and will flower again next spring when they have more light. I'm not a Galanthophile but would guess that these are probably Elwesii. Hopefully they will thrive and spread in their new home!

It took more time removing ski trousers, over trousers, 3 pairs of socks and 6 layers of fleeces afterwards!! Such Arctic weather in March just 'ain't natural!

7 March 2018

Hypothermic Hellebores looking Happier!

Following the thaw here at PTC, it's lovely to see that the Hellebores and Snowdrops are slowly recovering from their heavy and deep blanket of snow and are slowly raising their heads once again - well, inasmuch as Hellebores do!  These most showy of early blooms always bow their heads so modestly.  It's amazing to realise that last week they were entirely buried beneath deep snow.

General Stores - Open for Business!

 Having finished a sign for the new hut using Chris's pyrography iron, Chris (Genever) kindly hung it up pronouncing it officially open for business! The pine disc was a present from Maureen and  is another cherished piece of Draycott in the garden! 

This was the hut that we were building back in November. As it actually as it is a bit of a general store, it seemed a pretty fitting name. It stores over wintering Dahlias, home grown apples and miscellaneous garden paraphernalia. Chris also drilled some heavy duty metal eyes into the house wall enabling the Wisteria to be tied securely back against the brickwork.

5 March 2018

And now - the big thaw!

What a difference a day makes!!  In 24 hours, deep drifts of snow began melting away today. The garden was filled with sounds of dripping water and bird song once again. The girls are back in their 'House for Hens' as the temperatures were back up to 8 degrees from -4! Even the ice on the rain chain has all melted. The poor Hellebores are struggling to recover as they make their second appearance of the year. No sign of snowdrops yet.

Reappearing Hellebores.

The thaw begins.

2 March 2018

Chucklings keeping warm in -4 degrees with deep snow outside!

A very snowy Henclosure
Marigold on look-out!
Esmerelda inspects Tosca's & Wilhelmina's output!

More snow and biting easterly winds means that it's FAR too cold for the girls to be outside in their pole hose in the Henclosure so they have decided to spend a few days next door in their Hennery house and stay snug and warm. 

This morning saw a bit of a scramble ('s'cuse the pun!) for the nest box but at least they're much cosier. Despite the weather, there were 4 eggs when I defrosted their water with one waiting in the wings ('scuse another pun!) to lay. Having five different hybrids means we know exactly who's laid which egg!

This weather means much deserved extra treats and extra corn. Yesterday, they had porridge for breakfast.

25 February 2018

Keeping busy to keep warm!

A very tidy culvert!
Chris returning for the next load

So; a sunny Saturday - for a change! Never mind the cold - at least it was dry!  Work began weeding and edging around all the tree bases in our little 'orchard' and then doing the Beech hedge around the Henclosure.
Nearly finished!

Chris was meant to be mulching with compost but when I caught him up, I found that he'd had a radical clear out in the Culvert Border! As he said, 'It's no good mulching on top of weeds.' How right he is. Before we knew it the conifers overhanging the culvert had all been pruned back and huge amounts of ivy removed. 

His eagle spotted that the Pheasant Berry by the cave door had died so that was removed and, yes. The compost bay is now empty and the yard area swept clean!!  It's always a long and heavy haul and far from a five minute job so it's always really pleasing when it's all finished. Well done Chris! 

Spying on the diners!

Great tit.
Long tailed tit

As it's been so ferociously cold, we've been making extra sure our song birds are well catered for. Their personal Michelin starred chef checks their daily gourmet menus and puts out fat balls, niger seed, peanuts, meal worms and raisins. These are just a few of our regular diners. We also have Chaffinches, Spotted woodpeckers, Bluetits, Blackbirds, March tits, Coal tits, Thrushes, Nuthatches, Dunnocks as well as the usual Sparrows and occasional Starling none of whom were the least interested in being photographed through the kitchen window!  They all know that spring is nearing and already there is activity around nest boxes and tea pots (hung in trees) despite the freezing temperatures.

Robin - waiting his turn in the Yew hedge below!

19 February 2018

Blooming Update!

A few cheery photos of flowers in bloom in February.  Somehow, I don't think they need any introduction.  It's just such a pleasure to see them - especially on the darkest dreariest days. Still, the day's are getting a little longer as it's noticeably lighter in the mornings and evenings and that means a promise of more to come!!