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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17 May 2015

International VE Day Garden Cairn!

Finished & planted cairn

Chief Blogger's bin a tad busy lately!  Cairns to finish and a zillion other things before open gardens at the end of the month.  Temperatures have been positively glacial for most of this month with occasional frosts at night.  This cold snap has meant that potatoes have been earthed up early - well, early for me.  The sparrows have been dust bathing in my onions and none have germinated in a whole row!!  Not to be outdone, I've sown another row between the peas and beans - a somewhat less inviting location for sparrows.  As it was a 2 Chris Saturday with Chris P. strimming and hedgecutting - ALL day, I lapsed into apprentice mode and helped Chris G. finish the cairn (as well as glue on ceiling letters - a whole different story and totally un-garden related!)  As a mere apprentice, my job was sorting & passing stone and mortar! Many of the stones used have come from all over the place - some from as far afield as Australia, Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland, Shropshire - to name but a few places.   It's  really quite an international cairn! 
View from the far  end of the service path

A finished cairn meant much rubbing down and sculpting of mortar the following day and a major clear up around the base.  I know that the building part is where the real skill lies but, the removal of the mortar from around the stones really is totally transforming.  I found a drop of brick acid left so cleaned up the slate plaque and some of the stones.  During its construction, Chris left some pockets for planting ferns so I was able to squeeze a few in and others around the base.  It doesn't look quite so new now and it'll will soon weather in.  Hopefully most of the ferns will survive their move and moss will colonise the nooks and crannies.  ...............And we did actually start building it on the 70th anniversary of VE Day.  Victory all round!
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