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


1 October 2023


Here we are and it's nearly the end of September and little time for blog posts - partly because Head Gardener sneaked a few days away and partly because she spent a week on her knees with a new and major garden project!!

Project Path!!  Using and recycling 700+ old mixed/mismatched roof tiles.  Earlier in the year whilst actually just sitting in the garden (a very rare occurrence) I had this idea!!  The Fernery path was made from reclaimed York flagstones set into a turf path.  The turf never thrived due to poor and dry soil conditions & its shady situation.  The stepping stones aquired too much algae and were lethal in winter.  One was forced to step between the stepping stones which rather made the whole design rather pointless!

I thought of the massive stack of roof tiles behind the garage and then the light bulb moment!!  What if they were all laid on edge as a path?  How much safer and prettier would that be?  Even Chris Genever thought it was a failsafe idea.  He who should be obeyed had been grumbling about the great tile mountain for AGES!  Why didn't I sell them?  "Who on earth would even want such a huge amount of odd mismatched tiles?" I countered.  So now it was time to convince him that my plan would rid him of his mountain and provide a path compliant with the most ferocious of health and safety concerns!!

Eventually, Himself saw the advantages of my idea and during a real heatwave (yes, heatwave in September!) Chris Genever & I spent 7 days on our knees.  With sharpened pencil, spirit level and line at the ready we set to work.  Having already dug out the excess soil, Chris did the clever part of actually laying the tiles and I compacted the morter down between them leaving a small gap at the top.  When dry (and using a 2" paint brush as precisely instructed) I carefully brushed in a mixture of cement and kiln dried sand then gently sprayed it using a garden spray.  Bingo!!

Not quite completed yet, but looking pretty amazing.  We even re-recycled a secret stash of Victorian blue edging tiles which had been crying out for use!

I can vouch for the fact that it is totally NON slip in fact, it boasts greater traction than any other hard landscaping surface in the entire garden!! Himself is genuinely thrilled with it - phew!!!  Awaiting a finish touch is the rising sun at one end.  At the other end, we plan to put in the date - Roman numerals of course!!

The knees have since made a full recovery but I've since been forbidden from having any more ideas!!!

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