Lletty's Blog

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

September 22 Carmel Woods Walk and Early Autumn September 22, 2019

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Early Autumn in the Towy valley is always beautiful but with the added bonus of sunshine last week everywhere has looked glorious. From the mists rising in the early morning sunshine to the birds singing all around it has been a perfect start to the new season.

View over the Fans from front garden

Friday dawned bright and sunny and was a good omen for our Walking Well Walk around Carmel Woods with Ros as our leader. A fair number of walkers set off across a main road, up through a farm track , through a kissing gate and across a field ….with cows!

The photo taken off the sign showing people from the Wildlife Trust sharpening scythes also shows Ros, our leader! Hope she hasn’t brought any scythes with her today!

Thank fully the cows stayed where they were and thought we were too uninteresting to take much notice.

We followed a path up a steep hill and crossed over the main road again and through a very fine woodland area, although it was rather damp!

Following the path we came to a meadow which still had a number of wild flowers but many had been eaten by the cows…I think!

Don’t look now Ann but I think you are being followed!
Lots of knap weed still around.

After the walk we returned to Llandeilo and the Hangout for a delicious cake and coffee. Thank you Ros for a lovely walk.

The farmer who looks after our field has definitely listened to old sayings and made hay whilst the sun shines as his tractor, cutter, baler have all been in action this week.

The field hedges are full of autumn fruits.

and some fruits getting ready for Christmas as the holly tree berries begin to ripen!

The gunnera on the island has recovered magnificently from the frost damage earlier in the year and is a favourite home of the moorhen family.

Not only has the sunshine made the flowers bloom longer and happier and given great enjoyment to us but the butterflies and insects have loved them as well!

It’s also spider season! We have some HUGE ones – this is a tiny one as the HUGE ones might frighten some readers!!

Together with the sunshine we also had some quite breezy moments which resulted in all the little pears cascading to the ground and all the virginia creeper creeping everywhere!

We have had many wonderful visitors staying in Lletty Cottage over the summer and they all like sitting in the cottage garden which is a suntrap!

They also enjoy looking out of the bedroom window over the garden and field especially when it’s been cut. There’s a seat at the top of the field with views over the Fans- stunning! I think the farmer was very clever to leave the bales so symmetrically for a photo opportunity and pointing up towards the seat! Thank you Colin!

Thank you for reading.

 

September 8th Abergorlech Walk and Aberglasney September 9, 2019

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Well whad’ya know…it’s Walking Well Friday and the forecast through the week has said fine and sunny but what they didn’t know was that Philip wasn’t going to be there!! So it rained and it was wet but never mind Biddy took charge and led us on a lovely, though damp walk, following the blue route around Abergorlech woods.

This week our twin grandchildren started school in Canada…a French immersion school! Hence I’m trying to improve my very basic French …so please bear with me …also improving my Welsh at the same time!

On Friday I went for a walk in the woods and I got wet.

Vendredi, je suis alle me promener dans les bois et je me suis mouille.

Ddydd Gwener es i am dro yn y coed a gwlychu…..Welsh! (Thank you Google for the Welsh!)

We set off at a steady pace as the usual walkers were at the front showing us back markers how to do it!

The streams were running very clear and all the foliage around looked as though a dinosaur would be peering through the ferns at any second!

There were a number of trees that had fallen across our path and one could either scramble over or limbo under….point to remember …when limboing don’t come up too soon or you’ll bang your head!!

We were accompanied , as usual, by the dogs, who really enjoy the freedom of the walk around the wood by chasing up and down and round and round…very energetically!

The heather was blooming but looking decidedly damp and sad and the blackberries along the banks were looking decidedly delicious and tasty…and they were!

After a good 4 mile walk we returned to the carpark and went on to the pub, where an even tastier chocolate brownie with strawberries on top and a hot coffee ended another lovely jaunt in the woods. Thank you Biddy!

I may have mentioned before that I do love Aberglasney! Last weekend they held an Orchid Exhibition which was excellent and very interesting to see all the different varieties of orchids there are…far more than I’ve seen in the local supermarket!!

Most enjoyable!

Earlier in the week we met up with our daughter, hubby and grandson in Bourton on Water for a get together.We thought to meet half way…she drove an hour …we drove three hours… par for the course! Wonderful day out and enjoyed the town and their Car and Toy Museum. There were a large number of visitors in the town so we’ll have to go back to visit when it’s the quiet season…whenever that is!

It’s a very picturesque place.

The museum was absolutely chockablock with old cars, bikes and everything in between! It was great!

Best behaved spectators on the platform..handsome boy and gorgeous girl!

At the weekend a steam train whistled through our local stations…The Sherwood Forester…it whooshed in and out again! The platform at our local station, Llangadog, was packed with sight seers …all good stuff!

Back in Aberglasney at the weekend when the sun came out the visitors came too! There were many beautiful parts to see and enjoy.

The Aberglasney greenhouses are full of winter bedding plants and a large range of succulents. The melons are growing well in the Melon House and the birds and bees are loving it all!

We are still practising our limbo skills at Aberglasney underneath the gunnera!

Back at home the garden still keeps giving a great deal of pleasure.

The caterpillars have loved all the nasturtiums and the birds have loved all the caterpillars…so win- win really!

The Allen scythe I bought is still not working properly so I’ve had to mow the Pond Field with the mower…took ages and I’ve only done about a third! It will keep me busy for a few weeks yet! Huge satisfaction when I do it though!

The canna lilies are bringing a flash of colour to all the dark corners…very superior plants!

Au revoir et merci de lire.

Hwyl fawr a diolch

Thanks for reading!






 

August 23 Out and About! August 24, 2019

The clouds were parting, the breeze dropping , the sun was peeping and it was a Walking Well Walk at Myddfai and Philip was back bringing the good weather with him.

A good crowd set off briskly through the delightful village, Lewis setting a fast pace out front- his usual position, and we all managed to reach half way up the hill before stopping for a breather and to give two walkers time to catch up.

Five beautiful fuchsia ‘trees’ outside house in Myddfai
Catching up !

Following the road we soon reached the stile which we needed to climb over to continue our walk. After climbing the stile we were in a well looked after field where sheep were grazing quietly on the grass.

This land is Llwynywormwood, which is an estate owned by the Duchy of Cornwall (Prince Charles). There are 192-acres but we weren’t going to walk all round it…this time!

Very well behaved sheep

We strolled across the field and crossed a sweet bridge which joined the track leading to the house…which is closed to visitors. We passed the empty sentry box before entering a field of oats and unknown plants!

Moving swiftly onwards we crossed over another path adjoining a paddock where a horse showed interest in us all and then flicked his tail and galloped off!

The geese were rather more accommodating and lined up like soldiers for us on parade. Wonder which one is destined for Christmas lunch for HRH!

Continuing the walk across fields, where the hedges were full of autumn fruits and colours, we eventually reached the road that led back into the village.

Passing some renovated houses that were once the old school buildings we reached the Myddfai Hall https://www.myddfai.org where we all sat outside in the beautiful sunshine and enjoyed a delicious cake and coffee. Thank you Philip and Lewis for a lovely walk.

Earlier in the week I visited the National Botanic Garden of Wales- visited many times before but always finding new things of interest to see and enjoy. I was accompanied by a dear friend who is VERY knowledgeable about all things concerning the flora and fauna of the land.

The Japanese Garden is a favourite of mine.

I liked the way they had left the ‘gone to seed’ lettuce as a decorative border in the veggie plot…I must remember this and use it !

Loved all these plants too so many different shapes and colours !

Everywhere one looked there were vistas to enjoy.

They must have very small gardeners!
An interesting project being conducted in the gardens relating to wild flower seeds

Next visit out was to Dinefwr Park . A circular walk around passing Newton House, along Brown’s Walk , around the lake, down to the boardwalk and back up to have a lovely cake and coffee in the cafe. The walk was to be a gentle introduction to Jim about the benefits of walking together. It nearly went right except for the downpour of rain half way round, the boardwalk closed for maintenance, a locked gate, a fence to be climbed, a lost path, a hill to climb, a stag to avoid…tired legs, aching knees meant that on reaching the car in the carpark…no coffee in the cafe just a swift drive home and no more talk about short circular walks!!

Dinefwr Castle through the rain.

Trying again to encourage more walking out together I embarked on suggesting a visit to Llanwrtyd Wells. This was well received so with the sun shining brightly we set off for a visit to this small town about half an hour from home. Once there we set off walking down a pretty country lane to find the lake! The town is well known for amongst other things Bog Snorkeling Championship and Man versus Horse Marathon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_versus_Horse_Marathon, it is also on the Heart of Wales Railway line. https://www.heart-of-wales.co.uk

We passed the train station and walked on going under the railway bridge.

Unexpectedly we found ourselves looking at some very interesting climbing equipment set out in a fine parkland…it was an adventure school!

We were very impressed but didn’t wish to try any of them out and continued walking until we came to the lake. Sadly the footpath is not a public one so we had to backtrack a bit and walk further along the road until we came to another entrance . This time we walked right by the lake admiring the swing rope running across it…another adventure activity no doubt and enjoyed the sight of some beautiful red lilies on the water.

Looking in the water…I didn’t jump!

Walking back to town for a quick beer in the pub we passed the stunning red kite sculpture and enjoyed a visit to the Heritage Centre.

A lovely town to visit with lots of interest and very friendly pub and people!

Back home the plants have enjoyed the rain water and now the sunshine>.

But Rufus has found the heat rather too much!

Thank you for reading. Sorry it’s so long but we’ve been busy out and about!

 

August 10 Cwmdu Walk, Aberaeron, Museum of Internal Fire August 10, 2019

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Wet and windy it may have been but that doesn’t stop the intrepid Walking Well Walkers from setting off on another adventure into the hills around Cwmdu. Meeting out side the Cwmdu Inn, where obviously Jack lives, fourteen walkers sploshed up the road from the village to a new walk recced and led by Biddy and Pam.

It wasn’t long before we left the track and headed through the fields.

Using the sheep tracks we crossed a number of fields before we headed up hill. The hills were quite steep so tacking up them made life much easier on the leg muscles…if I’ve got any!

The view from the top would have been wonderful but sadly the hills all around were shrouded in mist and more rain clouds. We bravely all kept smiling and laughing and talked about the hot drinks waiting in the pub below!

A trio of merry walkers.

Signs of autumn were all around in the hedgerows with the hedges of black thorn covered in sloes all starting to ripen and blackberries turning juicily ribena coloured.

Heading back towards the village we passed some interesting old buildings where mother nature had certainly taken a firm hold.

The rain was still coming down from the heavens but also coming up from the ground so rather damp walking but still jolly!

As we entered one of the last fields the rain eased off and the distant hills could at last be seen.

The last fields were wild flower meadows which on a sunny day would be blooming beautiful!

We all made it safely back to the pub including the dogs where we were treated to some of Biddy’s wonderful cakes and a hot drink. It’s amazing how a delicious slice of chocolate cake can wipe memories of being damp on a rain soaked walk so quickly from a memory! Look forward to repeating the walk at a later date in the sunshine! Thanks Biddy and Pam.

Just a day before the rain we enjoyed a day out at the seaside! An hour away from the cottage is Aberaeron which is always a lovely place to visit but especially when it’s wall to wall sunshine.

The barricade of large stones to keep the water at bay seemed to be even larger since our last visit.

Walking around the harbour wall is a delight. Every bone in my body tenses up when I see little children crabbing from the side of the harbour with a 10 foot drop into the water below and parents feet away from them…must be the teacher in me!!

Visiting New Quay next was a no go as the village and roads were packed with holiday makers so we continued down the coast road to have our annual visit to the Museum of Internal Fire http://www.internalfire.com

Many years ago I used one of these little telephone exchanges in my grand parent’s house when I connected their home telephone to their cinema business…oh I was clever then!

A lovely day out hopefully we’ll have many more sunny days to enjoy before the autumn comes!!

Internal Fire Cat

Llangadog Show was a great success with many tractors, horses, dogs, crafts…name it and it was there.

Some things in the garden are doing really well!

And some things aren’t going too well at all!! I was too heavy handed with the Feed and Weed…thought the grass would like lots of feed …forgot the weed combination! It will grow!!

A buzzard just checked in on the fence to keep an eye on the grass growing!

Thank you for reading!

 

July 29 Llandeilo Walk and Aberglasney July 29, 2019

After some very hot and humid days our Walking Well Day turned out to be just perfect for an amble through some fields not far from Llandeilo. We all met up at Home Farm, Dinefwr and set off from the car park following a footpath which led to the A40. After crossing the road…carefully.. we crossed a field and then headed down a lane leading towards Pen-y-banc.

Crossing over a bridge we left the track and started off across some fields.

The water was very low in the stream.
Signs all round that there hasn’t been much rain . Streams barely running and grass turning yellow

We passed some lovely large houses with their impressive drives and entrances- it’s amazing the places one finds in the countryside.

Thankfully there was a fence between us and the cows as they started running down to see us!
One of the fields had sheep in which was fine. They all looked very smart as they’d just been sheared.

We all used the stile as dictated!

We crossed over another little bridge where the stream had dried up totally and headed back up towards the A40 and back to the Park.

Back in the park we walked over the fields passing on our way local tree surgeons , who were holding a teaching course on tree pruning techniques.

We all headed back to The Works for a well earned coffee and some of us had cake too! I did…chocolate brownie…delicious!

Last weekend I discovered that there was a Classic Car show being held in Llandeilo. It’s very disappointing when events aren’t advertised properly…apparently there was a great deal of information about the cars on social media….not everyone has time to follow social media!

Anyway, we went and had a great afternoon looking at some good looking cars! My friend’s VW camper van won best in show. She sews and inside the van was festooned with bunting…it looked amazing!

Great to see lots of lovely cars whilst being serenaded by a jazz band.

Llandeilo is a great town with many independent shops. It’s a lovely place to wander the narrow streets and spend your money!

Driving home we pass a roundabout with an interesting object!

The Twyi Valley Trail has been open for the last weeks when artists around the area open the doors of their studios for visitors . We visited three artists and had a great time. Julie Ann Sheridan ‘s studio is in Llangadog and I bought a small acrylic painting of a lichen…Peltigera polydactyla. She works with the Botanic Garden of Wales recording the lichen that are found in Wales and uses their shapes in her work.

https://www.julieannsheridan.co.uk/blog/

Carole Spackman is a potter and lives and works in Llanddeusant. It was lovely to visit her studio set high up in the hills with fine views over the Carmarthenshire Fans. I bought a pretty little ceramic wagtail…which I love!

://www.carolespackmanceramics.co.uk

View from Llanddeusant of the Carmarthenshire Fans

No post would be complete without a mention of Aberglasney! On Sunday I was having a quiet cup of coffee on my own and planned a photo to show the delights of the Gardens in one snap! Coffee, flowers, pond all perfect until a little fledging robin landed on my cup and splashed ! Shows that there is a great deal of nature to enjoy there as well!

Back home the lack of rain has meant many hours in the evening watering all the plants. Next year I’m planting a desert border …just sand!

Lots of white.

Some pink and red!

Lots of green!

Just writing this hoping that nature will water the garden tonight! Storms forecasted so hopefully a splash or two of rain will come. Who’d have thought that we’d be short of water in Wales…land of the green!

Thank you for reading.

PS My friend Julian’s shed is a finalist in The Shed of the Year, Nature’s Haven category, competition. Check out the website and vote for the one you like . I know which one you’ll chose…it’s in Carmarthenshire and it’s the best!

http://www.readersheds.co.uk/share.cfm?SHARESHED=6679&fbclid=IwAR39EO_OQDEi0n10sO93_4EIfJEjfZiSgrTByE1lG4CPZ9B4-L5ly3N7Ljw#.XTydDEc4U_o.facebook

 

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.

 

 
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