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


23 September 2012

Light Duties & NGS Update

Chris secures his old cedar ladders
Chief Blogger and gardener has been on light duties this week due to a slight incapacitation which means she has been able to participate in matters horticultural in a supervisory capacity only. It was more akin to Clerk of the Works!

Supervisory duties included overseeing trimming of the conifers by the oak tree and the erection of some antique cedar wood ladders up the (somewhat naked) side of the  conifer giving Chris's Paul's Himalayan Musk its very own unique climbing frame.  The ladders were massively long - too long for the conifer so we decided to place them side by side and Chris secured them with discreetly drilled screws and wires disguised with a length of rusty old chain.  Previously, the ladder was rather lost in the conifer down by the compost heap and the Golden Hop trying to climb it was being overtaken by the Leylandii it was meant to smother.  Of course, you do have to imagine and established rambler smothered with perfumed blooms cascading down the ladders and that means being patient and admiring the ladders for now!
The Pear Gate

That done, it was down to the Pear Gate and tie in the wild Dog Rose over the oak arch and prune out the excess. Mixed Narcisuss bulbs were planted (Chris's most hated job!) in clumps in the rose border -  the plan being that when the Narcissus die down the untidy leaves will be hidden by the Geraniums (Johnson's Blue).  A few more clumps were planted in the Sofa Border at the foot of Octavius and beneath the Berberis's.  That finished, it was on to Chris's latest project: his secret seating area between the Laurel and the new shed - photos to follow.  Chris found the lengths of Western Red Cedar which were used to retain the drive bank before it was widened and then stored safe in the knowledge that they would come in for something else in the garden! The perfect materials for re-recycling and building steps to Chris's clever chainsaw carved chairs.  By driving in short posts and nailing on the Cedar lengths - bark side outermost, he made the bottom step first and back filled with the soil levelled from the next step until all four were finished.  The remaining lengths were laid as a threshold at the base in order to invite exploration.

Back of Top Lawn Border
Top Lawn Border from the front.

Other Saturday news was that PTC had a visit from the NGS County Volunteers & Photographers: Alan & Lyn Nokes. They certainly picked a lovely sunny autumn day to visit PTC.  After a coffee and a stroll around, it was decided to use a photo I'd taken earlier in the year so I put a small selection on a memory stick.  It was lucky the weather was so perfect and I was glad that at least the top lawn border was full of colour - mostly Rudbeckia's and Genever Dahlias oh, and the Bishops were looking pretty good too.  The sun was really highlighting Rob Holloway's apple crops in the surrounding Bulmer's orchards which added to the 'mellow fruitfulness' picture and they seemed to like the garden.

NB. Our shed expert and master builder is away sunning himself in Spain this week so no progress on the bike shed this Saturday.

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