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



2005 - A very young looking Chris.
2007 - Greenhouse number two
2004 -The original No. 1 greenhouse!
We made it through the winter of 2004 with the original greenhouse (above) which the previous owners had kindly and temporarily repaired for us. However, it became very unsafe and in the Spring of 2005 (a younger looking) Chris began his very first project with us.  He demolished the old greenhouse and prepared a base for the new one

We vowed that Al would never again be involved in the complicated calculations of extending and also increasing a greenhouse base around an already mature grapevine.  The confusion he generated will never be forgotten!  The vine, however survives (even thrives) to this day and we have enjoyed more successes than failures.  We have found that having a vine is a distinct advantage in a greenhouse.  As the season progresses and the intensity of the sun increases, the temperature inside rises.  Simultaneously, the vine leaves grow and provide vital and natural shade beneath.  By the time autumn arrives and the natural light levels drop; the vine co-operates and sheds its leaves.  A pretty perfect arrangement and so much easier than white paint and exterior greenhouse shades!

Every greenhouse needs somewhere to revive!
Greenhouse number 3 - a Hartley Botanic

And so it was for 12 whole years. The men hated the low door frame always hitting their heads on it or, if not the door frame, the heater directly above and, if not that, the inner door frame. Something always got them! In March 2016 we decided to really push the boat out - as far as Oldham in Lancashire and buy a Hartley Botanic.  Chris, now not looking quite so young dug out the footings and Chris Genever gave up his Easter to build the base and supporting walls.  It was built on pretty much the same footprint but WHAT a difference. It's a plant palace and, yes! We built it around the original vine which survived 6 weeks sudden exposure to frosts and snow flurries and, as I type, continues to thrive and to do its job by providing shade in summer. This greenhouse has a brick path as before but it has a recycled tile floor beneath the staging and around the tomato and cucumber beds.

May 2016

During the first lockdown of the pandemic in 2019, we retiled the greenhouse floor making an uplit mini underfloor fernery beneath the reclaimed Victorian grids. 

Our Hartley Botanic!