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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12 November 2022

Enjoying the mild November weather!!

 A day of rushing round from one job to so many others and on the mildest November day imaginable!!!  

Hedgecutting was the top of the list and as the Mahonia is looking so spectacular over the dip in the hedge, we decided to even up the dip to frame it a little better!  In my previous garden, it always flowered in January but I'm more than happy to see it in November!  The yellow plumes of flowers really stand out against its dark green leaves looking more like flames.  Chris did a fabulous job and I did all the clearing up using the ride on - 4 boxes worth, all of which have been composted.  It's all looking amazingly smart and tidy in the lane!

We also had a bonfire and burned all the brash left from pruning the Walnut, Fig and some hawthorn some weeks ago.  When cooled, the ash too will be used either in the compost or around the garden.  Nothing much is wasted around here!


Other jobs this month have been picking and drying home grown Szechuan peppercorns, picking and drying the last of the Helichrysums and even a tiny but precious 3 strands of saffron!!  Talking of jobs, how could I not mention leaf collecting??  Every year there are more and more and I yearn for another dedicated compost bay soley for the production of leafmould!!  Still - a girl can't have everything!!

22 October 2022

Autumn Garden Work.

Fernery Path
 

Another perfect autumn day for garden work!!  The colours are truly dazzling at present.  I just want the leaves to hang on much longer!

Work started with planting 50 miniature narcisi bulbs brought from Fentongollen in Cornwall so we have high hopes.  Planting was tricky as we wanted them in along the top of the Fernery path - tree roots, stones, proximity of ferns, standing stones - obstacles of all sorts!  Progress was slow but a thorough jib done and a proper planting depth achieved!  Next was leaf clearance and trimming trellis climbers, the Blue Ice and all the Euonymous shrubs in the Lower Border!

Not sure where the day went but  Chris made numerous trips to the compost heap and the garden looks super tidy.... until more leaves fall!!



17 October 2022

All Sweetness & Light!!





Worth mentioning this year is our little Sugar Maple! In 2013, I was given some seeds from Peterborough, Ontario.  They were duly sown in pots and left outside over winter.  The germination rate was good.  This one was eventually grown on and planted at the back of the Aspen Grove probably about 3 years ago.  It now stands 5 - 6 feet tall and looking spectacular in its autumn livery!  It really stands out and contrasts brilliantly with the ajacent Copper Beech.  I need to read up on tapping birch trees.  When it matures, I definitely plan to have a go at making syrup from the sap.







Meanwhile, down in the Woodland Border, the autumn colours are really quite startling.  A few weeks back, Chris Genever and I stabilised Rob's Retreat which had acquired a rather worrying lean!!  All is now safe and the Acer really illuminates it in the morning sun. 

 

Show Successes!

 

Goodness knows where the time has gone since my last post!!  Autumn is now in full swing and, if anything,  the colour change is a little earlier this year.  Maybe, because of the summer drought.


We had some unexpected successes at Stoke Bliss last month!  In the Dahlia class, we had a second, desert apples, we had another second and the biggest surpise of all was a third prize for meadow hay!!  It was a beautiful sunny day and a delight to see the vintage tractors at work as well as 4 teams of horses ploughing.  I also had a couple of 1sts in other classes  Stoke Bliss Successes




3 September 2022

Twilight Garden by Candlelight Evening 2022

 


Once again, we were super lucky with the weather.  It was a sunny, warm and still evening.  There was nothing still about the run up!  Talk about rushing around at the last minute!   Teas, cakes, tables, jam jars, candles, cushions, fairy lights, chairs - even more tables and chairs, tableware, vases of flowers, plates, cups, glasses........................it just never stopped!!  I daren't even mention all the garden work or the last minute hedge cotting and edging that went on!

 

Thank heavens for wonderful helpers and the support they showed!  Brian lugged tables and chairs around the county. Pat made loads of exquiste cakes.  We couldn't even think of doing it without them all.  Gabby, Lindy, Pauline and Jenny brought cakes and slaved away serving teas. Sandra made a gluten free special and came over and helped serve evening drinks. Greg & Richard played the piano and whilst, I didn't hear the music, I definitely heard the applause!  Janine & Malc lit all 450 candles that had been placed in jam jars around the garden by Chris and honestly!  The garden looked absolutely magical!


Greg took some drone shots and Chris took some really pretty night time garden shots.  Here are some more: PTC Garden by Candlelight

I have to admit, I lost count of visitor numbers and got up to about 145 but we think it was more likely to have been 150.  Either way, a cheque for a massive  £1404.67 has now been sent off to the National Garden Scheme. How amazing is that?? 

The great Jam Jar Hunt is now well under way!!

31 August 2022

Noah the Mower's New House

 

We are slowly getting used to having Noah the Mower in the garden.  It's like having a little creature moving around the lawn!  Our concern was the fact that he was homeless and that his charging point was exposed to the elements.

Enter Chris Genever!!   We didn't exactly have an ideal selection of materials. I didn't really fancy OSB so Chris (bless 'im!) came up with some ply and some reclaimed feather board.  We did, however have a supply of reclaimed lead and (needless to say) I was keen to cut scallops along the leading edge and make lead rolls. I just love a bit of detail!!  His little daisy windows lookeven Tudor-esque!

In no time a little gem of a house appeared!!  I did come up with some bits and pieces for his mini driveway.  We used some broken reclaimed Victorian path edgers with the broken tops cut off. a few pebbles and some left over terracota tiles was all that was needed.  I made his sign somewhat earlier - an oak off cut carefully sanded and a bit of pyrographic doodling screwed to some left over cleft chestnutwas the finishing touch!  Hey presto!  Noah the Mower has his very on house!!


22 August 2022

The arrival of Noah The Mower!

 We have a new friend in Pear Tree Cottage Garden!  His name is Noah the Mower and although he can't talk back, he's fully trained and now voice controlled!  I've even linked him to my online calendar.  That way, he knows not to mow when we have garden visitors or garden events.  He also knows when it's too frosty for mowing!  He's been in residence for nearly a week and is still mapping the garden.


Whilst it's goodbye to stripes, I'll be able to allocate mowing time to other tasks and duties.  Also, I'll still be mowing around the edges and using the long handled edging shears.  Somehow, I think I'll still be using my usual mowers to pick up fallen leaves.  Noah the Mower has cables to guide him.  Alas, our overhanging trees meant that satellite guidance was not an option. With the present drought, there's never been less grass to mow.

We've experienced the most amazing service both from Craig at Husqvarna in Liverpool and O.H.M.S. in Pershore. Martin from O.H.M.S entrusted us with their demo model for a couple of weeks whilst they resourced the model we required. Things definitely didn't go at all well for them as one was stolen, one was lost in transit and another arrived damaged.  Despite all these hiccups, they ensured that we the customers were cared for. Simply outstanding service. I really could NOT recommend them enough!

Choosing his cover was tricky.  We could have had a sheep, a ladybird or even a zebra.  Trouble was, some of them looked a tad cartoonish hence our unusually tasteful choice of daisies! It's weird having movement in the garden he's still so unfamiliar and occasionally startling!  

The next project is to build him a house!  Yes!  We still love our projects!