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.


6 December 2019

Garden Birthday Bonanza!

Hellebore 'Diva' in a faux lead pot
Head Gardener is still in a sling and feeling a tad fed up with not being able to get on with the usual seasonal jobs - sigh!  The garden has suffered one of the wettest autumns and the ground is still so wet, it 'sings'.  There are leaves fallen leaves EVERYWHERE and the Yew topiary by the back door remains untrimmed - for the very first time at this time of year.

However today I did manage some potting left handed and it took 10 times longer than usual!

Acers - Osakazuki & Beni Komachi in their new pots

Having been given a couple of Acers for my birthday, I spent some birthday money on some pots for them and also a Hellebore. Two glazed pots for £10 and a really big English grown Gold Standard  'Diva' for £15. For the Acers,  I used a mix of ericaceous potting medium, grit and JI No 3 with a top dressing of horticultural grit.  Hopefully both will thrive when they're put outside in the spring.  For now, they'll remain in a cold greenhouse.

After all the excessive rainfall we've had to endure,  for the past few days, we've been enjoying a well deserved spell of dry weather with some remarkable sunrises and sunsets.  Sadly using a camera left handed is nearly impossible and using a phone isn't much better!

Sunset from the garden tool shed verandah.

25 November 2019

Rescuing an Oak!

The 2014 rescue.
Totally obscured oak.
In 2014 an oak tree was rescued from its neighbouring thugs.  Fast growing Leylandii conifers had practically starved the oak tree of all light on one side and it was leaning desperately searching for more light.  The side adjacent to the conifers was bare of branches and when the conifers were topped, the poor old oak did look a one sided, sad and spindly specimen. Today, as the sun was attempting to show itself, I couldn't help but notice the improvement. Five years on, the little oak now has branches on both sides albeit a tad short on the conifer side. Oaks are so slow growing, they need extra care not less!

5 years later & thriving once again.

Perfect Plant Presents!

Following a significant (ahem!) birthday, Head Gardener is now the lucky owner of a David Austin 'The Lady Gardener' shrub rose and 2 Acers - Acer Palmatum Beni Komachi and Acer Palmatum Osakazuki!  Who's a lucky girl?  I also have some garden vouchers and have decided to spend them on pots for the Acers - good idea or good idea???

Image result for acer beni komachi
Beni Komachi 
Beni Komachi is a densely branched dwarf and slow growing variety whose intensely coloured leaves remain bright red for most of the year.  Osakazuki is a bigger and more open growing specimen - approx 5' after 10 years.  Again, a bright red leaf in autumn but bigger and not as curly as Beni Komachi.

Always good to have a pop of red!

David Austin Roses David Austin Rose The Lady Gardener
The Lady Gardener

The Lady Gardener is an apricot repeat flowering shrub rose which, usefully for us, tolerates some shade.  I have just the spot for it!  No wonder we gardeners are such an optimistic breed.  There's always so much to which to look forward!!

21 November 2019


Head Gardener is recuperating following some major shoulder surgery so, frustratingly, garden work is presently out of bounds - sigh!  So... here's a what's happening.  Not a lot.  There's tons to do and  I'm trying not to think about all the leaf clearing that needs doing!!

13 November 2019

Thinking of Spring

I thought I'd finished planting bulbs until some Pheasants Eye Narcissus bulbs arrived late from Parkers and then guess what!  Tammy popped over from Stockton Bury Gardens to pick up some calligraphy and gave me some tulip bulbs.  They were the fattest, plumpest most lucious looking bulbs I've seen this season.  I must ask more about their origins!  I'fe always loved the Pheasant Eye variety for their wonderful perfume and their bright eye.  They're also much later than most Narcissus

Pheasants Eye Narcissus
There was nothing for it but to enlist some help (new bionic shoulder now on order!) lugging heavy pots and compost.  I'm pleased to say that they're now all planted in some gritty well draining potting medium and top dressed with some horticultural grit. Very smart. 

Roll on spring!

10 November 2019

The arrival of the PREDATOR!

Heading down towards the Aspen stumps.
Yet another wet Saturday!  It was on with the waterproof over trousers and wet weather gear in readiness for 'stump grinding'!! 

Grinding out an apple tree stump in just a couple of minutes!
Chris arrived with .....................THE PREDATOR!!  Great name for a stump grinder!  It saved hours and hours of hard work axing and digging out 8 tree stumps.  Despite the incessant rain, all the stumps were ground out in less than half an hour.  The remaining wood chip was raked level and as neat as a new pin - all ready to plant the new birch trees.  I have a feeling that it might still be known as the 'Aspen Grove' despite the fact there's now no trace of them.  This beast of a machine meant that there was time left for tidying overhanging branches in The Woodland Border, more power washing and even making 2 big 'Tulip Trifles'!!

YES! It was raining the whole time!