The gardens at Pear Tree Cottage sit in a cider apple orchard in the green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England. It enjoys a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury & 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!

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2003 - AN OLD BUOY



Marine Salvage

As it still looks today
This old buoy was salvaged from Hemmick Beach in Cornwall during a Force 10 gale in  1990.  It was floating around in foaming waters and huge crashing waves.  The gales were so bad, we witnessed tiles being blown off roof tops and, for the only time in my life, I could lean into the wind without falling over.  Sally, Greg and I managed  to drag it part way up the beach.  A 'nice' man helped lift it into the boot of Sally's Peugot 205!  It was bright and shiny from all the sand abrasion but over a single night went completely rusty due to salt contamination.  Despite holiday suitcases, a Basset Hound and Greg in the back; we managed to drive home with it in the boot and the car headlights up in the trees - eventually arriving at Ridge End, Fernhill Heath.

It then moved to Zermatt Close and sat at the end of the drive for months.  My Daddy and I moved it down to the bottom of the garden and decided to plant a clematis in it so that it would trail down in a naturally artistic fashion.  A (macropetala) clematis was duly purchased along with suitable compost.  We managed to put about 2 double handfuls of compost before realising that a cylinder connected the open top with a hole in its base.  No room for either compost or roots! Now I knew why it hadn't sunk!  It couldn't fill with water!  Not to be outdone and despite weighing several hundredweights,  My Daddy took it away, cut it in half, removed the cylinder and then welded it back together again using oxyacetylene.  We then lugged it back down to the bottom of the garden and heaved it (artistically!) on to a plinth of bricks.  I painted it metallic silver to replicate the original colour it was when first fished from the sea. The clematis was duly planted and thrived.  However, we never saw a single bloom! The garden faced due south and the clematis preferred to face the sun so all we ever saw was buoy!
Hemmick Beach - salvage scene
In 2003, it was time for it to move house again and it came to live at Pear Tree Cottage.  From the garden terrace, the compost heaps lie in a direct line of sight - mmm!  One freezing February, Chris and I cut and angled the ivy clad trellis in order to screen the compost heaps from view. Chris lifted the buoy into its current position as a yet another 'artistic' feature and there we hope it will  remain.

In the spring of 2010, our old buoy got some company in the form of an old rusting anchor brought back from Cornwall as a wedding anniversary souvenier.