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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22 July 2018

Tolerating the Searing Heat!

Wing Commander Peckington-Wood D.F.C.!
Chris hard at work!
Despite the never ending heat wave, work has continued apace in the garden.  The Yew sofa and front Yew hedge has had its annual Pugh trim.  As shrubs have flowered, Chris has wielded heavy hedge cutters and reshaped them as well as keeping pace with the boundary hedges - no mean feat! Philadelphi, Choiysias, Spireas, Heathers, Roses have all enjoyed his touch and are looking very neat.  Watering is still pretty arduous but worthwhile.

Colour by the Tool Shed
We've had more garden visitors - this time from Cleobury Mortimer Horticultural Society.  Sadly, I forgot to take any photos but they were super friendly and very complimentary.

  Our latest acquisition, Wing Commander Peckington-Wood D.F.C. has taken up residence in a silver Birch (Betula utilis Jacquemontii) outside the kitchen window so we are enjoying the sun setting behind him and shining through his lovely colours. We now need to move his friend: Professor Yaffles - a glass green woodpecker so he too can be seen from the window with the light behind him!


Chris Genever's Zinnias along with Dahlias, Violias and Geraniums have provided a real shot of colour in front of the tool shed. Never having grown Zinnias before, they are highly commended! They even enjoy a good vase life.

9 July 2018

Beautiful Blackcurrants

3 years ago, Chris planted a currant (Ribes nigra) bush down in Nutberry Noak. There followed a fallow year when all bindweed was eradicated.  Yesterday, I picked our first ever crop of blackcurrants. This morning, it was a very early start to make jam and beat the heat. From just over 1lb of fruit, I made 3 jars and a little bit which was eaten for breakfast! It has a deliciously piquant flavour is very high in vitamin C and because of its high pectin content, is super easy to make. What's not to love?


3 July 2018

Busy, BUSY, BUSY!


As if a heatwave, hedge cutting and haymaking wasn't enough to cope with!  This week we 'ave bin mostly....

......'aving visitors!  

All in the name of the National Garden Scheme, we have hosted an afternoon garden birthday party and an evening visit by Menith Wood W.I.. 

All have included serving cold drinks, afternoon teas/coffees, cakes and for the W.I. - Prosecco too.  Very luckily, I have been helped out by Lindy and two Paulines who have rushed around serving and washing up. All of this has helped increase charitable garden fundraising to £1,401.50 so far! Well done team!!

1 July 2018

Fishy Business

Following a few pond problems resulting in the acquisition of a new pond pump back in May, Head Gardener and Chief Blogger failed to mention a sudden increase in pond life! A friend of Chris Genever's was seeking a new home for his fish. No one had accurate figures when it came to numbers of fish and I was only too happy to help out. Up until then we had only native fish in our pond - a few Rudd and a single Golden Tench. It came as a bit of a surprise when 7 buckets full to their brims with fish arrived! They took 3 or 4 days to settle in as to begin with, they kept throwing themselves out on to the pebbles. The entire surface was boiling with orange and white fish! A week later and all was calm and they all settled down.

In the intervening period, we have lost a total of 4 with a further 5 going to live in a much bigger pond at Paul's. The water appeared much muddier for a couple of weeks. The culprits were a pair of wild duck and we have found ourselves having to clean out the filter far more frequently which is a complete pain of a job due to its location - but, for now at least, things seem to have settled down. Fingers crossed!!


A Peeping Tom in the Garden!

We have a new figure in the garden. Meet Peeping Tom hiding in the conifer on the terrace.
A couple of years ago, one's husband's enthusiasm for having a fire in the chiminea went a little too far. With flames leaping high out of the top, the conifer suffered badly. The following day, the damage was immediately visible and, it being a lowly conifer, a resulting brown patch oval in shape became more and more obvious in an otherwise healthy green conifer! Yesterday, I trimmed out all the brown stems knowing that the result would be a large hole but I figured I could hang something in the hole and maybe turn it into a feature.

Peeping Tom hiding in the conifer & peeping out at Theresa on the Terrace!
It took Chris to come up with the perfect idea and he popped back home to bring Tom from his seemingly endless collection of classical statuary! Fitting him in took a lot of thought as we had to build a bridge over existing branches beneath the hole and secure a platform on which he could stand.  Probably not quite up to Genever exacting standards but we think it will work. When and if the hole in the conifer ever fills in, we can move Tom back on to his original plinth!

21 June 2018

High Winds and Hedge Trimming

A very neat Beech hedge!
Marjoram prior to trimming back
Time for more hedge trimming! This time the other side of the beech hedge that runs along one side of the drive. Clearing up the leaves in high winds was a pain! 
Chris also did the perimeter hedges. His policy is little and often so less disturbance and clearing up. Wise policy! While he was hedge trimming, Head Gardener was on her hands and knees removing dead Forget-me-nots filling the biggest wheelbarrow 3 times and bulking up the compost heap. I also trimmed the 3 Genever Box cones. Chris also strimmed all his edges and we both cut back the Golden Marjoram beneath the roses so that it will clump up again instead of flopping and falling apart. The funny thing is, more visitors enquire about that plant than any other in the garden. It does make useful underplanting for roses. 

Both colour & perfume on a dull day!
Talking of which; they have NOT enjoyed all these high winds! Poor things have really taken a battering. Even the old Albertine over the window which doesn't have any mildew this year (yet... and for the first time for AGES) and is looking at its best is in the teeth of the gale right now! These photos look so calm despite the fact that petals are being strewn throughout the entire county right now!


15 June 2018

Head Gardener takes a morning off!!


The Head Gardener took a few hours off this morning to visit a really lovely sculpture garden at Showborough House, Twyning. 




It was just fabulous and so unspoilt and quirky.  We spent a couple of hours not thinking about our own garden jobs and just enjoyed wandering around before having tea and cake on the verandah overlooking the croquet lawn. Bliss!


After lunch by the river, it was time to head home for mowing and watering!

12 June 2018

Time to smell the roses!

There's been so much happening in the garden of late, there's been absolutely NO time left to write any posts.  Avenues of Verbena bonariensis have replaced the old Michaelmas daisies, Magnolias and silver birch trees have been pruned, hedges have been trimmed, grass has been mowed, edged, strimmed, snipped & trimmed countless numbers of times!

The pond has been a complete pain since we had our influx of goldfish and the filter has blocked numerous times. Cleaning out all the silt is a fairly major and lengthy operation made worse when vital pipes have been broken and requiring immediate replacement improvisation!

Meanwhile in the quite lengthy sunny spell, the garden is looking really pretty with the roses at their best right now. The hardy geraniums are all in full bloom and the scent from the Honeysuckle and Philadelphus is filling the garden. In fact, the weather has been so cooperative, we've even been able to dine al fresco and enjoy the scents and sounds! The greenhouse has been very busy with seedlings being grown, pricked out, potted up, hardened off and planted out - conveyor belt style!

The vegetable plot has had its trickiest season ever. Germination rate with peas, beans and carrots was appalling - the worst ever. Three sowings later we do have something at least something to show for our trouble but, compared with usual years, it's been a poor lot!

Compensating for the vegetables is Chris's Paul's Himalyan Musk rambler which is not only in full bloom but has scrambled to the top of its old wooden ladder and is up in the Leylandii!!

6 June 2018

NGS Open Garden Afternoon

A perfect summer's day helped to attract 90 visitors to our NGS Open Gardens afternoon. Why do gardens look SO much better in sunshine? We raised a massive £686.00 and our total so far this year is already £1,127.00!  Our team did an absolutely wonderful job waitressing, washing up and clearing up at the end of the afternoon.  We were so lucky to have so many wonderful bakers who made and delivered really outstanding cakes which were much enjoyed by our visitors. 

Thanks to Chris, the garden looked as neat as a new pin with perfectly trimmed hedges. He even made an emergency delivery of cushions and distributed them all round the garden ensuring that every seat had its own cushion - even the secret stump seats! He even took the photos.


31 May 2018

Visitors from Austria

A coach arrives in Witton Hill
Karl Ploberger 


PTC was home to some continental guests who came and enjoyed exploring the garden after a day at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. They weren't put off with dull and drizzly weather as all were dressed for some British weather! 

Never before had a coach been seen in our lane and neither had we hosted any foreign gardening TV celebrities before. It was a pleasure to meet Karl Ploberger (https://www.biogaertner.at/) who his Austria's equivalent to Mony Don and his party were both interested and very well informed. Thank goodness for Latin! It took a dead language to make conversing on live plants possible!! They were an absolute pleasure to meet and their visit made the local newspaper: Austrian Gardening Enthusiasts visit Pear Tree Cottage Garden.  We're hoping for better weather and more visitors this Sunday when we open for the National Gardens Scheme.