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!


10 January 2017

Nude, Rude & Lewd

Nude & Rude as they've become known have a new friend. Yes, we had to call her Lewd! It's another statue on loan from the Chris Pugh collection. Each will sit in her own little niche in the hedge when it greens up and all will gaze out over the vegetable patch. Over time, Lewd will also weather and acquire lichens and mosses like her two friends. They certainly bring a certain classical elegance to the old veg patch!

From the left: Lewd, Nude & Rude!

Now, the thing is, Chris has been talking about another member of his collection. A replica of Michael Angelo's David. The question is: should we call him Dude?

9 January 2017

King of Cabbages

The rest of the row

Brassica oleracea January King

No it's not Lewis Carroll talking about cabbages and kings but they are cabbages and they are kings. In this case January Kings! They're not huge but they are hearting up well. Let's hope we can keep the pigeons away and enjoy these ourselves!

8 January 2017

Winter Hedge Work

A border created from where there was once hedge
Bare but tamed!
A dull and raw Saturday but milder than of late and much happening in the garden. First up was trimming a Yew topiary heart outside the kitchen window. It needed reducing in width so as not to obstruct the view our little valley. Next up was the Pyracantha on the conservatory wall. This was in need of more major reshaping and trimming. This meant a very careful clear up with so many vicious thorns! Lastly a more major job - thinning the nothernmost hedge behind the vegetable patch. Over time, it had been allowed to get ideas above its station and was just too wide. It was cut back from the retaining sleeper wall and sloped back. The overall effect giving a much more spacious feel to that area. It should look very different in spring when it reverts to its green livery!

1 January 2017

The Eagle has Landed...

                                                                                                               Pear Tree Cottage!!

Probably the world's heaviest thunderbird!

          This is the story of Chris's rescued totem pole. 

Fixing the wings

Once upon a time there was a fallen oak tree which Chris decided to carve into a 20 foot traditional native totem pole. Over a period of 2 years and whenever he had any spare time, he worked away sculpting a thunderbird, an owl, a bear and a wolf to name but some of the animals.  Sadly, during a recent storm, a huge beech tree fell across the totem pole which was lying flat on a couple of trestles. The impact smashed through the totem pole and all his hard work.  Chris was able to rescue two of the animals - the thunderbird and an owl and (very luckily for us) brought them here where they were cleaned up with wire brushes and coated them with creosote.  

The Owl
In the Pacific Northwest, traditional totem poles were carved out of pine - an altogether much easier, softer and lighter wood. These are solid English oak and weigh an absolute ton! Having attached the thunderbird's wings - I could just about lift a single wing, it needed manhandling down to the compost heap and then lifting up and over the bays and securing at the back. This proved a monumental task and not made any easier as the creosote didn't have any time to dry in the damp wintery weather. Even Chris was not daunted by such a prospect and ploughed on regardless.

Now we have the topmost section of his totem pole with its outstretched wings sitting above the compost bays like a guardian! In Algonquin and Haida mythology, the thunderbird controlled the upper world and could throw lightning by flapping its wings. It also controlled rain - hence its place at the top of totem poles. Totem poles were carved and erected to watch over tribes and families - which is fine by me!!

To all Blog Followers & Fellow Gardeners....

13 December 2016

Aussie Sugar Pot

Spotted in the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens; a flowerpot sugar bowl with a homemade wooden lid.  Such a good idea and ideal for open gardens!!

6 December 2016

Tea Pot Competition!

And there was me thinking that teapots in the garden was just a little English eccentricity until I saw these in Owaka, New Zealand!  Trust a Kiwi to think BIG!

25 November 2016

November Down Under

I s'pose a Brit was always going to be wowed by anything that flowers in November so, true to form, here's one enjoying Rhododendrons and Azaleas in Hanmer Springs New Zealand just south of the earthquake affected area.  These colourful Rhodies had just enjoyed a light shower of rain before the sun came out and it was just like a UK spring day in May!!

Photos don't do justice to the height of the trees in this picturesque little spa town with its myriad of natural hot springs.

Hanmer Springs main street!

Peonies & Yuccas in flower

16 November 2016

Kiwi Wisdom?

Excerpt from Kiwi Gardener

Saw this interesting quote in a gardening magazine in a cafe in Rotorua. I often use Bay in soups, stews, casseroles and sauces but didn't know it had magical properties!! (And, yes I did spot the spelling mistake!)

12 November 2016

Autumn to Spring in 24 Hours!

A natural forest of tree ferns
Roses in November

A bad picture of a swarm of bees
Unusually, this is a post about gardening down under. Here in New Zealand - just a few miles away from PTC, we are wowed about what thrives here.  Just growing wild on the roadside verges are Arums, Nasturtiums, Impatiens, Daturas - to name but a few. At the botanical gardens in Auckland are masses of roses all in full bloom with not so much of a hint of black spot, mildew or rust!  Even a Wisteria is blooming in November - I ask you!!It's just not fair! As for tree ferns - they abound e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!! Huge natural forests full of them. The other weird thing is the fact that it's spring here. It was autumn when I left home and I left all the trees dropping their leaves.

Datura alias Brugmansia candida on the roadside!

Here, we even saw bees swarming