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

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29 February 2024

War Declared!

Down in Nutberry Noak - our little fruit patch, the raspberries were well and truly defeated by bindweed.  We tried for 3 years but in the end bindweed won! Shallow rooted raspberries are no match for the deep rooted bindweed.


So it's all out WAR!  The raspberries and goosberries have been dug up. All traces of bind weed in their root systems (tediously) removed and they have been planted elsewhere for a whole year. The soil was all levelled and a seat placed in the corner.  The plan is to mulch with wood chip and leave fallow for the year. This will allow me 12 months to treat and eradicate ALL traces of bindweed.  Luckily the rhubarb and current bushes are not affected.  

Next year, we plan to replant in a bindweed free zone!  Meanwhile, our little fruit patch is looking a tad strange and bereft!

28 February 2024

Path Edging

 Here we are and February is coming to an end already!  We've had more rain and more floods and the garden is totally saturated again!  

A couple of new projects have taken place - despite the appalling weather!  Chris brought some curvy Yew branches and we edged the Woodland Border path.  A reall faff of a job as we tried very hard to follow the natural curves of the path and that meant trying the branches every which way for shapes and lengths.  It also meant moving the odd Hellebore and lots of deep rooted arums not to mantion wooden mushrooms!  Negotiating trees and water mains didn't make life easy but we used to the odd challenge!  The path is quite a bit wider but I think the practicalities of passing traffic and wheelbarrow use justifty this.

We finished it and are now desperate for some wood chip!!  In fact we need SO much wood chip in SOO many areas of the garden.




28 January 2024

The Great Awakening has Begun!

 


It's late January and, already, Snowdrops,



Aconites and Hellebores are popping up. With the long dark winter days beginnning to shorten, it's a real joy to see the garden waking up. Each day, another flower has appeared and daily garden inspections are filled with anticipation!

January Jobs

 Despite the world's wettest winter, things dried up enough for grass topping last week and border preparation yesterday.  The Dragon Borders had they're annual tidy up - weeds and dead stalks removed.  

I've yet to see a bird eating from remaining seed heads or admire pretty hoar frosts on seed heads and dead stalks!  In fact, I fail to see beauty in soggy dead foliage and our birds prefer dining at gourmet feed station!  

Chris even managed to wheel up a few barrows od compost and mulch.  Plant supports were replaced, roses pruned and borders edged.  Result: smugness!!

11 January 2024

The World's RAREST Tree Thriving in Pear Tree Cottage Garden!

 


Critically endangered: Wollemia Nobilis - our little Wollemi Pine continues to thrive.  This specimen was bought from Chris who we know, does love his trees.  It came with its own documents of authenticity - a bit like buying a car! 

What is certain: we have a most ancient tree that predates dinasaurs & is a distant relative of the Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana) another ancient tree.

Recently there have been various press articles describing how David Noble found it in a deep canyon in the Blue Mountains of SW Australia in 1994 long after it was thought to be extinct.  It carries both male and female cones which reach reproductive maturity after 12 years - which our specimen must be as the oldest photo (right) was taken in 2012. The photo on the left was taken this month - January 2024

Chris made a detailed sign in English oak which gets a re-furbish every few years to keep the text legible. This year Father Christmas bought it an official label which awaits installation.  Not too many trees have Christmas presents! If you're interested check out: www.wollemipine for more fascinating facts.

31 December 2023

Water, Water Everywhere...............!

Probably the wettest winter in our garden for a very long time!!! Christmas has come and gone - along with gales and storms & we await ever lengthening days & drier weather!

Garden work has been kept to a minimum as it's been too wet to barrow across the lawn and too wet for weeding.  Pruning has gone ahead as usual and where possible work has been done from hard landscaping - not to mention power washing York paving stone.  Having said that, both spring borders - the Woodland Border & the Aspen Grove have been cleared and tidied with Hellebore leaves, deciduous ferns, Epimediums and Euphorbias all cut down ready for Hellebore flowers and Snowdrops. which are peeping through as I type. The potted Hellebores are already putting on a good show.

The garden is filled with the heady scent of Sarcocca so, on the last day of 2023, let's wish everyone a prosperous New Year!




15 November 2023

IT'S A DESERT!!

Cactus galore!
 As well as major garden projects happening recently, I can now boast that PTC Garden is the holder of an entire cactus collection - courtesy of Chris Genever.  We are officially the proud owners of about 20 cacti.  Having no knowledge, experience - or even suitable gloves, I need to learn lots. 

Already, I have re-potted around half a dozen with a mix of really free draining potting medium - mostly sand and gravel & very little peat.  What goes completely against the grain is keeping them so very dry.  Given that we're moving into winter, I figure I mustn't be tempted to water them.  My plan is to identify and label them all so that I can get to know how to deal with them - as individuals.

Meanwhile, the top shelf in the greenhouse is looking rather desert-like.  Oh and I did treat myself to a special pair of extra thick gloves which cope much better with the spines!