A CHARMING award-winning garden in the Worcestershire countryside has raised more than £2,000 for national and local charities this year.

The three quarters of an acre plot at Pear Tree Cottage, Wichenford, near Worcester, owned by Pam and Alistair Thompson with views over a Bulmers cider orchard towards Abberley Clock Tower, has been open three times this year through the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and the Wichenford Open Gardens weekend.

People have also been able to turn up to view the garden by prior appointment from May to August.

The final opening took place over the August Bank Holiday weekend when about 60 visitors went along to see the garden at twilight and then lit by scores of lanterns, candles and garden lights.

Former West Mercia Police officer Pam said they took £632 on the night from entry charges and people’s generous donations.

“People were really most generous. The nice thing about the NGS is that all the money goes to caring charities like Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Queen’s Nursing Institute and hospices.

“This year our little garden has raised the grand total of £2,056. For an unknown rural cottage garden in deepest Worcestershire, that is quite remarkable,” she said.

The garden has a number of quirky and humorous features including an original 1935 red telephone box with working Bakelite phone, metal animal sculptures, a stone cairn monument marking the 70th anniversary of VE Day and restored Worcester-made “Pumpy” Thomas pump at the well.

The garden also has a number of secluded areas to enjoy some peaceful time, as well as a hennery, pond and various structures including a summerhouse and a Pear Hut made from a recycled unwanted shed.

This year the lovingly tended garden won a silver medal in the Britain’s Best Gardener’s Garden 2015 competition run by English Garden Magazine.

While Pam has a tireless thirst for gardening and garden projects, she gives credit to her gardener Chris Pugh, building expert Chris Genever and under gardener and chief tidy upper, her husband Alistair.

Pear Tree Cottage garden will be open again as part of NGS next year when, no doubt, more features will have appeared. Pam always has an ongoing project and the latest is a set of secret steps through the yew hedge, for which she is recycling over a ton of stone – cleaned by hand.

Anyone interested in following developments at the garden can read her blog by visiting http://www.peartreecottage.me/

For more information about the NGS visit www.ngs.org.uk/

The garden at Pear Tree Cottage, Wichenford, will be open in 2016 on the following dates:

• Sunday May 1 from 2-6pm. Home-made teas available. Admission £4

• Bank Holiday Monday May 2 from 2 - 10pm. Admission before 6pm £4. After 6pm admission will increase £4.50 and include a glass of wine. The garden will illuminated by candles and soft lighting. Bat and owls may be enjoyed.

• Sunday 12 June 2 - 6pm £4.00 Home-made teas available

• Bank Holiday Monday August 29 2016. Admission £4.50 and this includes a glass of wine. Open 6-10pm. This is a Wine by Twilight with soft garden lighting and candles. Coffee & cakes also served. Visitors can enjoy the bats and owls

These opening dates will appear on the NGS website and in their Yellow Book for 2016.