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!

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24 August 2016

Whales Nailed!


Having cleared up following a visit from Contact the Elderly, Chris called about a jumper left on the hedge. It was a ruse to disguise his latest plan to give Moby Dick some attention. Now; Moby is a Portugese Laurel carefully sculpted into a whale shape by Chris. His eye is a piece of down pipe with a budgie's mirror hung inside to catch the light. When in bloom, the flowers resemble barnacles but he didn't look quite right by an old cattle sign. The cattle sign was moved to the Aspen grove and Chris's splendid solid oak sign now stands beside Moby. Chris hand cut each individual letter and shape securing them on to a sign made from reclaimed oak fencing rails. Quite the perfect feature to place next door to a Laurel whale! Thanks very much indeed Chris!





14 August 2016

Perseids Meteor Shower 2016

Hands up who saw the night sky on Thursday?  It was spectacular. So bright in fact, the first meteorite was seen in the western sky from the bedroom with the light on! In 10 minutes, we saw 6 meteorites. I wish I could have taken a photo as good as this one!

Meteor Image by Mike_Lewinski

9 August 2016

Luscious Lilies

Dipped in cocoa powder?

These beauties have weathered the high winds and their perfume is outstanding. With velvety anthers and stigmas glistening with dripping nectar, it's just another excuse to pop up to the greenhouse pausing to inhale their heavy fragrance en route.



WOT a WET Weekend!

Finished and now visible pond
One small piece of water lily
Rescued fish

Well, we had put it off and postponed and prevaricated over mammoth pond work for much too long - over a year in fact. That was until, Saturday and then we just...went for it! Chris donned on the waders and manhandled the biggest heaviest water lily in the deepest part of the pond. It was so big and heavy it had to be cut into lots of manageable pieces even for him! A single 8 year old plant had filled the entire pond sump. It was a GIANT! We hadn't seen the fish since the spring and couldn't feed them as their food sat on the lily pads out of reach of hungry mouths.  All of the white water lilies were removed and as before, 3 small pieces were tied to bricks and lobbed back in. None of those nasty plastic baskets for us! 
Clearing up was also pretty monstrous as Chris had pruned the surrounding trees and shrubs. High winds had taken their toll on the Dogwoods and many had broken off and so, at the expense of winter colour, they were reduced in height.  Chris pushed  barrows heaped high with water lilies off to the compost heap. I hosed off the mud and silt deposited on the surrounding grass. The following day, I edged, mowed, netted fallen leaves in the pond and weeded. Result! We can now see the pond again and the fish!! I promise that the pond couldn't be seen from the spot where the top photo was taken as it was totally obscured by vegetation.

A weeded beach!


Did I say wet weekend? Well the waders sprang a leak! New ones are on order. The only mistake was failing to take a photo of the aquatic jungle that we faced at the outset. Now we have exposed water, I'm expecting blanket weed to proliferate. Why is there always a downside?

31 July 2016

Wren City!

How lucky to a garden full of these! 
Last year's nest...
Our garden is full of baby wrens.  Wherever I go, they are cheeping and scurrying around. Given that our garden is 3/4 acre - that's saying a lot. We reckon we have 3 wren families.

They have all fledged their nests but the parents are still feeding them. Last year, a pair nested in an old disused letter box on the studio but I don't know where this year's nests are. We try to keep our garden free from song bird predators and wouldn't entertain the idea of having anything vaguely feline - EVER!   They are absolutely tiny - not much bigger than a moth. Talking of which, they love eating moths! For our smallest bird, they have such a distinctively loud song. By the way, I can't claim credit for the top left photo, they're too fast and too shy for me!



... & the occupants

Morse Toad in Trouble!

Morse Toad Esq
Toad pontoon
When Al found Mr. Morse in the greenhouse water butt the other day, he took immediate action and made a floating pontoon to ensure he didn't drown. As it hinges, it can rise and fall with the water level. When the level drops, the incline is a tad steep but we're in and out (of the greenhouse, that is!) so frequently, we'd fish him out. Amazing that such a small creature could even jump in given it's height of 3 feet!

Climbing in Comfort!


Have been doing some cucumber and vine tying in and pruning thanks to Chris G. for the loan of his portable staircase! Gone are the days of teetering around on the top step of a wobbly pair of steps that were too low! These  'super steps' have extra wide rungs and are rock steady so ideal for messing about high up in the apex of a greenhouse. These are so tall, I don't even need to stand at the very  top. The cucumbers which are trained above the far door were hanging down below the door frame and so were in urgent need of elevation! Genuine binder twine was called in to play to ensure a rustic edge!

Luckily I chose a cool and cloudy summer's day!


30 July 2016

Gardener's Day Off!


Head Gardener took a day off yesterday and paid a visit to Hergest Croft gardens (here) We loved the architecture and the faded glory of this garden with its extensive collection of mature trees and shrubs. I especially enjoyed the old conservatory (and its contents!) and some of the views were just glorious. More photos here




25 July 2016

August Invitation


''This week, we 'ave bin mostly.....''

...and after.

Before...
......hedgecutting!



Yes, it was time for the annual Yew hedge cut! Time consuming it may be but,whereas the native mixed hedge which surrounds the rest of the garden needs cutting every couple of weeks at this time of year,  the Yew is cut only once a year. I know many people like to cut Yew later in the year but, now we no longer need a machete to fight our way along the terrace path between the Wistereria, Jasmine and hedge. Out with the shaggy shapes and in with clean sharp lines. Now, spare a thought for Chris teetering around on a pair of steps with a heavy pole cutter all afternoon!
This hedge was originally about a foot lower than its lowest point and I had this idea to cut dips and pillars. Having done that, Chris had the idea to leave a leader to grow up allowing is to do shapes. We all came up with ideas for the shapes.


AND, here we have this weeks video!