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


21 February 2010

Earthworks - Days I & II

Not exactly the very best weekend weather for major earthworks!  However, decisions had been  made  so it was make or break.  As suspected, clay was found beneath the topsoil and instead of well drained and fertile raised bed; we had a clay lined bath.  In a way, these findings were pleasing as it meant that we had made the

 right decision.  Without removing this clay; we could never grow vegetables reliably or successfully.  By day two, all soil had been removed to a depth of 2' and a huge sump created in the centre and filled with rubble into which any water will drain in the future.  Even more pleasing was the fact that the sump was dug right through the seam of clay.  Of course there was mud EVERYWHERE!  As the snow and frost thawed, so the soil became stickier and sticker clinging to anything and everything - especially gravel! Thank goodness we had amazingly brilliant, enthusiastic and expert help with Chris (seen on dumper & power barrow) and Ian (on the micro-digger)
Despite careful measuring, the clearance between the top of the power barrow and the cart shed door was 1/4 of an inch!  Almost too close for comfort!  Al, however, really enjoyed having a hand in drainage improvement!

As if that wasn't enough - it was on to the blocked septic tank overflow before the digger goes home.  Now we have an open trench from the top to the bottom of our little orchard but at least the trouble spot was identified enabling remedial work to begin.

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