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


24 January 2016

The Advantages of a Service Path

The Lower Border - before work began.
A rare Saturday without rain meant that despite the wet ground, a little progress was actually made. Whilst the mild weather has returned, it was FAR too wet to consider much need mowing. However, I edged all the very long and shaggy lawn borders around the entire garden and Chris made a start on weeding the Lower Border working mainly from the service path at the back.

The service path in autumn
Service paths at the back of deep borders are an absolute boon. They save so much trampling and unnecessary soil compression. If you have the room, I couldn't recommend having one enough. We keep ours topped up with wood chip and it can't even be seen from the front of the border.  It's kept clear at all times and shrubs are pruned accordingly. This means that many have flat backs but their flat backs can't be seen from the front either!  A service path is also useful for making sneaky short cuts to the compost bays!

Having cleared the border of weeds, we were able to mulch it with 4 barrows full of home made compost. Again using the service path at the back along which to wheel the barrows and distribute the mulch.  I must say that this years compost just couldn't be better! It's a light, crumbly, friable, sweet smelling perfection - full of much needed nutrients.  It cost nothing but time and, in these quantities, would be prohibitively expensive to buy.

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