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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13 February 2019

Losing those long dark days!




The garden continues to slowly awaken from its long winter slumber. Already in flower we have Primroses, Snowdrops, Cyclamen, Aconites, Hellebores and even the odd Pulmonaria is showing a little colour! 

A Poinsettia bought in 2017 is flowering its heart out in the conservatory and down in the greenhouse, Geraniums, Pelargoniums and Chrysanthemums are all stirring! Noticeably, birdsong is increasing as our song birds begin to enjoy the extra daylight. Even the chickens are laying more eggs!

Here's a taste of what's happening! 
https://photos.app.goo.gl/XhMN1hE59YYdDtCM9

5 February 2019

Sunny Winter Work!

A freezing cold but sunny Saturday meant time to sharpen secateurs and prune the apple trees! We started with the Bramley first then did Katy and Lord Hindlip.  After that we did the pillar rose taking out much of the old woody stems to encourage new growth. 

Then on to a much bigger job.  Moving peonies and splitting and moving a BIG tree peony.  I know that in general, peonies aren't over keen on moving house but, Chris gets as much soil around roots as possible.  We don't know if the tree peony will survive but it's got 2 chances and 'we done our best, Gov'!  It had grown far too big for its spot by the Lion Steps.  In fact, one lion was completely obscured.  Not so now. We also moved a Berberis in the Sofa Border which has reduced overcrowding beneath a Dogwood and now looks much better.  We took another couple of barrowfuls of compost for distribution and mulching before the usual tidy up and bonfire. Whilst doing all this, there was time to spot Snowdrops and Cyclamen popping up everywhere. All in all, a god day's work! 

Yes! Sun & blue skies!

27 January 2019

Would rather have had a hang over!

Owing to the fact that Head Gardener has been recovering from a nasty bout of 'something', poor Chris was totally abandoned this week. When he arrived, he assumed that we were both too hung over from the previous Burn's Night celebrations! As if!!!  One had to croak out an explanation which had forced a last minute postponement to any such celebrations! He plodded 'quietly' on emptying the compost bay and mulching the Lower Border which he had carefully prepared last week and then moved on to prune both pear trees. Unusually, H.G. was left pathetically clutching a hot water bottle drinking copious hot toddies in front of the log burner! Will need to compensate next week!

Woodbury rising from the shadows.

We did have just a dusting of snow earlier in the week but it didn't last five minutes and looked as if the garden had been dredged with icing sugar. Note that we still have the odd rose in bloom! I should dearly love to know the name of this variety as there's hardly a day in the year when there are no flowers in bloom.

22 January 2019

Lift & Divide!

Spot Chris in the shadows!
As our usual Saturday gardening day was swapped to today, work began in the Lower Border the whilst Head Gardener was engaged with the annual appointment with the accountant! When lunch time arrived Chris had practically finished it all on his own and, as it was so cold, H.G cooked bacon sandwiches (on homemade bread!) and made hot coffee for lunch.
Clumps of Epimediums

It was then back to work with the usual team of two! Chris dug out and divided the HUGE Epimedium clump and divided it and replanted the divisions - 11 in all. Some were returned to the Woodland Border with fresh compost (from the heap!) and others were replanted in the shady Tool Shed Border in which there has never been much interest apart from a few Muscari in spring.


Meanwhile Snowdrops and Hellebores are popping up everywhere.  The scent from the Sarcococca  was wafting across the garden despite the low temperatures! Even the fragrance from the Chimonanthus praecox was making its presence felt and I have a cold!!  To add to the scene, the sun came out briefly and the chill wind abated. We were reminded that mid-winters day has passed and that spring is nearing!



12 January 2019

Border Patrol!

I was meant to be catching these, NOT taking photos!
Making a start
Tome to clear the Woodland Border, trim off all last year's hellebore leaves, clear out encroaching ivy, and cut back dead/dying ferns.  Guess what we found! Yes! Hellebores coming into flower and snowdrops just peeping through the soil!!  Chris found the odd clump of snowdrops hidden behind the old pear tree so we moved them where they can be appreciated and admired.

Progress!

Ta dah!!
Having finished that, it was time to start on both Well Steps Borders. Major ivy clearance and deadheading.  It's all very well for these erudite gardeners to advise dead heading in spring and lecturing on how magically pretty dead heads look when covered in frost with the sun low in the sky.  The thing is, with a damp, dull and dank winter, they just look blackened and soggy as they rot!

9 January 2019

WWW...........Warm Winter Work!!


Having begun the annual fern clear up down in the Fernery, it was time to warm up with a bonfire and a major tidy up. The wood ash is mixed in with the compost and we also top dress raspberries and fruit trees with it. The bracken is used as a duvet on the arum lilies to keep the frost off them and ensure they survive the winter. Hopefully the weather will hold and we can finish this job and clear the ever encroaching ivy from around both the ferns and Hellebores.


I know may people have snowdrops in bloom so I went on a hunt for ours. After an intensive search, I found a few just peeping through!!  Hellebores are also just pushing up so it's time to remove all last years leaves. Who says gardening stops in winter???