Lletty's Blog

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

June 21 Midsummer, Cwmdu Walk, Ludlow Visit and Aberglasney Gardens June 21, 2022

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Happy Midsummer’s Day- hard to believe the longest day is here already so I’m going to enjoy the sunshine today whilst it lasts!

Our Walking Well Walk around Cwmdu also took place on a sunny and hot day. It was led by Pam and she had planned a great walk. We started from the Cwmdu Inn and walked slowly up one side of a steep hill, admired the view from the top before descending back into the valley below and climbing the opposite hill! All good fun!

The views were lovely and well worth the climb.

The Last of the Spring Beer gang had plenty to ponder when a tale was told about a man who went missing years ago and has never been found!

Story tellers…the lot of them!

We followed the trail down through a meadow and passed some pretty cottages and gardens before heading up a farm track and crossing though an amazing field full of orchids and other wild flowers. It was just stunning.

We all enjoyed a stop for refreshments as the day was getting hotter and hotter. Malcolm and Ann had the right idea sitting in the shade and cooling off.

We saw a number of different types of sheep most hiding away in the undergrowth to keep cool. After our walk through the orchid field we went back to the pub for a delicious cake and coffee thoughtfully provided by one of the walkers. Thank you Pam for a lovely walk.

We had another outing to Ludlow to meet up with some special cottage friends. We are very fortunate to have many visitors who come to stay in Lletty Cottage and come back year after year and become our real friends. A day out together in a lovely town enjoying a ride on a Park and Ride bus, shopping in the market, visiting an art gallery, a church, the castle and a couple of lovely cafes for a tasty lunch and coffees out was just perfect. Thank you J and D see you in September!

Lots to see and enjoy at Aberglasney gardens on my weekly visit! I was pleased to see that there was a robust fence between the cows and bull in the field adjacent to the Gardens and me!

We’ve had bees in our garden too and the bees in our roof keep up their buzzing and foraging all through the days especially when it’s sunny!

There’s lots to enjoy in the garden in June and I take far too many photos …sorry!

I do love the roses and all the other summer flowers in the garden but my favourites are the wild flowers that do their own thing and come up unexpectedly in surprise places and bring great delight! Also seeing the Canada Geese goslings feeding amongst the long grasses on Pond Field, the sound of the tractor trailing through our field cutting the grass, the views over the distant fields fields- we are so very fortunate to have all this on our doorstep!

Writing this post has been so much easier as we have forked out on BT fibre…yay! The photos have loaded so much faster …can’t quite believe it and we are nearly there with our Devolo Magic plugs…sending the signal through our thick stone walls to all parts of the house. Linking the TV to BT etc has been a bit of a problem as we now have to use one remote for selecting programmes and the other for sound levels! Things used to be so much easier to understand!

For Ukraine:

Thank you for reading. Hope you have a wonderful Midsummer’s Day and if you are in the other hemisphere have a great winter solstice!

 

June 5 Walk around Dinefwr and Abergavenny Steam Fair June 5, 2022

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For a welcome change it was hot and sunny for our Walking Well Walk around Llandeilo and Dinefwr. Malcolm was leading the walk and after meeting up at Llandeilo railway station we set off carefully crossing the railway line and joining up with the footpath leading us up to the town.

Before long we entered Dinefwr National Trust. We passed Llandyfeisant Church which has a fascinating history starting with the Romans and onwards through time! In the 1980 and 1990 it was a wildlife centre and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales  still manage the graveyard to help support the wildlife and encourage the wild flowers to seed and settle.

We walked on crossing the meadows and arrived at the castle and had a quiet rest as it was getting quite warm in the sunshine! We followed a rather narrow track down the hill to the woodland below passing some enormous bracket(?) fungi decorating a dead tree trunk.

With the sun still shining and walkers getting hotter we headed downhill and joined the path around the pond, where there were damselflies and house martins swooping all about! Sadly my reactions have gone from slow to really, really slow and I didn’t capture one photo of the flying critters!! They were there honest! We walked back along the boardwalk where the rhododendrons were flowering quite beautifully.

Sadly I couldn’t go to Newton House for the Pimms and ice cream that were promised as I had to visit Aberglasney to carry out my volunteering duty! Thank you Malcolm for a lovely walk sorry I missed the Pimms!

Over the weekend we visited Abergavenny for their Steam Rally. It’s three years since the last one so we were looking forward to seeing what was on display. It was very enjoyable but smaller than previous years but it was good to be out at a show again. If I’d worn a winter coat with a hood and wellies on my feet I would have really enjoyed myself!

The park gardens next to the show ground had some beautiful and colourful flower borders.

There was much to admire in the Craft section- love the cauliflowers in the veg plot!

There were many different types of transport on display – pity my camera played up and the shutter kept closing! I think the camera was just trying to stay warm and dry!

Leaving the show we headed into the lovely Abergavenny town. We walked through the market where the flying cows, sheep and pigs really add to the atmosphere! Heading back to the car we stopped off at Tesco( we do live the high life!) and bought some sandwiches as the ones I’d made were back at home in the fridge!! An enjoyable outing for the Jubilee weekend.

Back home in the garden the buttercups have been resplendent in their yellowness and enjoying them are the Canada geese with their three goslings.

The morning views over the Carmarthen Fans are beautiful and even though it’s the same view every day it is different!

For Ukraine:

The garden is getting quite full (of weeds!) and candelabra primula and others.

Thank you for reading.

 

May 25 Walk in Pumpsaint and around Dolaucothi Gold Mines May 25, 2022

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A short drive up the Lampeter road and I arrived in the village of Pumpsaint, where we were all meeting for our Walking Well Walk.

A good crowd of us set off through the woods following our leader- Sue! We decided to limbo under the tree trunk and not try to vault over!!

There were still blasts of blue in the undergrowth where the last of the bluebells were flowering. However, it still felt more like autumn with a chill in the air and a light drizzle which is so annoying when you wear glasses! One day they’ll invent little wipers to fit on the glasses to clear the drops!

These oak woods are part of the National Trust’s Dolaucothi Estate. Hidden in this woodland area is evidence of Roman gold mining dating back over 2,000 years. Mining on this site continued into the twentieth century, ending in 1938. Visits to the gold mines are very popular and the site has reopened again after covid…check before you visit national trust Dolaucothi .

These woods are one of Wales’s temperate rainforests so a really special wood with lots of ferns, lichens and a rare ecosystem. Also there are two projects active in the Cothi Valley to protect the population of red squirrels and pine martens in the Cothi Valley and encourage the population to spread into nearby land. We didn’t see any squirrels or pine martens but we looked!

We walked over beautifully landscaped countryside, strolled alongside the clear flowing river, peeped inside a stone grotto supported by huge tree roots, crossed an ancient bridge and arrived at the entrance to the gold mines. We skirted round and took a footpath which led over the site and looked down to the mine buildings below. Evidence of mining could be seen all around.

We looked closely at the Stone of the five saints– great stories! The Last of the Spring Beer folk did a great deal of chatting and then we all headed down from the hillside back to the country lane, passing the old pit head on the way.

We all enjoyed walking along the country lane where each verge was full of wild flowers and buzzing insects. Next to an old milk churn collecting block granny bonnet flowers and poached egg plants had had a field day and gone wild!!

Apparently when the Americans were based locally here in the World War 2 they found it difficult to pronounce the Welsh names. So Caio…became C(cee) A (ai) 10(ten) !

The walk ended with a delicious coffee and cake at the Dolaucothi Arms. Thank you Sue for a most enjoyable walk with interesting historical facts thrown in along the way.

Back home in the garden the weather has continued to dominate the growth…..no sooner is the grass cut it showers with rain and the grass grows another inch or two! At least everywhere is very green….no wonder Richard Llewelyn wrote How Green was My Valley!

Definitely not forgetting Ukraine:

Thank you for reading. Have a jolly lovely Jubilee Bank holiday if in the UK next week!

 

May 16 Mumbles and Bethlehem Walk May 16, 2022

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Our last Walking Well walk was near the village of Bethlehem. Driving up through the country lane where both verges were covered in garlic was a treat. At the end of the road there ‘s an old chapel in a very pretty setting surrounded by bluebells and of course more garlic flowers.

At the start of the walk, there was a steep hike up the hillside, which meant breaks for a breather and then we reached the top where there were wonderful views over the countryside. The path took us through a woodland that was covered in bluebells, garlic and all sorts of wild flowers- absolutely lovely. Soon we joined up with a country lane that passed a garden with tortoises out on the grass, enjoying the spring weather and a farm with lambs in the meadow and cows in the fields.

Our walks wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t have the ‘Last of the Spring Beer’ gang…. front and back views too!

Leaving the road we climbed over stiles, ambled through meadows, walked along the side of a river, jumped across a stream, climbed another steep slope, ran down a hill , back to the lane with the chapel and that completed a wonderful walk. Thank you Malcolm the walk was perfect.

In the last weeks we have enjoyed a visit to Mumbles, where my mum and dad used to live. How it’s changed! New buildings , new shops and busy crowds. The views, however, haven’t changed and they are still breathtakingly beautiful.

Mumbles Lighthouse

At home, the long awaited arrival of the Canadian goslings came. There were six but sadly only four now remain…we don’t know what happened to them. The geese have enjoyed their walks around the Pond Field and in our garden too!

Recently we were fortunate to have number of hot air balloons fly over our garden- it was a wonderful sight.

The birds have been very busy in the garden collecting material for their nests- pleased that the soft wool from a friend’s ewe proved very popular with many birds.

The garden is now in full spring mode. Everything is growing quickly and the borders and meadow is filling with colour. The buttercups in the Pond Field are my favourites! The sheep in the next field would love to enjoy the field too!

Ukraine has not been forgotten.

Flowers help the soul and aid the grief.

For our niece

Thank you for reading.

 

April 24 Llangadog Walk, Dinefwr Walk, Botanic Garden of Wales, Lampeter, Aberglasney Visit and David Cowdry Art Exhibition April 24, 2022

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It’s my fault I’ve left writing this post for too long and now I’ve too many photos to show!

Walking Well Walk around Llangadog was most enjoyable. It started at The Telegraph Garden Centre and then wound the way across the fields and along the banks of the river.

We tramped onwards through the fields trying to keep a distance away from the ewes and lambs but to no avail as they all ran and scattered everywhere. There always seems to be one lamb left behind!

The path led back across Llangadog Common where we saw two lambs that had been ‘adopted ‘ as they were orphans. Back in the village we crossed over the bridge and headed back to the garden centre, where we all enjoyed a coffee and cake! Thank you Phil for a most interesting and enjoyable walk.

One of the ‘Last of the Spring Beer ‘ group missing today!

A short drive away is the lovely town of Lampeter. There’s a university there, a Sainsbury’s , numerous lovely shops, some excellent cafes and best of all a Welsh Quilt Centre with beautiful quilts for sale and a museum to visit too.

A nearer drive is to Llandovery which again has great cafes, lovely shops and a colourful square.

I had a grand day visiting the Botanic Garden of Wales with a bestie friend! We enjoyed walking over the Waun Las Nature Reserve checking on trees and looking back on to the Great Glasshouse below. The gardens looked amazing with all the spring flowers and the woodlands carpeted with bluebells.

The latest Walking Well Walk was a walk led by Pam around Dinefwr. The stunning scenery of the castle and Newton House is further enhanced at this time of the year by the masses of bluebells in Dinefwr Woods. It was a delight to walk up the hill passing banks of primroses towards the castle and then through the woods which were as blue as blue with the bells! ( Photos don’t do them justice!!)

We walked back through the woods and over the fields filled with ewes and lambs and saw the white cattle , which Dinefwr is famous for, in the distance. A hot chocolate and chocolate cake in the cafe warmed up the soul after the walk as it was a very chilly wind that blew us back to the cars! Thank you Pam for a wonderful walk.

Three ‘Last of the Spring Beer ‘ group back today!

Today, a visit to Aberglasney ends the week on a high note! The sun was shining, the wind wasn’t so chilly and David Cowdry has an exhibition on in the mansion.

A quick look into the Ninfarium to see the pretty orchids that are flowering in all spaces on the walls, in the old fireplaces and on the old windowsills!

Outside in the gardens the borders are full of beautiful spring flowers and the Malus Arbour is a sight not to miss: from Aberglasney website: Aberglasney’s Malus sargentii Arbour is one of the Gardens most striking features when in full flower. This stunning Crab Apple from Mororan in Japan is situated in Aberglasney’s Lower Walled Garden and is a wonderful sight when it is alive with bees and hums like some kind of natural electric motor. The single white flowers are followed by small cherry-like fruits, which last well into the autumn.

The icing on the cake was seeing David Cowdry’s exhibition. His paintings are amazing!

Back home the garden is getting a mind of its own already! The grass needs mowing, the weeds are growing but everywhere looks colourful, bright and full of spring!

My thoughts are still with the people of Ukraine, wherever they are.

Thank you for reading.

 

April 7 Carmel Walk, Aberglasney Visit April 7, 2022

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Yellow and blue flowers in my garden now- Ukraine is not far from my thoughts every day.

Tomorrow it’s another Walking Well Walk in Llangadog but first I thought I’d better write about the last walk we went on to Carmel.

The walk was led by Malcolm and there was a good turn out of walkers and their dogs. It was a truly beautiful spring day. It was a delight to walk along the country lanes and tracks seeing the countryside coming alive with lovely wild flowers, primroses, coltsfoot, wood anemone plus many more. The birds were singing in the trees and there was that frisson of excitement at the start of a new season when jumpers and face masks are discarded and you can feel the warmth of the sun on your back. Heaven!

Must return to the woods when these garlic plants are flowering

The walk led us through to the old quarry where there are still signs of past industry. It’s a huge space and I’m pleased the sun was shining as it could be quite intimidating if it was cold, damp and dark! There are the old railway tracks laid into the ground showing where the trains used to shunt along taking the quarried limestone away. We passed the old limestone kilns and caves where bats roost. Also in the woods is the only turlough (seasonal lake) in Britain!

Thank you Malcolm for a wonderful walk. We finished by all sitting together in the sunshine and having a quick picnic brought from home. Just perfect.

Aberglasney Gardens continue to amaze me. Every time I visit, which as you know, is frequently I am bowled over by the sights that I see. The tulips are now coming into flower, the meadows are full of fritillaries and the sun is out…sometimes..so lots to see and enjoy!

Back home the Canada goose is sitting on her nest on the island, the mallard and moorhen are also nesting so soon there’ll be the sound of little feet paddling and wings flapping to look forward to.

Due to the fact that there is still a virus amongst our garden birds feeding the birds has been kept to a minimum. However, this has annoyed the squirrels who can’t find any food on the bird table!

Over the last weeks we have enjoyed sunshine followed by very chilly weather and now wind and rain. Seems to have suited the garden though!

Thank you for reading . Rufus, the best cat in the world, is as you can all see, a poser!

Hope your Easter is a happy one and of course filled with love and chocolate!

 

March 20 Aberglasney Magnolias and Llansadwrn Walk March 20, 2022

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I know, I know I’m always going on about Aberglasney gardens but they really are special and at the moment their magnolias are in full bloom. Not only that but it has stopped raining and the sun has come out too!

Sadly it was still raining when I went on our Walking Well Walk around our village Llansadwrn. The rain and cold, however, didn’t stop a number of walkers plus their four footed friends from turning up. We all set off down the Roman Road in the village in high spirits which actually didn’t wane at all even though we got very wet and muddy! It stopped raining…a bit …by the time we had completed the circular walk and found ourselves back in the Reading Room enjoying a chat and drinking coffee. Thank you Sue for your first walk as our leader.

The weather plays a huge part of what happens in life and with the sun arriving quite unexpectedly spring has gone into fast forward!

The bees were seen flying from under our roof tiles ( they’ve been there now for years and years and like it so much they are staying!!!). They lined up on the watering can to have a refreshing drink! The mallards have settled in on the pond and like resting on the bale of barley straw. The straw is supposed to help clear the pond of weed…it doesn’t work! The Canada geese have a battle every morning with their youngsters from last year! Of course the rain and now the sunshine has made the grass grow so lawns need mowing. The Pond Field also needed a quick grass trim but carefully not too severe so all the dandelions and celandines can flower.

Continuing from my last post: photos from my garden are all yellow and blue flowers as I think about everyone in Ukraine.

Back in Aberglasney everything is in the pink!

The first day of spring in the UK astronomically occurs on the vernal equinox, 20 March 2022. TODAY! Hooray!

The clocks will go forward next Sunday, for Daylight Saving Time, Sunday March 27. Let’s hope the sunshine stays and everyone can enjoy the yellow and blues of Spring in peace.

Thank you for reading.

 

March 8 Llandeilo Walk , Cars at Botanic Garden of Wales March 8, 2022

It’s hard to write about my activities when the world seems to be in such turmoil. To show support for Ukraine all my flower photos will be in yellow and blue.

The Walking Well Walk led by Biddy was most enjoyable as we started in Dinefwr and ended in Dinefwr! A circular walk that led us over fields, new bridges, across main roads and up country lanes. We saw trees that had fallen in the storms, baby lambs gamboling after their mums and huge molehills like mini mountains!

It was good to see the first dandelions and flying insects and the woods, where the bluebells flourish later on in the season, all cleared of fallen debris.

There have been plenty of birds in the garden to keep me glued to looking out of the window. Any slight movement I make means the birds fly off in a flutter! Not so the squirrels! Banging the window or opening the window and shouting obscenities means they just carry on eating the sunflower seed giving me disdainful glances all the while!

The long tailed tits are reluctant subjects and do their very best to keep hidden. As you can tell the nuthatch has attitude! The robins look good all year round not just at Christmas time!

A visit to the Botanic Garden of Wales together was a treat! Jim came too as there was a vintage car display being held in the courtyard.

We enjoyed a lovely walk around parts of the garden and of course treated ourselves to a scone and coffee in the newly refurbished cafe.

The show was interesting and it’s good to recall some of the cars we have owned over the years. There was a Morgan, an original Mini and others that we wished we had kept!

Back in the garden the land is still very wet but the plants are holding their own and doing their best to brighten everyone and everything up.

The six lovely rams are back in the next field. They are having a rest after a very busy season! I just love them- they have wonderful faces and expressions! The farmer who looks after our field has put silage on it this afternoon …it really feels like spring is here!

Other welcome visitors back on the Pond Field are the two Canada Geese who are preparing their nest on the little island. Two mallards have settled in on the pond too. The two resident moorhens are keeping watch on these new arrivals and letting them know who is in charge….such a lot of name calling!!

The views over the Carmarthen Fans from our garden continue to inspire me. Lots of photos and an early March book made. Now that the evenings are lighter and hopefully the weather improving I thought I’d get a March book made whilst it was still raining outside and before gardening started in earnest!

A very appropriate coloured bird of paradise flower caught my eye in The Telegraph Garden Centre Llangadog.

Thank you for reading.

 

February 21 Llandeilo Walk and Wet Windy Weather February 21, 2022

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We’ve got off very lightly through the three recent UK storms: Dudley, Eunice and Franklin but some villagers were without power for long hours listening to the rain pelting down and the wind blowing a hooley!

After Storm Arwen last month when a number of our trees were damaged the last storms have finished some of them off! Sadly our lime tree which was the favourite roost of a buzzard has had its last roosting!

Our house was like a castle, with a moat, when the rain poured down so heavily the house became surrounded by water.

Looks as though we could have needed our little boat on the pond, however, it got blown away and landed down the bank by our overflow pond. Instead of it maybe saving us we had to safe it!

At least we’ve had some great sunrises before the storms and the early spring flowers are managing to keep their heads held high whilst their roots are paddling madly in water.

One tree that survives everything that is thrown at it – including me with shears and electric saws..is the monkey puzzle tree which grows more menacing and dangerous with every passing year!

A short circular walk around Llanwrda cheered us up as it was lovely to meet some friends to chat to and share comments about a local issue.

The Welsh Government is planning to plant three woodlands to commemorate those people lost to covid. One of the woodlands is going to be at the bottom of our road. How interesting and exciting is that?!

A proper Walking Well Walk, over the swing bridge in Llandeilo, along the banks of the river Towy and through the Tregrib Woods, was led by Malcolm and was really enjoyable. This was his first walk leading us! We were all well behaved so hopefully he’ll come back and lead many more interesting walks!

All the walkers in our group are delightful. We chat away with one another passing to and fro so by the end of the walk you’ve talked to everyone and sorted the world out.

Three of our lovely walkers do bring to mind a certain TV series though.. maybe we should rename the series Last of the Winter Wine!

Thank you Malcolm.

Llandeilo has a new mural which is situated under the archway from the carpark to the shops. It’s very good and a warm welcome to shoppers in the town.

A year seems to have flown by for Jim as it was his birthday…again! He received his card from me with the usual thank you. It’s only when he opens it he finds the messages that I have written to him over the last 7 years!! It has really saved a lot of time, money and effort to reuse the card. I promise to buy him a ‘new’ one when he reaches another decade! Our daughter sent him a harmonica so he could play Happy Birthday to himself! He did!

I ordered Staffordshire oatcakes to be delivered. They arrived and he’s happy!

Chocolates from a friend

Even though it was Jim’s day we managed to do all the things that I planned! We called in to the library to get a pin for my library card so I could download Libby by Overdrive on my ipad! Brilliant app …I can now download any magazine for free! It’s been wonderful to read the nature, history, art magazines I’m interested in all bang up to date for free!

We also went on to Aberglasney for lunch. Not many there due to the rain and wind but we enjoyed a very tasty lunch. The Gardens have been closed for the last few days due to the storms so hope all their trees have been safe.

I missed out on visiting Gelli Uchaf : https://thegardenimpressionists.com to see their snowdrop garden. Blow the storm!! Wonderful website, blog and of course garden!