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


2 February 2020

Beating Gales and High Winds!

All ready for a good mulch of homemade compost!

The Genever Acuba Japonica
We were so relieved to have a dry Saturday, we endured the gales and high winds thinking they would help dry out the saturated ground.  Undaunted I set to work in the Lower Border cutting down the soggy dead hardy geraniums, Sedums, Poppy's and Peonies.  All the photographs one sees in glossy garden magazines depicting pretty dead flower heads cloaked in a dusting of hoar frost doesn't live here! It was all a soggy brown mush.

I was joined by Chris who had been struggling with a giant climbing frame in mud!  With both of us working, we cleared the entire border weeded and forked it over and even trimming the shrubs!  We removed a Viburnum which had been ravaged by Viburnun Beetle and planted a Genever Acuba Japonica (Japanese Laurel).  We replaced some of the Viburnum but, it's under threat and will be removed if there are signs of further attacks.  The border was transformed and I actually wished I'd taken a 'before' photo and didn't as it all looked just too miserable.

This Lower Border (as it's known) retains a little winter interest and colour with some small clipped shrubs of differing coloured & variegated Euonymous, 3 (Genever) Box & an Osmanthus heterophyllus Goshiki (false holly).

The day ended helping our loyal Under Gardener with his bonfire and I was awarded the Bonfire Cap.  In the high winds - both men had failed to get it started!

As for drying the ground: it rained again over night!  Back to square one!

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