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 September 2016

Hops - V - Noisy Kitchen Extractor Fans!

Fuggles hops & home dried flowers
Before the clean up!

Last year's home grown hops were looking very sparse, tired and faded. A little late but, at last, I got around to replacing them.  I adore the smell of new hops and this variety is Fuggles (isn't that a great name?!)  This year I went to The Haven, Dilwyn in Herefordshire where a lovely lady helped me choose a bine, carefully wrap in a dust sheet and even carry it out to the car. If you're in need of hops, The Haven is well worth a visit.

Their use in the kitchen is more than just decorative. They absorb cooking odours really well. I know that with an Aga, there are no cooking smells but, a garland of hops has to be nicer than a loudly whirring kitchen extractor fan and, dare I say, 'greener' ?  Well, their colour does fade over the year.

Of course, there were hops E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E!  In my hair, stuck to my clothing all over the floor, the kitchen surfaces, trails of them from the back door and utility room but I just didn't care. I added some home dried Roses, Hydrangeas and Achilleas to fill out one end of the beam and, job done. It was huge fun and an equally HUGE mess. A good clear up followed and, the kitchen is now filled with the scent of hops! In a few days time when the scent fades, I'll spray them with hair lacquer to reduce petal fall but, until then, we're just enjoying them.

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