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


30 March 2010

How to make plant supports from left over prunings!

Having spent Saturday planting around the culvert and barrowing last year's compost around the garden; one was accused of doing 'girlie craft jobs' on Sunday!!  The cheek of it!  I thought I was making good use out of the dogwood prunings by making plant supports.  OK so they do look a bit rustic - some might say wobbly but, in my defence, I hadn't soaked the rods and it's not the same as using willow rods which are far more flexible and longer!  I had enough material to make a total of 3 and they'll certainly look more natural than canes or those nasty plastic supports.  Anyway, being dogwood, they're a very pretty colour!  As I spent my birthday money so generously sent by Frances and John on more Dogwoods to go round the pond, hopefully they'll approve of this idea and give it a Scottish thumbs up!  I hope to have even more material for next year's supports!  Al thinks it looks like a first nation's Indian village camping by the waters edge!

By the way - they're easy enough to make.  I used a dustbin lid (for the size I needed) and pushed the uprights firmly into the turf making an evenly spaced circle.  I was careful to use the stronger/longer rods for this purpose.  I then tied the top very securely leaving a nice fan of thinner growth at the top.  The younger, more flexible rods were woven around the base (being careful just to bend and not actually kink the rods), leaving enough length on the base of the uprights to push into the soil.  The secret of strength is to keep the weaving pushed tightly downwards.  I kept the weaving to a minimum in order to have enough material to make more!  Being constructed from Dogwood (Cornus Sanguinea) and not Willow (Salix); I didn't worry about all their whippy lateral growth as this will be extra support for things like sweet pea tendrils.

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