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


1 August 2022

Nothing like a project!!


 The original gate arch had rotted and was leaning badly under the weight of the gate in the middle.  The gate is pretty special as it was made by my father and was a birthday present way back in the 70's (ahem!) This garden is it's 4th home and  the 'B' in its centre will now stand for Bulmers as it faces their cider apple orchards.  Thanks to Simon it's already had a coat of paint and was waiting for some cleaved English sweet chestnut on order since April.  Having, at last taken delivery of the chestnut, all we needed was Master Craftsman, the one and only Chris Genever!!

Chris managed to fit us in and creating the replacement rustic arch was huge fun! 

As a mere apprentice, (very) amateur architect and chief designer, there were lots of complaints about the lack of plans and there were so many variables and constraints.  With the nearby oriel window on the potting shed, I didn't want masses of timber too close so I came uo with a rustic fence style design with vertical pailings at alterntive heights. This design was mimicked across the roof and in the second anti rabbit wicket - yes, we actually have 2 gates.  I also came up with a fan design in both gables. Again, we used pailings to ensure it wouldn't look too heavy.

Chris lifted the old bricks (which had to be 'stacked tidily') before carefully cleaning them all and relaying them on bedding and pointing them. after a degree of confusion (!) the were laid in a herringbone pattern.  Yes, I was a tad confused as the herringbones only show when viewed diagonally!!

Thanks to Chris's skills and patience the finished arch looks amazing and we're thrilled! 

For  before and after photos, checkout: Gate Arch Construction 2022

16 July 2022


Well, haymaking PTC style.  Chris used a hedge cutter and I used a spring tine rake. As he cut each line, I raked the cut grass into swathes.  It worked absolutely perfectly!!  It's 'micro' haymaking and if actually baled would probably amount to only 2 bales max!!  However, we use our hay to like the chickens nest box and it's 'SO' much better than bought bedding - whatever that contains!  Yes - we ran out of hay 3 weeks ago and were forced to buy this commercial bedding - chopped somethingorother!!  It smells awful and we hate it! 

With the already declared national emergency due to predicted 90 degree temperatures next week, I think we've timed our haymaking perfectly!!  The Yellow Rattle planted a couple of years ago thrived and has now set seed.  Even before a G&T, I turned it and only WISH I could share the smell as its dries in the sun!  It's just DIVINE!!  Memories, memories!!  Nor sure what my Daddy would think of my haymaking methods but he'd probably laugh!!! Having said that; I did get 2nd prize at our local ploughing match a few years ago and that was competing against real experts!

Visits and Clearances!

It's ALWAYS so busy in this garden!!  We enjoyed two group visits from Oddingley & District Gardening Club & Himbleton WI.  Both evenings were warm and sunny and visitors were able to enjoy the garden and views without the need for warm jackets for once and raise more money for the NGS!

Meantime, Chris has been even busier cutting hedges, strimming ditches, manicuring the Beech hedge and we also did a major clearance around 'My Daddy's Gate' in readiness for the arrival of a certain Mr. Genever!!  The cleft chestnut timber was delivered last Thursday so we have cleared the area around the rotting gate arch making room for its replacement.  Chris trimmed the hedge right back and we felled a Viburnum opulus as well as cut down a couple of climbing Hydrangeas and Hawthorns.  Really quite radical.  The Viburnum was infested with Viburnum Beetle so we weren't too sad to see it go.  I think we'll need to move the cattle sign further back as it no longer looks quite right.  

Simon has already painted the gate and my plan is to turn it arouond so that we have the 'B' facing the garden - 'B' for Bulmers orchards!!  The gate was made by my father as a birthday present many years ago. As my surname changed the inital in its centre is no longer appropriate for me but, given its location, is absolutely PERFICK!!  I'm positive my Daddy would approve!

5 July 2022


The Dragon Borders are looking better this year.  However, a few plants still need moving about as I still haven't got all the their heights right.  The left border looks better than the right!  Not sure how I managed to get a gap in the right border!
At least they've sertainly filled out since last year.  I particularly like the bright red Monardas and Chris Genever's Phlox.  Some of the Achilleas are a bit on the floppy side and need much staking.  I'm very pleased with the steely blue Eryngiums - they're the best they've ever been.

I've never been on colour themes and prefer the riotous clash approach!

Now I need to mark the plants which need moving in the spring and remember where to move them to - or remember to look at these photos!! 

Alas, a gardener's work is never done!  Is that why I love it so much?

2 July 2022


 On a cold, grey and blustery June day, the garden played host to a coach load of Norwegian garden enthusiasts.  Such was their enthusiasm, they weren't put of in the least by a grey and cold summer's day.  Even when the coach driver couldn't make the turn up to Witton Hill, determination prevailed and they walked all the way from Horn Lane!!  £500.00 was raised for charity and our visitors were delighted to see their national flag displayed as they enjoyed homemade afternoon tea - PTC style!  Interestingly hardly any of them took milk with their tea or coffee.  This was noted as we only remembered to get in extra milkl supplies at the 11th hour and so were left with surpliss milk! They were charming people with a genuine interest in the garden.  

A big thank you to our helpers: Lindy, Gabby, Jenny & Pauline who served teas in the freezing temperatures and washed up in a very warm kitchen! An EXTRA big thank you to Pat Finch who made trays of exquisite cakes despite her very recent hip surgery!!

More photos can be found here:Norwegian Visit

23 June 2022

The joy of a garden in June!

The roses aare all in bloom and Chris's Paul's Himalayan Musk is really startling! The Summer Solstice has now passed and a whole row of Arran Pilots have been eaten!!!  

We're managing to keep in front of black fly on the beans and half the meadow grass has been mown! The Syringa is filling the garden with scent and the lemon tree is filling the terrace with its heady perfume.  Time to take a moment from the garden drudgery to enjoy the fruits of labour! 

What's not to love about a garden in June? 



17 June 2022



So much is happening in the garden, there's been hardly any time for blog posts!!  The meadow grass is quite high now and some has already been cut - the area with the biggest amount of vetch!  It was just tooooo jungle-like!  

The remaining grass will be cut & dried later.  The hay we make will line the chickens' nest boxes.  Mowing and edging at this time of year is very time consuming and Needs doiong every 5 - 6 days.

Meanwhile the potatoes planted on 17th April are now flowering and we have tasted a few yummy Arran Pilots!!