Lletty's Blog

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

August 1 Pinch Punch, Colby Woodland Gardens, Amroth, August 1, 2020

I haven’t a photo of a white rabbit to start the month ( maybe you don’t say ‘white rabbit’ or ‘pinch punch, first day of the month’ but I do!) anyway, I do have a photo of the new occupants of the field in front of the house!

The weather has been up and down or rather wet and chilly or dry and hot!

We’ve enjoyed a couple of visits out and recently went to NT Colby Woodland Gardens where we found free entry! ( We are NT members but in case others aren’t check before you visit!) 45 minutes from home!

The cafe was open so before we set off anywhere it was a treat to have a proper cappuccino and cream scones with strawberry jam! Sadly the wasps were out looking for a treat too!

After a wonderful walk through the woodlands we strolled down the driveway towards Amroth and the beach.

On the way we passed ‘the money tree’! I wonder if anyone has ever thought what they will do when the trunk falls down!

It wasn’t too long after passing through the woodland we caught the first sight of the sea over the rooftops of the houses.

The sun came out so we could enjoy a walk along the front where visitors were trying hard to socially distance themselves from others! A tricky walk across all the pebbles on the shoreline to the edge of the sea was worthwhile …just to sit, listen and watch the waves crashing in and then receding over the pebbles with all the gurgling, drumming, splashing and rolling of pebbles that was made.

Every pebble on the beach has a story to tell. Love looking for fossils in them all!

Further along the beach there is a reminder to take litter and plastic home. A good use of the plastic has been made by the artist Gideon Petersen creating an installation made of plastic and filled with plastic bottles etc.

What comes downhill must go uphill once more so we headed back up the drive to Colby after having an enormous icecream each! We needed the walk to use the calories that we’d eaten in the day…Boris would be proud!!

We passed the NT cottages which are let out …not sure if they are opened as yet.

A visit into Carmarthen to buy a new stand for our water butt led to a bit of disappointment when we found that Wilko had sold out that morning! A walk to the park and round the velodrome seemed a good option to cheer us up!

The large barn in the park shows a fine example of English garden wall bond…three courses of stretchers and one header. There isn’t a Welsh garden wall bond…maybe someone could design one! Maybe this wall has a bit of Welshness about it as the courses of stretchers varies ! It’s just beautiful.

Spurred on to make our walk last a little longer we left the park and headed up the road to the Picton Memorial. We pass this monument many times whilst driving into Carmarthen but we’ve never walked up to it before!

There’s a plaque commemorating the Rebecca Riots.

There are some lovely villas overlooking the memorial – a fine entrance to the oldest town in Wales- Carmarthen!

My post wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t mention Aberglasney. The wildflower meadow is still blooming brilliantly but now the hydrangeas are trying to overshadow the colours of the meadow- they are lterally the flowers of many colours!

The robins keep their watchful eyes over the gardens for all!

Back home the garden just continues to give pleasure with wild flowers, birds and all sorts everywhere!

I’m not going to play my Flanders and Swann record ‘A Song of the Weather’ ….( given to us by daughter at Christmas)

‘In July the sun is hot

Is it shining? No it’s not

August cold and dank and wet

Brings more rain than any yet!’

I’m going to play: Summer Breeze – Seals & Croft…..

We were in the early years of marriage when this song was released and lo and behold we are still together and talking after lockdown! Love the song and my man!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsW8rXPcnM0

Thank you for reading and enjoy your summer!

 

July 18 Aberglasney and Seaside Wishes Completed! July 18, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 12:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s a jolly good idea to have something to look forward to in life and my wishes over the last months in lockdown have been to visit Aberglasney and the seaside again and see our family. Just like Aladdin two of my wishes have come true already…the third wish to see our family will have to wait a while until next year …so it’s good to keep something very special to look forward to!

Aberglasney is looking amazing with borders brimming over with plants that have just been waiting to show themselves off to visitors. The cafe is now also open with a limited menu and sitting outside under the canopy with social distancing in place is perfect.

The wildflower meadow is a highlight in the garden at this time of year and this year it is the best!

The Sunken Garden is looking beautiful too!

Alongside the pool there’s a pretty view of the border leading to the cafe.

Elsewhere in the garden there are delights around every corner for everyone to enjoy.

After some visits to the Gardens it was time to be granted my second wish of a visit to the seaside. On the day the sun shone we headed for New Quay, which was much quieter than normal for this time of year. The holiday makers are returning to the area now so businesses will be feeling happier as they hope for more sunny days to bring in the visitors.

New Quay has a delightful harbour and usually one can see dolphins and seals out at sea when one walks along the harbour wall…but we didn’t see any!! We did enjoy looking at all the rock formations and the crushed shells on the beach though.

New Quay was one of the stopping off places for Dylan Thomas as he moved around locations and it is said that New Quay was the basis for his “Under Milkwood” 1954 radio drama….it certainly has all the features and characters…even now!

Interesting to read the tolls and charges that were applied years ago and to see the memorial erected to commemorate the men/women lost in the WW1 and 2

The National Trust have just started opening up their properties properly in Wales but some of the places have kept their walks available. We enjoyed a walk around Llanerchaeron woods which were open but the cafe is closed .

Back home the wild flowers are still bringing colour to the Pond Field.

Sadly we didn’t have any swallows nesting this year but we did have a little wren who has made good use of an old swallow’s nest under the carport! We do have numerous swifts though…we reckon there are at least six different nests under our eaves!

The garden keeps me very busy with trying to stop it turning into a jungle! I haven’t succeeded! The weather with its alternating rain, humidity and sunshine creates a perfect combination to make the grass grow and plants to expand!

It looks as though life is resuming slowly so I can see that I will be making a few more wishes soon. The mermaid at New Quay certainly looks as though she is blowing all her good wishes to everyone…thank you for reading.

 

July 3rd Damp but getting Sunnier Soon! July 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 2:56 pm
Tags:

Life motors on just the same as the weeks before….but definitely a feeling that it’s getting slower and slower! I feel like the little tortoise on my garden table…happy and safe in my home but a bit of a plodder! I’m sure energy levels will be revitalised when the 5 mile limit on travelling is lifted next Monday…I’ll be off then …hopefully in the week to a beach and the promise is fine weather too! Also on Monday Aberglasney Gardens are reopening and I’ll be back to volunteering on some days…hooray!

After keeping up with our local walks the most exciting thing we have done is visit our recycling centre in Ammanford…over 5 miles away! After booking a visiting slot online we drove there and found it all very organised and a relief to leave our rubbish behind.

Checking through our rubbish before we left home I discovered that Jim was discarding his metal toolbox as it was broken. This was swiftly removed from the pile and after a bit of remedial work it is now a lovely plant container!

Although there have been some periods of sunshine it has also rained and been chilly. Flowers have been unsure whether to fully open or stay down-headed and closed!

I’ve always like gates and little pathways and luckily I’ve a few in our garden to enjoy. ( Just found our again how to do circles!)

Our house plants are enjoying a break in the fresh air although they have complained about the cold wind!

The veg garden is at last beginning to speed up after the loss of so many plants in the frost. Some lovely friends brought some extra plants and they are doing well. The peas show lots of promise…hope the pods fill out soon!

The garden keeps surprising me with flowers that suddenly bloom and flowers that just keep on going and going!

I wish the garden was as tidy as all the above photos imply …it’s all a jumble really…very cottage garden with overflowing borders and many lovely weeds/wild flowers and trees. The lime tree is absolutely buzzing with bees and the self heal has covered all our lawns…so pretty.

After the weeks with no rain, a couple of months ago, when the water levels in the pond dropped, pond weed has taken over. Now there’s enough rain to top it all up the moorhens are happy again!

Thank you for reading.

 

June 13 Abermarlais Walk and Garden June 13, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 6:45 pm
Tags:

Another fortnight has somehow passed since my last post and life seems to be in a very gentle groove! Pottering around in the garden and house and going on pleasant, quiet, circular local walks has filled my days. The lockdown has been slowly, slowly eased in Wales ( too slow for some, just right for others!) and visitors are allowed in the garden! So great excitement when we had some visitors and it was wonderful to have face to face conversation with them all. Missed the hugs though!

Other visitors to the garden have not been so welcome!

Birds are always welcome in the garden even if they are eating everything!

The swifts which have nests all round our house, in the eaves, are always screeching and screaming around the place. One nest is right above our bedroom window so we hear the chicks calling out for food…all the time!

Not a good photo…the swift was too swift for the camera to catch it entering its nest!

June has arrived so it’s hay time! As soon as the farmer turns up with the tractor to cut the grass the buzzards and red kites appear overhead watching carefully for any sign of movement in the cut grass that would mean a tasty lunch for them!

Just down the road from us is Abermarlais. There is a caravan site in the grounds of ‘an old high status dwelling’ long demolished! As the caravan park is closed as are all holiday accommodations in Wales ..including Lletty Cottage … the site is empty but looking wonderful. It is primed ready for the return of visitors as looking at its very best and prettiest. http://abermarlaiscaravanpark.co.uk

Back home the garden is now settling down after all the changes in the weather and flowers and vegetable garden are all doing well.Love all the foxgloves and the teasels that are shooting up!

The roses all seemed to want a friend with them!

The clematis are climbing and covering all before them!

The orchid in our front lawn has finally flowered and it’s beautiful and the patch of ragged robin from last year has only produced one flower so far!

As I write this there is an almighty thunder storm happening! I have been advised to switch the computer off!!! Therefore, dear reader, I am ending this sharpish! Thank you for reading and keep staying safe and enjoy the new easing of lockdown wherever you are!

My one and only poppy!

 

May 29 Llandovery Walk and Garden May 29, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:14 pm
Tags: ,

What’s not to like about this weather? Sunny, hot and dry when not too long ago we were dreary, cold and wet! Now the sun is shining for many days in a row it brings the problem of keeping the garden watered and the plants alive! Hey ho! It’s just lovely that we can enjoy all this sunshine in our garden during lockdown when others sadly have no garden at all! So no complaining from me!

Lockdown means no visitors but some have called uninvited and querying the restrictions!

The birds, bees and butterflies are always welcome visitors even a hornet can fly in when passing! Nor so welcome are the lily beetles but the brightly coloured spittlebug is OK!

Mrs Pheasant is a constant visitor but where has Mr Pheasant gone!?

The Canada Geese are still happily munching their way through the grass in the Pond Field and on our front lawn and getting larger by the minute!

The flowers in the garden keep on flowering and bring a change of colour, shape and interest. Finding a rose keeling over in the cottage garden meant tying it up to a stalk which was growing up the wall. I lifted my eyes and discovered a truly beautiful red climbing rose rambling through a hawthorn bush…I’d nearly missed it so I’m looking upwards from now on!

Clematis love climbing too and disappear up trees to emerge high up in search of all the sunshine!

We have left the garden and Jim’s workshop for a few visits out! Mainly to the Coop in Llandovery to buy food and then to take the opportunity to go for a walk. Leaving the car in Llandovery car park where the castle and statue of Llwellyn ap Gruffyd keep watch over the town we headed for the Llandovery College playing fields where there’s a golf course, football pitches and of course rugby pitches. The college is well known for its rugby past pupils : George North, Alun Wyn Jones and many many more!

On the way to the fields we took a slight diversion to walk across the pedestrian bridge which leads into town, in the distance there was the 12th century Llanfair-ar-y-bryn Church and below us the River Towy. Under the road bridge you could see the original bridge with its arches.

Crossing the road to get to the footpath is rather hazardous as there’s a barrier to climb over! After navigating the barrier with difficulty…Jim’s knee doesn’t like to be bent(!) we climbed the stile to find we were as surprised as the sheep to find them under the stile!

We followed the path keeping to the side of the golf course where there were two golfers playing on their own. I’ve always thought that golf is dangerous!

We walked along lovely tracks ( I love tracks!) with foxgloves either side and enjoyed the views through the trees of the very quiet Towy and the lovely pavilion on the opposite side of the field.

We reached the far end of the fields and waked under the railway bridge that crosses the Towy.

Following the banks of the river we reached a point where the river had washed our path away! We had to retrace our path and walk back the opposite side of the fields. It meant we had a fine view of the hills surrounding the fields and all the facilities for sports activities.

Back on the road we were just in time to see a train stop at the station and pull away up the Heart of Wales line.

Lots to keep us happy in the garden but looking forward to being able to visit the beach soon!

Thank you for reading. Stay safe and try to remember all the new easing of lockdown information – wherever you live!

 

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!