Lletty's Blog

Croeso! Welcome to Lletty Cottage a lovely five star holiday cottage for two in Carmarthenshire. www.llettycottage.co.uk

November 19 Walk around Dinefwr Visit to Aberglasney November 19, 2022

After a very wet night when the rain fell heavily it was a lovely surprise to drive to Dinefwr in Llandeilo through clearing skies and a touch of brightness! The ‘gang’ were all there shepherded by Sue, who was leading the walk.

We set off at a steady pace trying to get some warmth into our limbs. Following the track past the cow sheds, where there was a mother and calf resting, we took a slight diversion to look at the 18 century ice house. Remarkably, the ice which would have been collected when the ice house was in use, was brought from a pond one and a half miles away! We tried to work out how many ponies, carts and people would be needed for such a task! It was also noted how our winters have changed as ponds don’t freeze up in such a way these days! Thank goodness we are fortunate enough to have fridge/ freezers available to us now!

The path led us on towards the front of Newton House passing the wonderful view over the deer park towards Paxton’s Tower, the little dot in the far distance!

Feeling warmer now that the sun was coming out we noted the beautiful autumn colours in the trees that were still shining bright even at this time in November. The ‘fairy’ doors were definitely shut tight on the trees as it is well known that fairies have to keep their toes warm on cold days!

Bypassing visiting the castle we strode on through the beautiful beech woods, everyone kicking leaves into the air, and came to the pretty, small, stone 19th century Llanfeisant church which is  of medieval origin. We had a look around before we set off again up the path to the road leading to Newton House. We were all looking forward to our coffee and cake so were deeply disappointed to discover the house was all locked up. (Come on National Trust!) Not to be outdone it was suggested we all go to The White Hart pub for coffee. This was decided upon and the coffee that turned out to be a hot chocolate was perfect!! Just like the walk! Many thanks indeed Sue for such a lovely and well planned walk!

Guess who knows he is the best and most handsome bull around?

Of course there have been many visits to Aberglasney to enjoy the autumn colours and spot any lichen and fungi.

A visit into the Ninfarium is always a delight to see the many orchids on display and all the other wonderful flowering plants too.

The Aberglasney gardeners have been busy cutting down their gunnera plants to prepare them for the winter.

As the gunnera leaves were chopped in Aberglasney it was time to do the same to our gunnera on the island! This meant the little boat was dragged out from the undergrowth and the sailor/gardener (Jim) set sail across the unknown waters to do the chopping! It’s hard work as the stalks are very thick and the leaves heavy! Lots of coffee and encouragement from the bank and many eyes watching the work- the task was completed to perfection!

The garden has still been bright with some really hardy annual flowers which have managed to survive the wet and chilly conditions. (Until last night when we had our first frost…goodbye nasturtiums, begonia etc until 2023!)

Some mornings have been bright! But many more wet and chilly! A good time to check around the garden at all the ‘old’ Christmas trees that have been planted which now have grown enormous!! Not sure we’ll be able to dig one up for this year…maybe that’s a hint to but a new one!

For Ukraine:

Thank you for reading. Hope you have some good weather everywhere you are in the world to enjoy nature around you.

 

November 4th Llandovery Walk, Aberglasney November 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:25 pm

After the torrential downpours over the last few days Kim had worked her magic and conjured up a dry, bright and beautiful autumn day for our Walking Well Walk around Llandovery. We set off from Llandovery Castle carpark, passing the wonderful stainless steel statue of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan…the ‘Welsh Braveheart.’¬†

The walk continued along beside the river Towy until we crossed over a bridge onto a pretty country lane.

We followed the lane enjoying the views over Llandovery in the distance one way and hills in the distance the other way! We spotted some Fly agaric along the way…but no fairies!

We were all treated to a surprise snack by Phil, who had made some delicious flapjacks…with ginger and cherries added! This gave us enough sugar to up the tempo of our walking!

Crossing over another pretty bridge we came to the entrance of Erwlon, a well known and respected caravan park. We walked through the park and came to the site of the new riverside pods. The pods are lovely and totally self contained each with a little patio overlooking the river.

Following the path we reached Llandovery again. We walked through the town enjoying all the old buildings and eventually ending our lovely walk at Penygawse Victorian Tearooms for a tasty teacake and coffee! Thank you Kim for a really lovely local walk and Phil for the flapjacks!

Visiting Aberglasney is always interesting as the changing seasons add to the different plants in flower and the varying colours all around. In between the rain showers the many coloured acers were at their best- absolutely beautiful.

Aberglasney is also a teaching garden. In the large greenhouse there were samples of various trees all named to help the students identify the many trees on site…visitors would find it helpful too.

My camera has been playing up so I have tried an old iphone to take most of this posts photos but many turned out too dark the closeups were OK but not distant views. ….back to the drawing board!

Back home the weather has been the dominant factor! The rain has meant it has been too wet for lots of the cutting down I’d planned but as I have lots of wood chips now for the borders it has spurred me on to get out sometimes even when it’s been sodden! The wood chips were made by the tree surgeons who came to sort out all the felled trees from Storm Arwen. I love wood chips!

A walk around the garden and up the field now needs wellies but on a dry day it’s good to see the views to the Black Mountain and the Carmarthen Fans over our house.

For Ukraine:

Rufus is wishing to the cat gods for a spell of dry weather as he hates getting his feet wet!

Thank you for reading. I hope you have the weather you wish for wherever you are!

The Aberglasney robin is waiting for snow!
 

October 22 Derwydd Soar Chapel Walk, Aberglasney and Bonsai Group October 22, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:41 am

After a week of decorating in the house it was lovely to go on a Walking Well Walk. We were meeting up at the Soar Chapel in Derwydd, a lovely hamlet near Ammanford. Malcolm had planned the walk but not the weather! It was raining quite hard when we all arrived so we lined up by the walls of the chapel to take shelter. Everyone was shown the new rucksacks, very kindly presented to the Group by the footpath maintenance team. The hope is that organised walking groups will help the team maintain the footpaths in the county by providing them with the necessary tools to take on their rambles. Everyone was delighted.

We set off on our walk down the pretty country lane and the rain stopped and the sky brightened…a bit! . Many of the trees had lost their leaves with the heavy rain and the floor was covered in acorns…another mast year. The autumn tinge to the trees could be seen but was missing the vital sunshine to bring the colours alive.

Carreg Cennen Castle could be seen in the distance towering over the landscape and keeping watch for any invaders!

It was good to see The Last of The Spring Beer Group back together again.

The walk took us up, down and round the country lanes, over a little bridge and through fields where we were joined by some nosy ponies!

Thank you very much Malcolm for such an enjoyable walk in a new area. Hope we can explore some more of that beautiful countryside soon.

More visits to Aberglasney during the week as it is one of the best places to view the passing season and catch up with all the interesting exhibitions. The Bonsai Group which meet in the Aberglasney Piggeries every Sunday had a recent show of all their work…beautiful and amazing.

October colours and garden doors in Aberglasney just gorgeous!

Back home the garden has been neglected rather with all the ongoing decorating in the house. The number of birds to the feeders are slowly increasing but missing still are the nuthatches, greenfinches and woodpeckers. There has been a general decline in the numbers and maybe it’s the bird flu that is to blame.

Hidden in the hedge is a little feeder for the blue tits but some enterprising goldfinches have found it!

Early morning views across over to the Carmarthen Fans still fascinate me and every morning feel how fortunate we are to live in such a special place.

For Ukraine:

Thank you for reading. Enjoy the autumn colours or the spring flowers wherever you are.

 

October 8 Abermarlais Walk, Llanwrda Sewing Bees, Betws Park, Llansadwrn October 8, 2022

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I didn’t have far to go for my Walking Well Walk as Biddy, the leader, had organised the walk to start in a lay- by just down the road from our house! I walked down to join all the other walkers, who had come by car. We were all wrapped up as it was quite damp and rain threatened! There was a large log lorry in the lay-by and the scent from all the pine logs was wonderful.

We set off on our walk up a lane just off the main road. A van coming down the lane didn’t avoid the large pothole and we got very splashed and muddy as a result!! Hey ho!

At the top of the lane we came to a natural piggery! Fantastic sight seeing the pigs enjoying themselves digging for acorns and sorting out all the undergrowth. They were interested in us and we had a good conversation!

We followed the path down onto Abermarlais Caravan Park, where the old, broken down, dangerous bridge has been replaced by a new wonderful bridge…thank you to whoever replaced it…maybe Carmarthenshire CC?!

Our walk continued along footpaths through farmyards, along quiet country lanes, over a ford and back down to the lay-by. The clouds and shower of rain rather spoilt the views over towards the Black Mountain but autumn colours shone through everywhere. A really lovely local walk..thank you Biddy!

I’m not much of a fan of large superstores but needs be hence a visit to Ammanford! Before shopping we went on a riverside walk, alongside said superstore, and headed for Betws Park. We saw a heron and other birds on the riverside.

It’s a well kept park and although small it always has something of interest to see. Last time we visited we remarked on the poor standard of the tennis courts. This time the courts have disappeared and have been turned into a marvellous community project. There are raised beds being constructed which are going to be planted up by various organisations from schools to charities etc. There are nods to the mining heritage of the land with bricks from all the old mines in the area and wildlife meadows with paths accessible by all. Very exciting!

A walk up the road, to the village, to visit Vestry Ventures and have a lovely coffee and chat was an enjoyable way to spend a Monday afternoon.

My walk around the garden every morning with Rufus is always fun and the views over the Carmarthen Fans continue to fascinate me as do the amount of fungi that grows everywhere! Our lawn is being taken over by ink caps!

A visit to Llanwrda Church, just down the road, was a delight as the church was holding an exhibition of quilts and other craft work created by Llanwrda Sewing Bees! There is so much talent around as everything on display was wonderful.

The garden is still holding its own. There are flowers, a few butterflies and definitely autumn colours to be seen even a magnolia flower on the tree that has never flowered before!

For Ukraine.

Thank you for reading. If you are in the northern hemisphere I wish you a happy harvest and autumn and if in the southern hemisphere I hope spring turns out to be a great one for you!

 

September 23 Llandovery Walk & Aberglasney Gardens September 23, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:41 pm

It’s the Autumn Equinox, the first official day of Autumn and the perfect day to go on a Walking Well Walk in Llandovery. Kim, the leader, met us all outside Llandovery Railway Station before we set off over the fields alongside the river Towy for a circular walk. The weather was unexpectedly warm so jumpers and jackets were soon being taken off and tied around waists.

The views across the valley were really lovely. Everyone was in a happy mood as we had been told that the walk was flat with only one stile!

After crossing some fields we arrived at the stile which led the path onto the Dolauhirion Bridge- a grade 1 listed building. The bridge had been built in 1773 and then had been the main coach road linking Llandovery and Lampeter. We all enjoyed the view of the river from the bridge. We continued our walk along the country lanes until we came to the site of an enormous oak trunk that in 1900 had a girth of 20 ft!

After walking around the trunk we continued our walk. We crossed over the swing bridge having another look at the River Towy before we arrived back at the station. Some of us continued on to the West End Cafe for a coffee and cake! It was a delightful walk in excellent company. Many thanks Kim – a super walk!

On a visit to Aberglasney it was a surprise to find the pool was lacking water! Someone must have pulled the plug out! The fault was soon rectified and the gardeners decided to take the opportunity to thin out the lilies whilst the water level was low. It was interesting to see a little island in the centre.

A walk around the garden afterwards was very enjoyable as there was lots to see and enjoy.

Interesting doors!

Back home the garden continues to keep me occupied…a lot! There is so much cutting down to do and so many autumn jobs to complete but it’s still enjoyable and long may it last! The sunshine has brought out more butterflies and insects but numbers still down from previous years. There are abundant apples, crab apples and pears on the trees all waiting to be picked and stored!

Every morning when I take Rufus out for his walk I marvel at the wonderful view I have across the fields looking towards the Carmarthen Fans. Obviously every day the weather changes and the view across to the hills is sometimes in sunshine, sometimes rain, sometimes no view at all but now in the autumn there are low mists swirling along the valley bottom but leaving the hill tops exposed…all amazingly beautiful. Sadly, my camera can’t capture these scenes very well…please use your imagination!

Thank you for reading.

Flowers for Ukraine:

 

September 10 2022 Myddfai, Aberglasney, Porthcawl, Vancouver Visits September 10, 2022

My first Walking Well Walk in a month and poignantly and fittingly it was around the lanes of Myddfai, the village near to King Charles’s Welsh home, Llwynywermod. The weather seemed to echo our feelings as it was chilly and very wet. Phil had planned a lovely walk through the lanes but the weather made it difficult to enjoy the views that were shrouded by mist. As we neared the end of the walk we heard a lone bell tolling at the village church. A sombre note to recall the passing of our wonderful Queen and her remarkable life and then the sun came out, brightened the moment and we looked to the future.

Thank you Phil for a lovely walk.

It’s been busy having recently returned from a wonderful visit to our son and his family in Vancouver. Our son is doing really well now and we enjoyed lots of walks and visits out. The grandchildren are amazing and never stop! Life is very busy for them all especially now they have a puppy too! A husky cross!

A special visit was to Vancouver Island where we visited Butchart Gardens. On the ferry we were fortunate enough to see a pod of Orca whales…very exciting! No photos…too excited watching them!

I also managed to fit in a visit to Aberglasney where the Orchid Festival was being held. There were many displays of all the beautiful types of orchids. There was also a lovely display of orchids and other flowers in the Ninfarium to enjoy.

A quick walk around the Gardens showed that although there had been very hot periods of hot weather through August the Gardens had survived and looked magnificent.

Friends also visited us during the week and we enjoyed an outing with them to the Botanic Garden of Wales where sadly it rained heavily but we still enjoyed our visit with a coffee and cake in the Great Glasshouse.

Another day out to Porthcawl, with our friends, where we also got rather wet! However, the sun did shine enough for us to enjoy a walk along the front inspecting the lifeboat station, watching the seagulls overhead, the waves crashing on the rocks and a walk through the lovely town with its independent shops.

Back home the garden has also survived the hot weather that everyone had whilst we were away. A very kind neighbour kept the hanging baskets watered and then also kept the greenhouse and other plants growing . The water butts ran empty and finally we’ve had some long needed buckets of rain falling from the heavens! The garden has revived and now the lawns need mowing!!!

Thank you for reading.

 

July 18 Carreg Cennen Walk, Visit to Aberystwyth July 18, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:06 pm

A walk around Carreg Cennen Castle seemed a grand idea for our Walking Well Walk but I had to take into consideration the weather!! The forecast was hot, hot, hot! After a telephone chat with Ros , the leader she assured me that the walk wouldn’t be too hard as we were keeping to the low ground and walking in the shade of the wood most of the way.

Setting off up the hill towards the castle – which we bypassed- we walked through a lovely field of barley before heading downhill following a path through a pretty wood. There are two different rocks exposed here limestone and sandstone. Limestone supports ash trees and Sandstone oak so together they provide many different habitats. Hence this area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

We reached the bottom of the hill and rested awhile by the river which looked very short of water! We continued along a path and headed back up towards the castle and cafe . I was pleased that the cattle we had been forewarned about had thankfully been moved into another field! They are great looking cattle with their very long horns and I like them best when they are in another field!

Reaching the cafe we split into two groups…the hardy ones sat outside in the sun and the others Including me -enjoyed some cool refreshments inside the barn. Rhubarb cake had never tasted so delicious!! Thank you Ros for a lovely walk.

As we are off on some holidays in the summer we decided a new suitcase would be useful as the wheels on our old suitcase had seen better days. Left in charge of buying a case online I discovered that everyone else had the same idea and suitcases were in really short supply in our price range! So when I found a perfect case in Argos….I hurriedly tapped the click and collect button and paid up! Only then did I read it carefully to discover the collect part was not in our local area but the designated store was Aberystwyth 40 miles away! Anyway this leads me on to our day out at the seaside in Aberystwyth! We had a lovely time even though it was rather cloudy and breezy.

We walked along the promenade and even to the end of the pier. This was being hastily prepared for opening the following week in time for the graduation of students from Aberystwyth University.

Over the bay we could see the funicular railway, (built 1896) on Constitution Hill. One carriage is going up and not surprisingly one is coming down!!

We walked further around the promenade and saw hang gliders over the distance monument, the old university building being updated, the castle, distances to far away countries and birds in the park.

A lovely visit to the newly refurbished museum in the old cinema building was our final stop over for the day.

As usual the weather continues to change on a daily basis and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with the watering in the garden and other times it’s too wet. At present it’s very hot and the birds and creatures in the garden are very quiet! The Canada Geese on the pond are sheltering in the shade and wondering where all the pond water has gone!! Plants are still holding on and there’s quite a lot of colour in the garden. Roses are doing well this year!

Actually all the flowers are bloomin’ lovely- they are so good just looking after themselves and all they need is a good drink and a chat every day!

Flowers for Ukraine .

Thank you for reading. Stay cool if you are in a hot place!

 

July 4th Llangadog Walk, Aberglasney and Dinefwr Visits July 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:18 pm

Phil had definitely arranged some lovely sunny weather for our Walking Well walk around Llangadog. It was a walk we had completed not too long ago but this time we went in the opposite direction! It’s amazing what you notice when you change direction!

We set off from the Sawdde bridge and crossed over farmland enjoying the views across the meadows and the hills further away.

It was early on in the walk when the Last of the Spring Beer group got together and the chatting began.