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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3 September 2021

PTC's Twilight Garden by Candlelight MMXXI

 
What a few weeks it's been!!  Getting ready for our Twilight Garden by Candlelight event is always a hectic few weeks and this year has been no different!!  Chris has clipped perimeter hedges and between us we did the Yew hedges and topiary around the house - not to mention the Bay tree the day before!!  The Bay always makes the biggest mess but this year it rained all day when topiary clipping so everything stuck to everything else make clearing up and even bigger pain!!

Most of August the days have been dull cool and very cloudy and dark.  Luckily for us on the day of our big event, the sun came out!!  Visitors rolled up and when all the sums were done, we made a MASSIVE £2,099.00!! We beat our own personal best!! 

Now a VERY big thank you to Chris who not only ensured the garden was spic and span but together with Ollie and Ian he returned to place 500 tealights, lanterns and candles around the garden.  He also lit some Swedish log candles on the drive which were a great magnet for everyone!

As dusk fell, the garden was magically transformed into an absolute fairyland.  Visitors were both enchanted and entranced!  It certainly ensured that we secured a few more much needed votes (and in case you haven't already voted, you can: VOTE HERE ) 

Greg came up from Harpenden and took turns with Richard on the piano - whilst I couldn't hear the music, I did hear all the applause!! Of course we couldn't do this without all the help so freely given by friends and neighbours.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to them!  Well done team!!  



6 August 2021

Shortlisted in a Nationwide Competition

 Today we heard that the garden has been shortlisted in The Nation's Favourite Garden which is being run by the English Garden Magazine.  Our little rural cottage garden is up against the 'big boys' in the horticultural world as many great and glorious gardens are competing.  We desperately need votes and they can be cast here:  

VOTE HERE!



5 August 2021

Participating in The Gardens of Wichenford 2021

 It goes without saying that the lead up to our biennial village open gardens is always hectic - to say the VERY least!!  We borrowed tables and chairs with accompanying cloths and napkins, urns and even a giant coffee percolator!!  We had been slaving in the garden for days and even managed to overcome a major pond problem as a pipe had partially fractured which lead to emergency repairs the day before.  Lawns were manicured, last minute spot weeding and much sweeping and tidying - despite high winds and scudding clouds.  Cake numbers started to mount up as friends made deliveries.


On the 1st day, the weather looked anything but settled but at least we had ladies to serve coffees and afternoon teas which was just as well as 177 visitors trickled through the garden gate.  This year, we chose to use disposable tableware which, again was a wise decision as, the following day, visitor numbers increased to 308!!  At the absolute 11th hour, several, local ladies came to our rescue, donned on aprons and served teas from the garage. 

On Saturday Richard Goldman played Greg's old (and now rare) yachting piano - much to the delight of visitors sitting on the terrace.  Click on the photo in this link: Richard on Greg's old piano. It sounded so fab and even attracted 4 ponies which arrived at the garden gate!!

As well as thanking every single person who made cakes, delivered cakes, parked cars, served teas: a special thank you to Janine Fox who provided the star prize for our garden Treasure Hunt and the one and only (often elusive) Chris Pugh - without whose help, the garden wouldn't look the way it does and who roped us into this open garden lark in the first place!!!!

Looking back, we were incredibly lucky with the weather and the event raised a staggering £6,400.00 for our local church and for the Nora Parsons Day Centre (which provides activities for our local elderly residents).  Once again - a MASSIVE thank you to all helpers - it simply couldn't be done without you!!  

Checkout the link below!

                                                   Photos from The Gardens of Wichenford

25 July 2021

No Wheelbarrows were actually hurt !

 

Most of Saturday was spent hedge cutting, pot tidying and moving and then doing the dreaded pond work.  Chris donned on the waders and  looked as he's heading out into unknown and dangerous territory as he waded out!   did battle with overgrown water lilies, irises and oxygenating weed - Ceratophylum demersum alias Hornwort.  




It's a bit of a villain and practically filled the entire pond!  Having discovered that we ow an amphibious wheelbarrow, we filled 5 of them. All rubbish all ended up on the compost heap and, at the end of the day, with the pond water level topped up from the well, it all looked neat, tidy, clear and actually much larger!  The fish certainly have a lot more room and can actually be seen again.


More Garden Visitors.

 It's been a busy BUSY week in the garden!  We had a visit from Cleobury Mortimer W.I. on one of the hottest evenings of the year.  It was far too hot for tea and coffee so we served Prosecco with a selection of homemade cakes.  Even though we were practically all melting, it was a successful evening and more money 



raised for the National Garden Scheme.  They certainly enjoyed a fabulous sunset and were all lined up taking photos!

20 July 2021

Edging the Old Well in Style!

 A very long time ago, Chris (Pugh) brought us a HUGE pile of beautiful old Victorian path edgers and they've been sitting in the Creosote Yard for ages and ages and A-G-E-S.  We were waiting for both inspiration and the skills of a certain Chris Genever !  Last week both arrived!!

A circle to frame the Box hedge around the well with differing heights, slopes and levels!  In fact the ground slopes in every direction and working in a circle around a hedge means you can't work to a line or even see where you started or where you need to finish!!  It really did require the genius of Chris Genever! Not only did he lay them perfectly but he came up with the even more genius plan of cutting all the damaged tops off and using the remaining tiles for pavers.  This meant an edge that I could cut with long handled shears and use a half moon - the very thing I was worried wouldn't be possible.

The pièce de résistance  is the far side as we made the date in Roman numerals using bits of cut roof tiles and framing it in yellow floor tiles edgeways up.  It really does look amazing!  We're waiting for that to dry out so that I can use some dilute brick acid to just finish off the details.

Even with all the cutting, it was all finished and looking fantastic in a couple of days!  Of course, he did have his trusty apprentice on hand!! See Framing the Well! for more photos.  Meanwhile, a BIG thank you to both Chris's!!



11 July 2021

Hebes for Herbaceous!

 Having had quite a dramatic revamp, this new herbaceous border is beginning to take on much more colour.  We removed some old and very woody Hebes, moved the Dragons over by a yard and transplanted all the roses underplanting with Pulmonarias.  We now have two herbaceous borders either side of the Well Path that sort of mimic each other.  When sitting in the conservatory (usually when it's too wet to be gardening!) we can now see our own garden and not just Rob's lovely orchards.

Funny how the term 'herbaceous' ie pertaining to herbs has come to mean a planned mixed border containing  mixed perennials usually reducing in height from back to front.  How did that ever happen?