A pear tree in a whisky barrel

The local school was selling fruit trees for fund-raising and I bought a pear tree. They were meant to be dwarf/patio varieties which appealed to me because although I have a large garden, it’s full of established shrubs and trees already and I don’t have space for another large tree. I already have two plum trees and an apple tree. However the pear tree turned out to be a conference pear which I don’t think is a dwarf variety.

It came as one long stick with exposed roots and looks a bit dead. I bought a half whisky barrel to put it in, hoping that will keep it happy. Used whisky barrels are inexpensive, solid, and they look and smell nice. I got mine for about £32, including delivery. It still smelt of whisky. Here it is.


I placed rocks in the bottom to help with drainage (there are also three holes in the bottom).


Then came the compost and then my tree.


I’ll keep updates on my blog as to how well the tree grows.

In my greenhouse I also have a lemon tree. It’s too cold here for lemon trees to grow outside and so far I haven’t got any lemons from the tree in my greenhouse. But this year it’s full of flowers and looking healthy so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


I also have an artichoke that looks lovely. They’re attractive plants even without the flowers but hopefully I’ll get some flowers from this one.


My tomatoes are starting to flower too. I can’t rave about this system I have set up for tomatoes enough. The plants sit in a pot of dirt that contains a wick which feeds water from the trough below. I’ve never had such healthy tomatoes because previously I was either over-watering them or under-watering. It’s hard to get watering right with tomatoes but this system gives them exactly what they need.


What have you got growing in your garden?

13 thoughts on “A pear tree in a whisky barrel”

  1. Ah fab
    Love the whiskey barrels. Currently we’ve apples cherries and gooseberries on trees and shrubs plus rhubarb lettuce peas onions tomatoes green beans potatoes and courgettes..
    Should be a good veggie year. I must admit to a beetroot failure though as they formed no beets. No worries. The leaves are lovely in salad if picked young enough

    1. You have heaps of things. Lovely! We have rhubarb too and I’ve been making a lot of rhubarb crumble. My veggies at the allotment aren’t doing very well because we haven’t had much rain and I can’t go there often enough to water them.

  2. Let us know how it gets on, so good to have your own fruit in the garden. I’ve got butterfly and bee friendly plants in my roof garden – alliums, cranesbill, lupins but the alliums have started to go over and bees don’t want to know the lupin. I will have to plant some more to see them through July. Maybe foxgloves, they were popular last year.

    1. Lupins are lovely. I have some too although they have a tendency to take over. It’s reassuring to see bees and butterflies in your garden, don’t you think? I love seeing insects and bugs and grubs of all kinds. Yesterday I saw a frog and that was particularly good because I know how sensitive frogs are to chemical so it means my garden is clean.

    1. I’ve love to have citrus but they don’t do well here. Hopefully I’ll get some lemons in my greenhouse but I’ll never be able to plant that outside.

  3. It’s doing quite well. We cannot grow pears here at The Holler, but we have orchards and grow grapefruits, pomegranates, avocados, every herb you can think of, and way too many flowers to count. Gardening is good for the soul and body.

  4. I started a reply then lost it. Do you have bees nearby ? They are the key to good outcomes from fruit trees. Citrus trees like Magnesium sulphate, which is known as epsom salts. The supermarket sells this the cheapest, although PGG Wrightson has it for $2.40 a kg=bargain! Epsom salts are the base of bath salts, the ones that go in the bath vs the street name of some sort of illicit substance!

    1. There are lots of bees in my garden but I’m not sure whether there’s a bee hive nearby. I also feed the citrus sulphur. Is that the same thing as epsom salts?

    1. Interesting! Thanks. My understanding of having rocks there is they stop the holes in the bottom from clogging up with dirt. Here the advice is to use bits of broken terracotta pots or even styrofoam but I don’t have either of those. I’ve also got loads of plants in pots and the ones I fill first with stones/rocks/broken terracotta always do better than those I don’t but this may be because I have a tendency to over-water 🙂

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