A CHERISHED and quirky garden at a listed country cottage near Worcester has raised nearly £1,500 for charity this year.

Open days in aid of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) charities were held in the grounds of Pear Tree Cottage, Wichenford, four times this year, while a number of individuals and groups also booked in for tours.

The three quarters of an acre property is owned by gardening enthusiasts Alistair and Pam Thompson who, with the aid of gardener Chris Pugh and other helpers, have transformed the plot with unusual features over the years.

These include an old working telephone box, an old buoy found on a beach in Cornwall, sculptures made from an old oil tank, an original “Pumpy” Thomas pump from Worcester, a medieval-style hen house and a stone cairn commemorating the 70th anniversary of VE day to name but a few.

For the past few years the couple have opened their garden to the public and the final open day this year was on August 29 Bank Holiday Monday for a Twilight evening.

Pam was thrilled with the event and the turnout as this event in previous years were plagued by rain.

She said: “The weather was perfect and the garden looked totally magical – just like something out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – thanks to Chris who rushed around the garden lighting 143 tea lights in empty jam jars and lanterns.

“He even made little wooden rafts and floated them out on the pond and, if that wasn’t enough, he made a Scandinavian log candle – a huge log with perpendicular cuts which burned from the inside out – never before seen by any of the visitors.”

About 100 people went along to the twilight event which made more than £670 from the entry fees and proceeds from the sale of cakes.

So far this year Pam and Alistair have raised £1,450 for NGS charities and there is one more private visit to go before the end of the season.

“We are totally thrilled. When you think we are just one little garden and we are in such a rural area without public transport.”

Pam added that, unlike some charities, 80 per cent of the proceeds for NGS go straight to their charities which include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers Trust, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Ms Society Parkinson’s UK, Perennial and Horatio’s Garden.