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


25 August 2011


Much has been happening and no time for blogging!  After a day's fruit picking at Paul's, there were jellies to be made - wild crab apple and Scilly mint jelly to be precise!  The gages and blackberries were duly frozen individually and then bagged up for later enjoyment. 

Actually there were 13 jars originally but one and a half have been eaten already and others, given away to deserving friends!  In fact all of that happened before I even got around to doing labels or tops!  

Perhaps I should just allude to the fact that the actual making of the jelly took far longer than getting out pine tree roots.  Why?  I hear you ask!  Well the aged jam kettle hadn't been used since the new Aga arrived and it was used exclusively on the old gas hob - not the Rayburn.  So!  It took over 2 hours to realise that its base had become distorted and that the concavity meant that there was little contact with the boiling plate!  Anyway, the mint jelly is delicious and I'm now the very proud owner of a 'Rolls Royce' jam kettle - courtesy of my loving husband!  Nectarine & scented leaf geranium conserve is next on the preserves agenda!  More messy stickiness to come!

As if that wasn't enough, out in the garden there were pine tree roots to be dug out and lawn repairs to be made.  Chris never needs much of an excuse to swing an axe and after repairs to the turf were made, there was re-seeding to be done.  All of this after weeding both the lower and woodland borders (yawn!)

Well, we knew it was going to be messy but, by the end of the day, all was tidy and we just need to sort out soil leveles around the stump, plant any bulbs and re-seed.

What we REALLY need here  at PTC is RAIN!  It actually hasn't rained here since 24 June.  Everything is tinder dry and parched everywhere.  Rain seems to have fallen just about everywhere else - huge quantities in some areas.  How can so much rain keep dodging us?  We've had dark clouds and serious threats but no more than a few spots.  

Don't be fooled by any green grass seen in photos as we have used well water for irrigation in a few areas - not for the grass but young trees and shrubs.  Any green grass has been close

No comments: