Lletty's Blog

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

July 15 Caio Walk, Llandovery, Laugharne Aberglasney Visits July 15, 2019

After some hot and dry days it was lovely to start our Walking Well walk in the coolness of Caio Forest which is just twenty minutes drive away from home.

There are good forestry tracks leading all through the woodland and this was a circular walk that we had completed before – but this time back to front! Philip does like to confuse! As usual we were accompanied by some very well behaved dogs.

The whippet with the yellow lead is very sensitive and the lead shows other dog owners that he can be anxious. What a good idea!

We began the trail and quickly fell into chatting groups which like a slinky never stays the same. People move from the front to the back and vice versa so conversations get moved on and chatting continues with different folk!

The verges were crammed with wild plants but some were hard to name!

Three photos of the same plant in various stages of growth- think it’s a hogweed.

There were some uphill parts passing through the woods and some pretty views to see when using the bridge to cross the stream.

The willow herb plant was in full flower and competing with the knapweed to see who could be the purpliest flower around!

After the walk we all met up at The Bridgend Inn where we all enjoyed a drink and some very tasty food ranging from sandwiches, chips, lemon meringue cake to hot sticky toffee pudding with oodles of custard and sticky toffee sauce…guess wish I had and really loved! Thank you Philip.

In the week I went to Llandovery to do my shop in the Coop! It’s a lovely town with lots of interesting little shops and a grand history!

It was also Llandovery Bike weekend so there were lots of interesting bikes motoring around.

In the week we visited Laugharne with lovely friends. We walked around the base of the castle and headed straight for the Dylan Thomas boathouse to have some refreshments.

After a walk around the town we drove onto Pendine for a walk along the front and another chance to try the refreshments on offer! Oh I do love to be beside the seaside! Our family had a caravan here in the 1950’s and it brings back so many happy memories of playing in the sand dunes with my brothers, who used to dig long tunnels in the sand and crawl in!!! Health and Safety didn’t seem to be an issue in those days and our parents just let us grow up and roam alone!

Back home our swallows have fledged and I can start hanging out the washing again!

Taking care of the garden is taking rather a long time each evening as there has been plenty of watering going on and tidying up in the borders. I promised myself last year that I wouldn’t plant up so many baskets and pots…don’t know why I don’t listen to my sensible self sometimes!

Pretty pinks!

Flaming reds!

‘orrible orange!

Spiky and patterned and glorious!

Veg and fruit growing in harmony along with the slugs/ snails and grubs! grr!

A weekly visit to Aberglasney Gardens is a must in my life. The gardens are in full summer splendour and the wildflower meadow is just beautiful! Carol Klein showed all the thalictrum plants from here a week ago on Gardener’s World but you couldn’t see on the programme all the wonderful borders and plantings everywhere…so here are just a few snapshots of an amazing place…I love it!

Thank you for reading.

 

June 30 Bethlehem Walk June 30, 2019

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

Hottest day of the year so it would have been helpful to have a donkey to assist our walk from Bethlehem to the River Towy and back again! A good number of Walking Well walkers were well prepared for the conditions with bottles of water at hand, wide brimmed hats, sun lotion and plenty of enthusiasm but it was rather warm! A recce of all walks is carried out beforehand by the ‘leaders’ (Philip and pals) and this time the path had been carefully made safe by pruning branches, cutting long grass and clearing passages through woodland- it made the walk a very pleasant one and safe! Thank you.



View over Towy Valley from Bethlehem Road

We followed the Bethlehem Road away from the village and look a turn down a narrow track. Following the track we walked through a woodland glade which was just right to keep us all cool.

Some took the high road and some the low until we reached the River Towy.

Property for sale- beautiful cottage with fine views

We completed our circular walk by returning to the Bethlehem Road and walking back to our cars parked outside the old school building. We all thought that we would love to buy this pretty cottage that was for sale along the way.

Back to 139 Llandeilo for our refreshments which we all needed. Thank you Philip and pals!

Earlier in the week I had visited Aberglasney…again! Every corner of the garden is beautiful but the rose arches were breathtaking.

I also visited Dyffryn Gardens a NT property with lots to see and enjoy. The borders were just being planted and unusually they were using succulents to create marvellous patterns…I loved them and came home with many ideas to try planting one of my own…in a container!

I might try something like this…only much smaller!

I’d love a tulip tree too!

The sunny weather meant that a walk up to Llansadwrn village was a real pleasure. The wild flowers are filling the hedgerows and even the cattle are looking happy!

I became rather fixated with the shadows on the road from the hedges- such lovely patterns. They started off small and grew larger!

At home the farmer has been very busy cutting our meadow for hay/silage/haylage.

In the garden the wild flowers are thriving!

The rest of the garden is doing well too considering we’ve had some very breezy drying days, very hot drying days and some cloudy days!

We have had some wonderful guests in Lletty Cottage this summer. Some who have been before and some new faces- it’s lovely to welcome them all. Amazingly we have had three different couples staying from three different parts of Australia and none of them have turned anything upside down yet!

Latest purchase by guests…what will Australia think of this when they return home? I love it!

Thank you for reading.

 

June 14 Abergorlech Walk June 14, 2019

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After a week of miserable, cold and wet weather today dawned cloudy but not raining! Just the cagoule and not the full waterproofs needed to keep warm and dry on the Walking Well walk at Abergorlech. The drive there through the back lanes/tracks is quite hairy especially when you meet another car with driver who is unwilling to reverse. My driving skills of reversing back downhill, around a corner, avoiding the ditches either side, to let the other driver zoom through, were quite tested but pleased that I did it without any damage to car or hedge!

Arriving from different places we all met up in the carpark ready for our 3 and a half mile walk through the forest. I think I need one of these leads when I get worried about reversing the car!

The woods were clothed in mists and many of the banks were filled with beautiful and magnificent foxgloves and ferns.

Setting off along the track we followed a previous route that we had been on but this time in reverse so the ‘hard’ bit…the going uphill …was first!

Luckily we had some lovely views to inspire us further and two dogs to keep us company along the way.

After all the rain we have had the river was bubbling along with speed.

It was fortunate to find the bridge hadn’t been washed away so we could all cross safely to the other side of the valley to continue our walk. No one had time for Pooh sticks today as it had begun to spot with rain and no one wanted to get too wet.

The tracks was slippery and all the rain had caused many of the trees to be uprooted. Not many of us limboed under the fallen tree …next time perhaps!

Not sure many cyclists would attempt these smaller tracks …very narrow, wet and liable to give way beneath you at any time!

Down in the valley there was a lovely Monet like bridge. We aimed for it as we zigzagged down the track which had banks full of brambles. The promise of blackberries later in the year.

When we reached the bridge it wasn’t the one we needed so had to retrace a few steps but it was a good place to take a photo of the river up and down stream flowing underneath.

Moving swiftly onwards we followed the path and found the correct bridge which we all crossed safely and arrived back in the carpark ready to go on for our refreshments.

It’s amazing really…the pub was less than 100 m away but a fair proportion of ‘walkers’ got in their cars to drive there…I was one! The quicker we could get our coffee and cake the better! The Black Lion pub is lovely and well worth a visit. https://blion.co.uk

Coffee and a delicious chocolate brownie never tasted better!

Excitingly the cycle race is passing through Abergolech https://www.womenstour.co.uk/stages/ so the pub will be filled with onlookers and cheer leaders.

The rain had threatened in the morning but had held off. After driving home through the lanes it began to rain so photos of the garden are rather mixed. The rain has spoilt a number of plants and everything is very droopy but still colourful!

The slugs have had a field day in the veg plot!

But there are some successes in the garden too! Strawberries haven’t been discovered by the mice yet! Blueberry bushes are laden with berries and the birds haven’t discovered them yet! The fernery is very ferny, the yellow rattle is spreading , the bog garden is very boggy and loving it and the lawn that hasn’t been mown is an ox eye daisy meadow!!

There are bees buzzing everywhere and lots of different kinds too.

Not only bees but lots of birds singing ! The squirrels only makes a noise when I shake my plastic bag at them to chase them off the bird feeders and then they chatter angrily back at me… such rude sounds!!

The wood pecker has two babies and is teaching them to take a peanut out of the feeder and poke it into the tree to eat. The squirrel tries to grab it! That’s when I shout some rude words back at the squirrel!!

Life at Lletty Cottage is never quiet but very interesting and busy!

Thank you for reading.

 

May 31 Salem Walk May 31, 2019

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Our Walking Well walk today was led by Biddy, who had planned a great circular walk from her home through the pretty countryside and along country lanes Setting off in damp, overcast weather which soon turned to damp, bright weather we crossed the paddocks grazed by ponies and big black bullocks…think they were bullocks but didn’t stay to check!

The hedges were white with hawthorn blossom

and the verges pink with campion and foxgloves.

One part of the walk had to be altered as one of the fields had rather too many cows/ bulls in so taking the route along the lanes seemed a very wise precaution.

Along the way we passed an old farm building with beautiful old barns. The view of these barns has been painted by a well known artist David Cowdry! Wish I had the painting!

Walking along the road our progress was monitored by various locals!

After climbing up some quite steep hills which left me quite puffed out we reached our target! An old Iron Age fort ! Maes -Y-Castell Salem

Copied from https://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/304025/details/maes-y-castell-salem :

Community Manordeilo and Salem

Type of Site HILLFORT

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Iron Age

Site Description A relatively small bivallare contour hillfort.
(source Os495card; SN62NW1)
J.Wiles 25.02.02

There are two photos of the fort on the above site but it says copyright so if interested have a look!

The view from the top of the hill was excellent…pity it was cloudy. One could see the ditches around the hill fort and just imagine what it would have felt like living there and having sight over your enemies coming up the valley to get you!!

The white building in the distance is the white barn passed earlier.


We continued on along the lane and came to a new footpath passing right by a new small wind turbine which surprisingly made quite a loud whirring noise…not good if you live nearby!

By this time the damp had turned to proper rain and tramping through the long grass down through the meadows we were all looking forward to getting back onto a lane.

The verges were full of cow parsley and amongst the stems of various plants there was a great deal of cuckoo spit! This has been in the news recently:

Cuckoo spit….Spittle bugs

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48383730

“Scientists are calling for thousands of volunteers to help record sightings of spittle and spittlebugs across the UK.

The information will be used to map the distribution of the insect, in a pre-emptive strike against a deadly plant disease.

Xylella┬áhas struck several EU countries, blighting olive groves in southern Italy. The UK is clear of the disease but is on high alert.”

The lane led us back into Salem.

Good job Biddy knew the road as the signposts didn’t help much at all!

Soon we were back at Biddy’s front door.

Bird of paradise plant grown outside in pot in Wales!

Dogs were pleased to be home and we were delighted to be invited into the house for delicious cakes and coffee. Thank you Biddy very much.

The emus in the paddock!

Earlier in the week we had visited Abergavenny for the annual steam fair which was excellent as usual and full of all things steamy.

Lots of collectors with many different and interesting collections were also there and always willing to tell you about their interests.

Best of all though I bought an Allen Scythe! It looked very smart and just what I wanted! I’m sure it will be very useful cutting the grass on Pond Field!

Also in the week we visited Carmarthen Museum where a huge garden project is just starting. With the help of a large Lottery grant the walled garden is going to be restored and a new visitor centre and cafe is going to be built. There was a large wooden door in the old wall and I peeped in and found volunteers already working hard in the garden. We were kindly let in to have a quick look!

In the museum it was great to see work by our village award winning studio potters on display. https://www.jamesandtillawaters.co.uk

Also in the museum which was once the Bishop’s Palace there is a ‘church’ upstairs which was used by the bishops and his visitors.

This post is far too long already but a few photos from the garden to end it shows that this weather has brought on the plants all at once…goodness knows what the garden will be like in a month as everything is happening now!

The birds too are enjoying life with the swifts nesting under the eaves, every bird box filled with sparrows, swallows under the carport and the seven Canada Geese goslings growing larger by the second!

Thank you for reading.

 

May 24 Visit to Skomer May 24, 2019

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Awesome! A day spent on Skomer is truly wonderful. Fortunate enough to be part of a group of good friends who visited the island yesterday I loved every second of being there.

Arriving on the island after a short boat trip excitement mounted as we saw puffins flying in the air , flapping their little wings furiously, and swimming all around in the sea. As we climbed the path up to the top of the island puffins appeared on all sides of the steep cliffs popping in and out of their burrows.

Short and sturdy, colourful and comic, puffins are just wonderful to watch and enjoy.

Walking along the paths around the island through the vibrant bluebells, the pink campions , the purple thrift and hearing all the seabirds calling, and the turquoise sea below crashing against the rocks was quite overwhelming for all the senses…it was all so really beautiful and oh so precious!

Short eared owl

Sharing this wonderful day with friends made it even more special.

Thank you Hazel for all your planning and organisation. You are a star!

 

May 17 Carreg Cennen Walk & Canada Holiday! May 17, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:47 pm

After all the sunny weather we’ve had it was disappointing to find it was a cloudy day for our Walking Well Walk around Carreg Cennen Castle. I’ve missed some walks as I’ve been on a wonderful holiday to Canada to visit the family…not many people don’t know that as I’ve told everyone about the visit!!

Anyway the walk took a new route and the views all around were spectacular. The lanes were brimming full of wild flowers and the colours of the campion, cow parsley, bluebells, stitchwort and more blended together like a beautiful piece of embroidery.

Carreg Cennen Castle

There were plenty of signs to follow as long as you knew which path you were on and where you were going!

Philip pointed out an old track that had once led up to a quarry. It’s good to have someone on a walk that can show you interesting things that otherwise you’d miss.

The castle view kept appearing seemingly in a different place each time…quite disorienting!

As we completed our circular walk we tiptoed carefully across a newly planted field watching to see that the scarecrows didn’t chase after us!

A glimpse of the castle through the farm yard leading us to the cafe where our coffees and cakes were awaiting. Thank you Ann and Philip for the lovely walk.

Delicious rhubarb crumble and cream

We have enjoyed some days of really lovely weather but we did have one night of frost which meant many plants in the garden suffered! The wisteria was one of the many casualties but happily lots survived to bring colours and interest to the garden

Orangey flowers brighten any border.

White flowers make me smile.

Bright limey green lifts the spirits.

Pink is heavenly.

Red is brave.

Tall is glamorous.

But Roses are just beautiful.

Too many photos already but I may have mentioned once or twice recently that we went to Canada to see our family…so a few photos of my precious family in Vancouver.

Our Canada geese family, at home, are growing up too!

Thank you for reading.

 

April 6th Aberglasney Gardens April 7, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:28 pm

Every Sunday I visit Aberglasney. It is just the most perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of a wonderful remarkable garden.

The mansion from the Upper Walled Garden

Of course, a visit to a beautiful garden needs a quiet sit down in the cafe to enjoy the scene, whilst drinking a delicious coffee with a pal. I’ll be back next Sunday for a refill of coffee and a top up of enjoyment and contentment.

 

 
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