Lletty's Blog

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

September 7th Salem Walk September 7, 2018

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A few weeks have passed since I went on a Walking Well Walk   and today’s walk sounded really interesting .  It was planned by a member of the Group around  Salem area where she lives.  Salem is a lovely village just outside Llandeilo and these ponies were in their paddock ready to great us all as we arrived.

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Setting off through the fields at a steady pace we all admired the beautiful views on every side.

The grass was lush and long and shows that the rain has returned after our summer weeks of drought.

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The first of our animal encounters started in the next field. Luckily the farmer arrived on her quad bike to distract the advancing herd!

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Continuing on over stiles that had recently been mended by the kind husband of our leader we  walked through the next fields  keeping our eyes open for other farm animals.

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We were not disappointed! In the field there was a  herd of cattle with  cows, calves and facing us a rather large and handsome bull. …to the right of the photo. We strode steadily on  trying to look calm  but  some of us felt a bit scared! It was all fine though and all the animals just stared  and stayed put!

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Crossing the next field we had a lovely view of Taliaris Mansion .

Wiki: Plas Taliaris is a Grade I-listed building two miles to the north-east of Salem in Carmarthenshire, west Wales. It was first mentioned in 1336 and has been owned by the Gwynne family until the house was sold in 1787. Most of the estate was sold in the 1950s and the house was restored in around 1989

One could just imagine Jane Austen visiting!

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Sheep and horses filled the next fields and we passed a delightful barn too.

Nearly completing our circular walk we had some rather wet  and muddy paths  to navigate …well Philip was with us and he seems to enjoy wet patches!

Although autumn tinged leaves were blanketing the ground -in the hedgerows it looked quite springlike with fresh fern fronds, strawberry flowers and  campion but they were surrounded by autumn fruits of sloes, hips and haws and huge quantities of sweet blackberries.

With wet feet we arrived at the last field where we were greeted by a flock of sheep and a  very friendly goat.

Back at the farmhouse,  after the lovely walk, we were treated to an amazing array of delicious cakes, coffee and tea, which we all enjoyed to the full.

A rhea egg from the rhea kept on the farm compared to an ostrich egg…no ostriches on this farm though!

A great walk in  brilliant company…thank you.

Just ring my bell!

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September 4th Catch Up Time! September 4, 2018

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Daydream Golden Tail- that’s my unicorn name! What’s yours? ! It sort of sums up the last three amazing and wonderful weeks spent with my family, who have been staying with us  on holiday from Canada.

Visiting all the local places with them has been a delight and seeing our countryside and places of interest through the eyes of two 4 year olds has been rather special.

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Just a few (!) photos of our visits out to local attractions  to show how busy we have been having fun and what a great place to come on holiday.

Enjoying the garden.

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Visiting Dynevor Castle:

Under the  shadow of Llandovery Castle there’s a playground….funny what you discover when there are children around!

 

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Our day at the Botanic Garden of Wales was superb with all the different things to see and do. Top of the list was watching the birds of prey display …it was spectacular!

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Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire  has lions, giraffes, rhinos and lots more protected animals, there are also playgrounds, fair rides  everything for adults and children to love.

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But best of all they have ppppp…penguins!

A visit to Llanstephan is always a pleasure walking on the sands and climbing up to the castle to take in the stunning views of the coast. The children found their pleasure in finding another playground  and of course enjoying the sand to build sand castles.

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Our daughter  and  older grandson also joined the  sand party  and stayed a few days with us all.

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The metal farm statues  of the  dog and goose outside Debenhams in Carmarthen will never look the same to me again after being ridden on !

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I have a fear of being enclosed or locked in so why did I enter the caves at  the  Showcases Centre- Dan Yr Ogof …because I had the children with me! They looked after me very well when we went deep into the long cave system. I survived …just …but left it up  to the parents to take them into the two other cave systems on site which they said were very interesting and quite breathtaking.

On the site there are  also the most amazing dinosaurs …ones I’ve never heard of or could even pronounce their names off their information boards…happily  my  4 year old grandson knew all the names  and told me all about them.

Cantref Adventure Farm set in the most beautiful surroundings in the Brecon Beacons had a rather magic day! Unicorns were offering to give children rides! So who could refuse such an offer. Both children had a great time especially  in the company of  Bella .

Not sure the unicorn liked the colour of his painted hooves!

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Certain animals could also be petted. Bella was the lynch pin in most of the activities and  never stopped smiling …bet she’ll be glad when the school holidays end!

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Stroking a chinchilla was fine but …a rat…a big one too…think I’ll pass on that one!

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The views around were stunning  and another happy day ended at the fish and  chip shop Llandovery!

A holiday here has to include  a visit to Tenby. It was  beautiful with the sea, sand and sky all shining in the sunshine. There was another playground before more sand castles and a walk around the harbour.

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As if we didn’t have enough excitement there was a very kind invitation to watch the Tour of Britain at a friend’s house as the cycles would be passing their front door! The family left for a couple of days in London.  So we enjoyed a fantastic day  out with delicious food included  watching the cycles racing by! It was all huge fun especially all the police motor bikes racing along the lanes sounding their sirens  and then all the cars carrying bikes on their roofs…   it was  just the best day! Bethlehem is now firmly on the map! Couldn’t see Geraint but he was there somewhere!

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Next day we went to London to catch up with the family and enjoyed a visit to Hyde Park, where we had a picnic in the remarkable Diana Memorial …you’ve guessed it…Playground! Such a splendid place …no adult allowed unless accompanied by a child and then it’s a safe and secure place to play.

Being let out of the play area!

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The Natural History Museum was our next stop. Fantastic displays as always.

 

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We left the family outside the museum and headed slowly back through the park  to Paddington station  for the train home.

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Arriving back to a very quiet house after such a  brilliant time of laughs and joy has been hard  but planning for future visits already.

Back to reading my 4 favourite blogs ( missed what you’ve all been up to!) and starting art group again this week will cheer me up no end!

The family have just landed home in Canada …so all’s well.

 

August 10 Painters Visit Botanic Garden of Wales August 10, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:22 pm

As is customary our art group, Gelli Aur Painters, arrange an outing in the month of August  to visit a place altogether to sketch and chat. The Botanic Garden of Wales is not far away from  where we usually meet for our art sessions but it’s like visiting a different world!

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There are many different aspects   to enjoy  in the Garden and in our group we  are fortunate to have two  Garden volunteers  and they were going to give us more information whilst we had our walk around. Of course no get together can start before everyone had enjoyed a coffee  in the coffee shop. Lots of oohs and aaaahs when our new 2019 Calendar was produced for us all  to see and to do a final proof reading before it is sent off to be printed. It was very exciting to see  the finished calendar with all our paintings displayed so beautifully and  many, many  thanks were made to our ‘leader’ for all her hard work and effort collating  our art, planning the layout, taking photos of all our paintings  and  finally uploading it all  onto a calendar making website…clever stuff!

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Setting off into the Gardens we all walked through these two curving ‘walls’. It was then that one of  our ‘volunteers’ jumped into action explaining that this is the ‘Scaladaqua Tonda’! which means curving water steps which is what they are! They were designed by William Pye.  Standing in the centre on the central stone one can create an echo! I tried and it works!

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We passed the Japanese Garden

‘It is named Sui Ou Tei, a reflection of the national flowers of Japan and Wales – the cherry tree and daffodil.

The Real Japanese Garden was brought here piece by piece from the Chelsea 2001 Flower Show where it won a gold medal and the prestigious ‘Best of Show’ Award It consists of three traditional Japanese gardens – the Stream and Lake Garden, the Gravel Garden and the Tea Garden. Filled with symbolism and guided by Zen philosophy, this is a lovely place to sit and contemplate.’

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Just  checking and looking to see how to make one of the lovely containers!

Following the path around we saw the new maze that has been created this year using hay bales. No time to try it out this time but many will be returning to the Gardens later in the summer when they have family visitors staying and the maze looks a great place to lose some for a short time!

DSC09398Leading off from the Bee Garden where there are 250,000 bees a buzzing  the Group headed up to visit the new amazing British Bird of Prey Centre. We just caught the end of a  wonderful flying display and promised to return at a later date to catch it all.  There are 20 native birds of prey including hawks, falcons, kites and buzzards, as well as eagles!

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A wedding was taking place in the Great Glasshouse.  Such a happy occasion couldn’t have found a better location surrounded by all the  beautiful plants from all over the world and serenaded by all the birds singing!

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One always has to be on the watch out for dragons…it is Wales after all!

 

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Heading towards Plas Pilipala, the Butterfly House we passed glorious wildflower mini meadows, where different seeds are being tested  and butterfly/insect counts taking place.

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Moths seem to have arrived in with the butterflies, they were magnificent  and large! The flowers blooming there were  stunning!
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The dragon seemed to be following us as we enjoyed marvelling at the wonderful sewing work on display.

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After gathering together again for  a tasty lunch it was noted that only one tiny sketch had been made by one person! It was decided that each moment in our lives is a picture, which we’d never seen before so we should just relax and enjoy it  as it happens! Sketching can wait a bit!

Wonder what paintings we’ll do   after being inspired by the best away day in lovely warm sunshine, in  delightful company, in our very own Botanic Garden of Wales!

 

July 15 Dinefwr Walk, Aberglasney, Gardens and Gwili Railway July 15, 2018

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It’s still very hot and very dry! We are hoping that our borehole has enough water left until the rain arrives! Aberglasney Gardens are still looking amazing and the sprinklers are managing to keep everything looking bright and  beautiful. Sitting on the terrace drinking in the view …and a cup of coffee  is pure delight.

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Luckily Friday dawned bright and not too hot so off to Llandeilo where Pam was leading our Walking Well Group  around Dinefwr this week…well…actually…it’s not Walking Well now…it’s just us! The WW funding has  been stopped but we will all carry on regardless as we enjoy it so much…..it will all get sorted!

The walk started at the station as usual and we walked down through the town, past the colourful houses and on into the Park.

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The rest of these houses  aren’t buried below ground!

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Lots of wild flowers out in bloom  and it looks like we are going to have a bumper year of blackberries!

 

A glimpse of Paxton Tower can just be seen in the distance …clever planning..  maybe  the view was planned by Lady Cecil Rice:

This year at Dinefwr we are celebrating the life of Lady Cecil Rice, 2nd Baroness Dinefwr, one of the most influential women to ever have lived on the Dinefwr Estate.

Lady Cecil was the only child of the fabulously wealthy William Talbot of Hensol in Glamorganshire.  
She married George Rice, MP for Carmarthen, in 1756 and together, they transformed the Dinefwr Landscape into what we know and love today.  
Splendidly well connected, Cecil and George spent much of their time in London where they were influenced by new ideas of philosophy and culture, especially the view that nature could be art.

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Walking on through the fields  and  up into the woods it felt cool and welcoming
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There was plenty to see and catch ones attention!   Two  large magnificent fungi…must remember to bring a nature book next time for identification help!
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Next   as we emerged from the woodland another splendid view appears through the trees …this time the castle  and  further on Newton House.
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The sycamore seeds are getting ready to twizzle down to the ground like helicopters …seems early to me!
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It was getting hotter by the second so the walk was rather curtailed so we headed back through Llandeilo to The Works for coffee! Sad to say we found the coffee shop closed …the owner away on holiday…never mind we’d had a lovely walk…thank you Pam.
Our local village had a splendid weekend…The Big Lunch. Everyone took a plate of food to share. Entertainment was laid on in the afternoon with choirs , soloists and bands and in the evening a family get together with young and old sitting in the marquee watching  a film The Greatest Showman.
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It wouldn’t be a summer weekend if we didn’t have time to squeeze in a visit to a car/ bike gathering. This time it was to Gwili Railway in Carmarthen. Over 100 cars and bikes to look at and enjoy!
I was gasping for a drink too…just like this little chappy!
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Some of the spectators were too shy to look !

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Back home the garden seems to be lasting with lots of spot watering. It’s the hanging baskets and window boxes that take such a long time   to get wet!

Just looking at those pansies with their pretty faces brings a smile… so do these other faces that appear when I’m bringing them a drink!

The  garden wildlife seems to be thriving too!  The mouse still appears most days ( sorry Jacqueline!)   and the swallows have fledged this week and are enjoying their flying lessons all around the house. The swifts are still screeching around too so it’s all go!

 

My new greenhouse cost a lot of money and took Jim a long time  and a lot of effort ( bad back!) to  build but I told him and assured him that it would all be worthwhile in the end. Today  I proved my point. Tah dah……one brilliant green pepper!! I even shared it with him…now that’s called…something!

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The Fourth of July.. No Independence Just Watering! July 4, 2018

Everyone in the UK seems to be having a proper happy summer  and here in Llansadwrn the sun is shining brightly all day and every day! So what’s there to complain about…well…watering! The cracks  in the ground are getting larger by the minute and plants are curling up and giving up! Plants have been frizzled and frazzled and burnt… so out with the hose pipe and watering can and try to revive as many as possible before the garden looks completely bare. How though does one know how much water is left?! We have  a bore hole that provides our water  so no checking the depth of water available ….rationing began today …just in case!

The Botanic Garden of Wales is well known for its wonderful plants, birds of prey and butterflies but very year around midsummer it becomes the venue for the Symphonic Tywi, West Wales’s best-loved symphony orchestra  under the baton of its founder, Michael Cottam. Sitting inside the Glasshouse  surrounded by all the plants and listening to some popular classic music, this year music celebrating ‘The Sound of the Sea’   is a delight. The orchestra is accompanied by the singing of the many birds  who live inside the glasshouse! Taking with us a light snack and a tipple to drink a very enjoyable evening was had by all!

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The Yellow Book National Garden Scheme is an amazing collection of  gardens…mostly private gardens that are open to the public on some summer days. Visiting the NGS  Lon Farm  in Talley last week with the Llangadog Gardening Club was a great pleasure. Arriving at the farm after a drive round Talley lakes and up to the top of a hill the  panoramic views were fantastic.  The garden was bathed in sunshine and looked lovely but the owner had suffered the same as the rest of us …the sun had dried up their streams , pond water levels way down and plants needing lots of watering!

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I love this flying dragonfly and the bee hives turned out to be compost bins…what a clever idea!

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There were pretty views all around. The pond was filled with many large fish, who jumped to eat all the food that was thrown in for them…they were huge!

 

I like a garden with lots of sitting places!

 

A clever use was made of the two derelict buildings as they had been beautifully planted up and artefacts added to give even more interest.

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One of the ‘rooms’ in the buildings was the duck house and outside their lovely pond. It was so hot we all wanted to paddle with them!

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Walking around the garden one discovered many unusual items.

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Of course no visit to a garden would be complete without a coffee and cake…this was no exception a delicious tea was spread out for all to enjoy.

 

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Funny how things turn out but my next outing was to Talley…again. This time with  ladies  from the Country Women’s Group. Talley is  just over the hill from where I live, just a  drive of a few miles on single track roads .  The  village  has    many pretty cottages, some large houses, two lovely lakes, an historic church and  an ancient abbey.

 

 

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It also has the prettiest and smallest church hall, where we were served tasty refreshments!

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Back home life is busy with the farmer mowing the field for silage,

The flowers that are surviving with all the watering are I’ve discovered …mostly red/pink!! I planted them so it must obviously be a favourite colour!

I’ve noticed that succulents are becoming popular again…every time I visit a nursery I see them all in their little pots wanting to be bought…by me! They don’t need too much water either!

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Mice have eaten my strawberries in the veg plot but they haven’t found these …yet!

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The farmer had to bring the sheep back on our Pond Field as they needed water to drink. It’s been lovely watching the lambs chasing around  and having fun….but there’s always one that gets into trouble!

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Enjoy the sunshine but keep watering!

 

June 17 Gardens, Walk and Youngsters June 17, 2018

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Hope my brother, who lives  on the other side of the world, has a hole in one today to celebrate his birthday! He plays lots of golf! Whilst I walk, talk and garden to keep the joints working!

Our Walking Well Walk went well! Roz, the leader this week,  standing in for Philip, who’s on holiday, planned a lovely ramble around Cwmdu…this is actually Philip’s patch but he gave her permission!

First stop of the day was to let the horse through.

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We passed a lovely cottage and admired the range of foxgloves in their pretty garden.

 

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There were many other foxgloves to  be seen in the surrounding fields and also some derelict farm buildings just waiting to be restored.

 

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We walked up some hills that were quite tiring but it was well worth it for the beautiful views over the countryside

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Good to see some lovely wild flowers in the hedgerows  and pleased that the farmer managed to get his hay/silage cut before the wet weather came.

We were watched carefully  on our way  by a number of four legged friends.

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Some made their presence more noticeable than others!

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We ended our walk in the Cwmdu Pub. On Sunday afternoons during the summer one can have  Afternoon Tea there so we sampled the idea! The cakes were delicious! Thanks Roz for the lovely walk.

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The MOT on our car was due so we headed to Swansea to get it done. Every time we visit the Enterprise Park in Swansea we get lost…not sure how anyone knows where they are going! We find the lake and the ducks and then we know we are on the right road!

Whilst the car is being dealt with we walk  to Wyevale Garden Centre have a coffee and then walk around the lake spotting as many birds as possible.

Good news the car lives for another year!

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Last week I was asked to help at a National Garden Scheme Open Day at Gelli Mydog. The sun shone  and everyone came and enjoyed the  lovely gardens and the cream teas!  One of the owners of the garden is a greenskeeper so the lawns were immaculate…hope he never visits our garden!

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Calling into our local town, Llandovery, is always a treat, even in the rain.

It is sad to see most of the banks are now closed and their wonderful old buildings are now  up for sale.

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On the drive into town we called in to see the alpaca that are in our local nursery, Ystrad.  Such characters and so nosy  and very cuddly!

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I love our garden in June…it’s bursting with colour  and weeds!

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Love the  shapes of all the different leaves in the bog garden and the orchid in the mini meadow.

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Our bird feeders are busy even though it’s the summer! There are a number of unusual visitors eating the nuts!

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Being that time of year when mothers are showing their young how to use our garden and to make use of all that we supply. We have had a number of incidents !!

The silly baby squirrel was led by mum to the nuts and she explained all about the guard  and how it was meant to keep them out. Like many youngsters he knew best and then got stuck in the feeder and cried!! Mum tried to get him out after giving him one hell of a row but in the end Jim had to sort the problem out!

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The mummy woodpecker has also had a wayward offspring, who couldn’t hold onto the feeder so she had to ‘spoon’ feed it!!

Just love this expression…’You stupid boy!”

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Just a note of interest to anyone who gets a splinter. I had to visit the hospital this week as a garden splinter had lodged in my arm some weeks ago   and was going nasty! I had tried all the numerous remedies and even been on antibiotics. The  hospital consultant suggested an operation with general anaesthetic  to be arranged! On returning home I searched the internet again for suggestions  and found one saying that petrol jelly/vaseline would work…it did!!  I put the vaseline on and bandaged it up overnight and in the morning  half an inch of wood was sticking out!! Hooray, no operation  and I live to garden another day! Hope this remedy works for you too if you get a splinter…let me know!

 

Walks and Visits Dinas, Llansadwrn, Tregib, Treberfydd Brecon June 3, 2018

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We all wrapped up well for our Walking Well Walk but no need! Rain was forecast  and although damp and cloudy  it stayed dry whilst we had a tramp around Tregib Woods in Llandeilo.

We crossed the swing bridge which actually does swing and  can make one feel rather light headed!

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Looking down the river Towy a heron flew overhead and landed just down stream.  There’s a heron in this photo somewhere …honest!

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We crossed over fields and followed the road until we entered the wood. Llandeilo looked its usual lovely self with its houses perched  prettily on the hill looking down towards the river and the bridge.

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Tregib Wood is a Woodland Trust wood .

‘Coed Tregib is a beautiful site set within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Ancient woodland (predominantly oak and ash), grassland and new native woodland are the prominent features. Wetland plants are supported within the wood, and dormice have been recorded at this site.’

There were definite wetland plants amongst the wetland! Well, no walk with Philip would be right unless we got a bit damp! It was all  very primeval and one expected a dinosaur to come charging out of the undergrowth at any minute!

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Heading back to the town after our circular walk it was good to pass through a new gate erected by the Ramblers. The last time we were here there was a very rickety stile! This was far more civilised!

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A last view of the bridge  from another angle as we completed our walk. Thank you Philip!

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No wonder I run out of time to do things…I start so many jobs but move on to the next one before finishing the last one…you know what I mean!  The sunshine  recently has made it impossible to stay in and do any housework/ washing etc. so we’ve been out enjoying ourselves. We visited RSPB Dinas and really enjoyed  the walk over the board walk and on through the blue, blue, bluebell woods . Following  the river round  we came to more woods and completed our circular walk…it was difficult walking in some places but well worth it!

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There’s always one that wants to be different!

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A walk up the hill to our village seemed a good idea one sunny afternoon. It was sad to pass by the junior school that has recently closed …it was very solemn and quiet. Good news though it has been bought by a local family…so it will be interesting to see what happens next!

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Across the road from the school is the  pretty church and the village memorial stone.

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The village sits at the top of the hill so there are beautiful views all around.

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A memorial stone in the community field.

A ‘posh’ gate.

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The local pub the Sexton Arms…great place and the landlord Cliff is amazing and does so much to help the community in many ways.

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Llansadwrn  means the church of Sadwrn.

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Whilst I was at the top end of Llansadwrn and not the bottom end where we live I called  on a friend, who is selling her lovely bungalow with land…Purple Bricks!

Photo looking out of her window at  her detached cottage.

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Poppies growing in her garden!

After a lovely cup of coffee I was all set for the long walk back home but this time it was all downhill…much easier!

 

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A coach trip out, with the gardening group, was next in the week. We visited Treberfydd House Brecon which is a Gothic Revival house built in the 19th century. We enjoyed a tour around the house led by the owner. We were treated to  tasty light refreshments  and coffees before we headed off to explore the gardens and the Walled Garden Nursery, where some hardy plants just had to be bought!

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The Nursery was wonderful within such a lovely setting and so many wonderful plants for sale… a return visit is planned!

 

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An interesting coach drive   with a great driver ( a 50 seater coach through very narrow country lanes!)  took us to the next garden, The Neuadd, Crickhowell, which is open with the NGS.

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Here there was a lovely woodland walk which led to a walled vegetable garden.

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The owner’s dog was delighted to welcome us all into the house for a delicious tea!

Not sure which end to pat!

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Back home gardening continues and now Jim has completed building my wonderful new greenhouse  I have even less time ! I have sown far too many seeds  which will all need pricking out! Huge fun though having   a proper place to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and all the other veg I want to try!

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I do so love the colour pink!

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I also love Aberglasney Gardens. Today  on my visit there the sun was shining brightly and I enjoyed a delicious cake and coffee with our lovely cottage visitors from Australia…I think they’ve brought this lovely weather with them!

The gardens are looking beautiful. They are also selling plants that they have  grown in their new greenhouse….so I just had to have one! No idea yet what it looks like   when fully grown so it will be a lovely surprise!

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I love this weather but a couple of nights of heavy rain would certainly help out and cut down all the watering!

 

 
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