Lletty's Blog

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

May 15 Llansadwrn Forestry Walk and Garden May 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:57 pm

Looking through the photos taken over the last fortnight to put in this post has shown the highs and lows of gardening…all courtesy of the weather!

Being blessed with days of sunshine and warmth the sown seeds in the greenhouse sprouted forth and multiplied! Planting out usually takes place on the last Bank Holiday in May…but lured on by the sunshine- I foolishly planted out the peas, courgettes, runner and dwarf beans which all flourished…that is…until …. THE FROST! I really need music to accompany this piece so one can feel the drama rising…or maybe not!. Anyway to cut a long story short…a bit like the plants…they have all gone to pastures new…the compost … so seed planting is starting again!

Before TF (The frost!) the garden was positively blooming although it needed a nightly water to keep the clay soil from cracking open too much.

There was colour everywhere- not in any organised colour combinations- just splashes of random colour brightening the lock down days!

Between all the drama of gardening we have taken local walks to get our permitted daily exercise in. Nearby there is a lovely forestry walk and the track through it follows the hillside to the top where there are wonderful views of the Towy valley below.

In the distance there are the Carmarthenshire Fans and in the far distance 40 miles away there’s Pen Y Fan- the highest peak in South Wales. My little camera zoomed its heart out and managed a good photo of the the twin summits of Pen y Fan and Corn Du!

Either side of the track there were the emerging leaves and fruits of all the trees.

Bluebells danced in the glades.

Birds serenaded us from the tops of trees. One a robin the other unknown but it had a beautiful song! Wonder if anyone can identify it …please.

Back in the garden although visitors aren’t allowed we’ve had a few!

The big news is that the Canada Geese have hatched their six goslings! They are as lovely as ever even though for the first time they are leaving the Pond Field and coming into the garden! They are enjoying swimming in the ‘baby’ pool that I’ve just put in behind the bog garden!!

Trying to move them on proved difficult! The mother limboed under the gate whilst the dad climbed through the fence.

In the end I decided that it was lovely seeing them in the garden and they could stay!

After TF and the goslings the garden looks far more ‘lived in’ with dead veg and molehills!

In the Pond Field there look like some orchid leaves so looking forward to seeing what happens there. Sadly they are growing right beneath the lime tree which only today had a large branch crash down!

Although there is a significant amount of frost damage to plants in the garden the roses are beginning to shine through to brighten everything up again.

Today in ‘normal’ times would have been a Walking Well Walk Day. The posts about the walks have always mentioned Lewis, a dear friend to all the walkers. He led from the front and set the pace and we always tried to keep up with him. He was a true pal and a delightful gentleman. Very sadly he died recently and today was his funeral. He will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate to know him.

 

May 1st Llansadwrn Loop and Garden May 1, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:12 pm

Rain …at last! Who’d have thought I’d be writing about being happy with rain on May 1st! Our water butts are overflowing, the grass is greening up and everywhere looks fresher and brighter. The lambs in the adjacent field are really loving the long grass to run and play in.

The wisteria is starting to hang its beautiful flowers over the trellis and the Welsh poppies are popping up everywhere.

The early flowering yellow rose is flowering already and has encouraged the Gertrude Jekyll rose to open up a bud early too!

The garden is full of spring flowers and lots of colour to brighten our days.

Our village was going to have an Open Garden Day this June which has now been postponed until next year. The break has given me the chance to look at our garden and see how to improve it and create more views through the borders. The ideas are all in my head for now- whether there’ll be the enthusiasm and energy to carry out all the ideas/plans is another matter!!

The bog garden is looking better now with its wild and cultivated plants growing strongly after the rain. The primulas that follow soon are spreading well and bring lots of lovely colour.

The garden is my domain and Jim has his workshop but we do enjoy a walk out together too. Last week we walked the Llansadwrn Loop which is just a 3 mile circular walk around the lanes of the village.

The Canada Goose is still sitting on her nest on the island and the gunnera is getting larger by the day! Hope it doesn’t cover her! Every evening, 5.30pm, she gets off her nest and calls out to her mate…who is in the next field with his mates…a rowdy bunch! She flies over to see him and gets him to come back to the pond. He reluctantly leaves his mate and flies back with her and they splash down together. She then has a wash, brush up and eats some grass etc. He swims around! After a few minutes she’s back on her nest and he swans off again back to his mates! Every evening!

This might not be the easiest of times for everyone but it really does give one time to look at everything that is happening in the garden and enjoy it all.

 

April 18 Lords and Ladies welcome spring in Lletty Cottage Garden and local walks April 18, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 11:11 am

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

At last we have the time to stand and stare at all the wonderful happenings in the garden during this extraordinary springtime. We are fortunate to have a garden to walk around and enjoy and feel huge sympathy for the many who do not have such a privilege at this time.

The warm weather has brought a delight of colour to the garden with many wild flowers amongst cultivated ones.

As our Walking Well Walks are currently postponed we are enjoying a few local walks around Llansadwrn and Felindre.

Just up the road is the pretty ‘hamlet’ of Felindre with the River Marlais running through it and a footpath that leads on to the Millennium Wood.

A number of large trees have been felled by the river’s edge and methinks one of the pieces would make a very fine coffee table!

A favourite part of the walk leads through a tunnel of hazel trees right next to the woodland and where the ground is covered in wood sorrel, celandines and feathers!

The weather has been warm and sunny but there have been occasional frosty mornings which make me speed up my morning saunter around the garden into a much faster sprint in for coffee!

When the morning has warmed itself up there is time for another walk around the garden to check out the flowers that are blooming. There are tulips:

there’s a magnolia:

there are lots of flowers:

and lots of trees and blossom:

Mrs Canada Goose is now sitting on her nest on the island near the gunnera so hopefully it doesn’t grow too quickly and cover her up!

Butterflies are visiting the garden but too fluttery and fast to capture in a photo and even a photo of a female violet oil beetle was tricky as she scooted for cover!

Jobs around the garden have kept me busy during this time ….please note no jobs in the house ever get done or completed…rather be outside!

The greenhouse has been tidied and the aruncula are doing well in their pots, all the veggie seeds are stuck in compost and hopefully going to sprout soon, the little woodshed has been tidied in readiness for the swallows return and a small pond dug next to the Skunk cabbage which has flowered well.

Hope you have had time to stand and enjoy this springtime too. Stay safe.

W.H. Davies was a Welsh poet and we used to learn this poem at school:

Leisure

What is this life, so full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?-

No time to stand benaeth the boughs,

And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

 

April 3rd Spring Inspiration April 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:21 pm

We are very fortunate to have a garden to walk around and enjoy, during what are very difficult times for many people. The spring flowers are beautiful this year and maybe having a quiet time in life has given us more chance to enjoy them fully.

Sad that the visitors who were booked in Lletty Cottage will miss their holiday here but hopefully they will return to visit at a later date…we will miss seeing them.

The honey bee ‘hive’ under our roof tiles is keeping the garden buzzing and humming with its bees as they flit from flower to flower. Of course they have a remarkable facility that many do not know about…if approached by someone with a camera they fly off immediately and warn others to stay away!

Our village, Llansadwrn, has been brilliantly active in keeping in touch with everyone and watching out for all. A volunteer group has been formed and anyone wanting help in any way can just let them know what is needed. It’s amazing.

We walked up to the village to collect farm fresh eggs that are kindly left in a cool box. On the way we stopped to admire the view. Not a good idea when a flock of sheep spy you and think that food is being delivered to them! Waiting for a flock of sheep to arrive at a gate is not one that we want to go through again …the baaaing, bleating, mehing that proceeded the charge was deafening! Hope the farmer wasn’t annoyed.

The Canada Geese couple have now settled into their routine but as yet haven’t laid any eggs. They have been thwarted by a very annoying couple of mallards who pester them non stop. The moorhens are far more chummy and keep their heads down and tails up and just get on with their courting. Our resident Mr Pheasant knocks on our door …frequently… and then goes around the house and knocks on our other doors…poor Rufus is going mad chasing him from door to door inside! Mrs Pheasant is far more civilised and keeps her distance…tut tutting in the background!

Another walk up to the village for more eggs led to a longer walk following a footpath through the meadows full of baby lambs. The path meandered through a pretty woodland glade filled with wood anemone and then onto a bubbling stream……poetry!

Keeping busy has been top of my list and the garden has had a good spring clean! The bulrushes around the pond have increased significantly over the last year and with all these seeds blowing in the wind it looks as though they might increase even more!

Clearing up broken branches from the trees has unveiled the land of the creepy crawlies underneath…fascinating to watch …and enjoy! Jim hates them!

On the field joining our garden the farmer has brought back his ‘big boys’ – who look a bit tired after all their work!

I have always loved mowing the grass! Having a petrol mower requires little effort in moving the machine so one can reflect on life and sort it all out whilst doing a good job at the same time. I have mowed our Pond Field..about 3/4 of an acre and the rest of the lawns so all done!

Flowers and blossom in the garden are showing their best sides to attract all those bees…they are doing a grand job!

It’s a very yellowy / creamish scene!

with a tinge of purply and pink

But things are noticeably turning ‘blue’! …I love blue!

No photos of all the birds in our garden – they are all busy building their nests and singing sweetly in the trees and all seems well with their world…let’s hope the same for us …it’s a shared world for all to enjoy.

Flying bird of the day over the garden ( apologies to Mr T!)

 

March 21 Start of Spring- Walks Llangadog, Dolau Cothi, Dolauhirion Bridge March 21, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:05 pm

Well, what a weird and strange world we are living in at present. Fortunately for us we have a lovely local shop full of everything we need including lots of kindness too. Our village has come up trumps (sorry!) with a wonderful support system for any resident who may need help- this is the benefit of living in a small, caring community.

Although all the groups and meetings around have been cancelled or postponed including our Walking Well Group it hasn’t meant…as yet…that private walking has been suspended too! Missing seeing Philip and all the gang though and hope they are all OK!

It didn’t take a huge amount of persuasion to encourage Jim… him with the poorly knee… to accompany me on my circular walk around Llangadog..a nearby village with everything one needs to survive….a butcher, a county stores, a newsagent plus shop, two and more pubs…sadly no candle stick maker!

Parking the car on the Common we followed the track down to the River Towy passing some lovely properties, lambs in the fields and spring flowers in the hedgerows.

Nearing the river we could see in the distance the railway bridge that we were heading for, the lane seemed to get longer and longer!

The wind pushed us towards the river which was running along very strongly and there were signs of where the flooding had been not too many weeks ago.

Having a train on the line whilst crossing a decidedly scary footpath on the bridge whilst seeing the tumbling river beneath would have been a step too far for me!

Crossing through fields and over the railway line we were faced with a very muddy lane filled with slurry- where we held our noses and battled through…me in my wellies- Jim in his shoes!!! The patterns in the water though were pretty!

We were now three quarters of the way round our circular walk and knee problems began to surface. Never fear I was near!!! Walking speedily ahead into Llangadog and through the village out to the Common, collecting the car and whizzing back to pick up Jim…all problems solved.

A day of rest was called for before we set off again in the car to Llandovery and onto Dolauhirion Bridge (Pont Dolauhirion)..another bridge over the River Towy (Afon Tywi) . It is a lovely bridge, Grade 1 listed, built in 1773 by William Edwards. It has circular openings at the ends apparently to relieve stress on the main bridge in times of flood.

The water was crystal clear- just right for a paddle…in the summer!

Ending our day out at Dolau Cothi with another walk over another bridge, over the River Cothi. Coffee and cake in the car revived the aching knee…a bit!

Back home the garden is getting into the Spring mood with increasing amounts of colour and longer and longer grass!

Back in Aberglasney, which has shut its tearoom and shop for now but the garden is open…the magnolia are flowering, the trilliums are trilling and the  fritillaries are …fritting.. all too good to miss! In the mansion a Bonsai exhibition too… but sadly closed now.

Thankfully, we have lots of feathery friends in the garden, including two pheasants, two nesting Canada geese, three moorhens and three Mallards to keep us happy.

Thank you for reading. Stay well and active and enjoy the Spring!

 

March 7 Llyn Llech Owain and Llansadwrn Walks, Aberglasney March 7, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 2:38 pm

The rain had stopped and although the paths were muddy a fair few walkers turned up at Llyn Llech Owain for Philip’s walk around the country park. Setting off at a good pace we reached the little Visitor Centre, which is a good place to look out over the lake and see which birds are around.

The lake’s legend: Owain Lawgoch (known as Owain The Red Hand in the Hundred Years’ War) was entrusted to look after Mynydd Mawr, a well on the mountain. Every day, after withdrawing enough water for himself and his horse, Owain was always very careful to replace the stone slab which held back the water. However on one occasion he somehow completely forgot to do that and an absolute torrent of water poured down the side of the mountain! The resultant lake was hence named Llyn Lech Owain, meaning ‘the lake of Owain’s slab’!

Continuing on around the lake we followed some rather muddy paths. The land around the lake is being restored to ‘proper’ bogland. Many trees have been felled to clear the land. It all looks a bit wet and messy at present but no doubt it will improve the land for wildlife and the bog itself.

Continuing the circular walk we left the park, walked along a country lane and returned back through the park on another path. Whilst on the road we passed a machine improving the bog area on another site.

There was also a derelict cottage…just ripe for renovation…maybe suit Miss Havisham if it had an extension! Many of the trees around our area are marked with orange paint or orange ties, these are due to be chopped down as I believe they have ash dieback and may cause injury if left and fall down!

The pace quicken when we neared the cafe! Fantastic range of multicoloured cakes awaited us…all delicious but the bara brith was my favourite! Thank you Philip for the great walk and for bringing the best eggs around from Lewis, who we are all missing on our walks and we all wish him well.

The weather has been bright and dry on a number of days and Tuesday in our village is Vestry Venture Day. The church vestry is open for all to call in and have a chat , coffee and cake. So I ventured out for a walk and a chat up to the church, passing the old pound and the war memorial and said hello to the welcoming bear outside the vestry!

On the way back down the hill the views and the signs of spring in the hedgerows was uplifting.

As I’ve mentioned some times I love Aberglasney Gardens! Recently there has been a new orchid display in the Ninfarium to enjoy- it’s stunning! Plus all the daffodils out…magic!

Back home we haven’t any orchids…sadly…but colour is returning to the garden and the Canada Geese have returned to our pond to join the resident moorhens the three visiting mallards, the pheasants and Rufus!

Living in such a vibrant, small community is full of joys and new ventures seem to spring up every week. Sadwrn Walkers went on their first walk this week around Llansadwrn lanes – it was rather murky weatherwise but the happy chatter, seeing the new born lambs, the first sighting of cow parsley in the hedge, greeting and meeting two donkeys and the coffee and biscuit at the end made it a perfect outing – to be repeated first weekend every month!

Rufus has now had the buttons removed from his ear but the trauma of visiting the vets and having treatment has really taken it out of him!

St David’s Day was celebrated with a drink in the pub and lots of daffodils in the house. Thank you for reading and just keep washing those hands!

 

February 21st Rain, Dinefwr Walk, Rain February 21, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:05 pm

Philip had done it again…arranged the rain to stop so our walk around Dinefwr took place in dry but very windy conditions!

We all set off from Llandeilo station carpark and walked briskly through the town to Dinefwr entrance. We all had to stop for a breather before Philip led us across the fields heading towards the track leading from Home Farm. It was a very blustery walk and signs of the winds that have been blowing recently could be seen with all the branches from trees lying on the ground.

The views from the top of the hill took in the town of Llandeilo, the park, Newton House and Dinefwr Castle.

The wind was quite strong which made the walking quite a struggle with all the ups and downs of the hills!

We followed the track leading to the winter cowshed of the White Park Dinefwr Cattle , who all looked very cheerful and very well fed!

We passed some fine lichen examples and some very mossy trees!

Passing in front of Newton House we followed a sheep track back to the old church Llandyfeisant , which is hopefully going to be restored. https://www.llandeilo.org/ch_llandyfeisant.html

At the church there were some more lichen and penny wort, an interesting poster about the church, snowdrops being blown elegantly around in the breeze and lovely Molly the dog!

We followed the muddy track down to the river where only the week before there had been major flooding but now all looked under control.

It all looked very calm and no signs of damage. Unlike when Turner painted a watercolour of the bridge in 1795 when a flood then had taken away a stone support!!

J.M.W. Turner painted this watercolour of the first Llandeilo Bridge and Dinefwr Castle in 1795 during one of his several sketching and painting tours of Wales. A recent flood had carried away one of the stone supports and Turner shows its alarmingly flimsy wooden replacement. https://www.llandeilo.org/bge_gallery.html

With the wind behind us we fairly zoomed up the hill towards the town passing Gerwyns where the plants and veg outside the shop were nearly blown away.

We knew our coffee and cake were waiting at Mary Ellens 139 so we rushed passing all the lovely houses and church on the way.

Maryellens@139

Outside 139

Thank you Philip for another lovely walk.

This area has been fortunate to miss the severe flooding affecting homes as in other parts of Wales but we have had lots of rain! The bog garden in our front garden is now a pond!

The road outside our house looks like the tide has come in with a high water mark with all the stones and debris form further up the hill!

A walk up the road to see the local rivers showed them in full spate with lots of moss and lichen to add to the interesting scenes.

Even the geese thought the river too dangerous to swim in!

Back home the daffodils and hellebores are trying their best to liven up the garden and the birds are eating all their bird seed to give us something interesting to look at through the window!

Rufus has been confined to indoors as he must have banged his head and caused a haematoma : ‘An aural haematoma is a blood blister that forms inside the ear flap when a blood vessel bursts.

This has meant he has had to have two operations on his ear!! He is not a happy cat and doesn’t like the colour of the three buttons that are helping his ear to get better!

Thank you for reading. Hope the floods and all the rain haven’t caused any of you too many problems…..Spring is on the way!

If you come and stay in Lletty Cottage all the walks that Philip takes us on are all local so you can try them out for yourselves.

(Cottage prices 2020- Any 4 nights £200 if available, 7 nights- £375)

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

 

 
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