Lletty's Blog

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

January 26th Llandeilo and Aberglasney January 27, 2019

It’s to be expected at this time of year that aches, pains, coughs, colds and other unpleasantnesses(!) abound and sadly I succumbed to one of these bugs which made me an unsuitable walker for the Walking WELL group this week! However, during the week I visited Aberglasney Gardens  with a friend and enjoyed seeing the hosts of daffodils, the drifts of snowdrops and the hidden gems like this little iris-(not sure what it is!)

There was a great deal of activity in the wood with some of the larger trees being removed. Maybe to make way for more woodland planting…we’ll have to wait and see!

No fairy doors here thank goodness but ‘proper’ doors into the heart of the tree. Some roots looked as though they could take the tree off at any moment if a chain saw came too close!

The week also brought a variety of weather. I took some photos of the moon rising on the evening of the eclipse just to get my hand in but by the time the eclipse started it had all clouded over.

Considering the range of weather we have had it’s been amazing that the plants in the garden have survived and are continuing to give pleasure.



Being stuck in the house is never a good idea for me and the borders in the garden are either too wet or too frozen to work on. Decorating! That’s what the winter weather is for! Llandeilo has a wonderful variety of independent shops and one of my favourites is The Little Welsh Dresser which won the Best Bespoke Retailer of the Year Award.

They sell all things Welsh plus are stockists for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! That is the best paint ever! No preparing of wood or whatever you are painting and voila! just brush it on and it covers beautifully. I painted all my kitchen cupboards with the paint two years ago and then waxed them ( Jim did that- it’s the hard bit!) so they needed a repaint along with the cottage doors too.

Inside the shop there is everything you could ever wish for…..if you are looking for handles, cards, cushions, presents etc.

Finishing my purchases of paint I went on a short walk around the town looking in all the windows and visiting another friend in Toast.

Llandeilo has a lot of lovely shops and no one is allowed to park outside them!

Great place for a coffee, cake, lunch and chat! MaryEllens


Continuing the quick tour of the town including a visit to the library led us back to the carpark and then home to start painting!

This post has used the new WordPress editor and I can’t find out how to change the size of the gallery photos along with other things that I didn’t understand …so sorry if they are too large!

 

January 12th 2019 Happy New Year! January 12, 2019

http://www.llettycottage.com       5star holiday cottage for two

Happy New Year…maybe you’ve made some new resolutions for the start of  the year…if so I hope they last longer than mine! I’m trying to finish one job before I get distracted on to another and then another….! It definitely makes life interesting though to have new interests all the time.

Our first Walking Well walk of the year was in the Botanic Garden of Wales. It was  cloudy and chilly and rather than walking at a swift pace to get warm we were taking  part in an interesting tour of the garden with a guide. He  told us all about the restoration of the lakes project  which was very informative  but  standing listening rather than walking meant a few of us beat a hasty retreat to the Great Glass house  for coffee earlier than expected.

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The land has been cleared  and the new lakes will be restored by 2020. This lake will be connected to the ‘new’ lake and apparently it will only take 3 days to fill!

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Hope the mallards will enjoy their extra space.

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Views of Paxton’s Tower can be seen  in one direction over the lake bed.

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We crossed the lake over the bridge and headed up the hill towards the Tower.

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Looking back to where we had been we could see the Great Glasshouse …coffee began to call!!

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Leaving the tour we returned to the Glasshouse and enjoyed our coffee sitting amongst the beautiful flowers and plants.

Walking back to the car we could see  the gardens  are beginning to spring into life with snowdrops and daffodils in the borders.

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Earlier in the week I had a walk up to to our village. Although  small  it has a vibrant  community spirit and packs a punch with lots of things happening there . A new village website has just been uploaded detailing all the activities that are available and importantly the bus timetable and when the bins are collected and plenty more! http://www.llansadwrn.org.uk

Tuesday is Vestry Venture. A gathering  of anyone who would like a chat, coffee and cake! Perfect!  The church is set right at the top of the village with beautiful views over the countryside.

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Winnie the Pooh welcomes all visitors and is dressed in suitable clothing  for all weather conditions.

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Walking home later in the afternoon I was watched every step of the way by the sheep in all the fields.

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I wouldn’t like to meet this ram on the road!

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The views  are just beautiful.

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Dusk still  falls very quickly and it was good to get home before the lights all went out!

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Saturday is a visit to the Reading Room for a newly started Knit and Knatter, a browse of the library and another coffee and cake!

I’m just starting  with tiny needles and hope to make a square by Christmas! However, some knitters have splendidly huge needles and balls of wool that are fantastic!

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Some knitters are very talented!

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It was good to read in the papers this week that the younger generation are starting to enjoy house plants.  They realise they look good in a house and they have health benefits too. I thought I’d share some of my house plants here!

Rufus getting in on the act…again!

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At the start of this post I wrote that I get distracted and jump from one thing to another…..here’s another interest…my garden birds!

 

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Well now I’ve written this I shall jump to Facetime to sing Happy Birthday to our grandchildren in Canada. They are 5 today! We have given Esme a set of ballet dance wear  and Ellis  a  toy spinosaurus, which he tells me was larger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Afterwards I’m trying acrylic painting to add to my watercolour painting…then what…who knows…but it’s  good to keep learning!

 

December 29th Brecon and Llyn Lech Owain Walk December 29, 2018

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Well that went quickly didn’t it!  Can’t believe it’s all over for another year…next Christmas I’m going to get prepared much earlier…mind you I say that every year! Before Christmas we  had a quick visit to Brecon and a walk around the cathedral  and the town.

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There was a bright Christmas market to enjoy.

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Afterwards a walk up to the cathedral where they’d obviously had a visit from Santa as the stables were all labelled with the  names of the reindeers.

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Fortified by a delicious   lunch in The Pilgrims Tearooms we enjoyed a look around the cathedral.

The old gravestones on the floors make  for some interesting reading and historical insight  into the history of the town.

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There are also  some beautiful celtic patterns to admire.

There is a regimental chapel inside the cathedral which is dedicated to the 24th Regiment famous for Rorke’s Drift  and for all those awarded the Victoria Cross.

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There are some very elegant  front doors in Brecon

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and a very patient heron, who was sitting waiting on the riverbank when we passed to go up the hill to the cathedral and was still there when we came down!

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After Christmas it was time again…time flies…for our Walking Well Walk. Just what I needed to get rid of some of the calories I’d picked up over the previous few days!

We met up at Llyn Lech Owain but we took a new route around the reserve which was enjoyable except for the bit on the road, where fast cars came too close! It was good to see the Canada Geese on the lake.

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Being a damp and cloudy day it felt right to see lots of moss and  fungi dripping with dew covering the landscape all around. Unexpectedly, there was a derelict house hidden by all the foliage…wonder who had lived there?

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It’s a very primeval setting and one somehow expects a dinosaur to come looming out of the mists!

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However, there were no dinosaurs just fairy doors…these fairies seem to be getting everywhere!!

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Back home again after a hot drink in the cafe a quick walk around the garden to capture the many plants that are in flower or budding! Let’s hope the New Year brings everyone good health and happiness and continued good weather for all the plants and  creatures in our gardens.

Happy New Year!

 

December 14 Cwmdu Christmas walk, Haverfordwest & Kyffin Willams December 14, 2018

Today was a wonderful day for a winter walk. The sky was bright, the wind had dropped and although very chilly it was refreshingly bracing! Philip had magicked up this perfect weather for our Christmas walk around Cmwdu  and a large group of walkers met outside the Cwmdu pub to begin our walk along country lanes and over fields and streams. Maybe it was the promise of our Christmas lunch in the pub,  which was on offer after our walk, which set the walkers off at a brisk pace….or maybe it was just to get warm!

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The road followed the stream  which didn’t look to be too full even after all the rain we have had!

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The derelict building  we passed  looked just right for renovation…we all agreed they would make excellent holiday cottages!

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Strange fungi was spotted amongst the mossy banks and pennywort  was seen growing up trees which was very unusual!

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We crossed over tracks that used to be drover’s roads that wended  through the countryside many years ago. The drover’s used to drive their sheep, geese or other animals  to market along these ancient tracks taking their ‘produce’  even as far as London.

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It wouldn’t be a normal walk if we didn’t walk through a field without some cows looking interested in us or if we didn’t have a splash through some water…it all makes for a great time!

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We headed back to the village avoiding when possible all the icy patches on the road. Back in the pub we settled down to enjoy our  tasty  cawl ( lamb broth) made by Philip. Veggie version  cawl for me was totally delicious! Another kind walker had made  all the home made loaves of bread and rolls accompanied by  butter and cheese…heaven!

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Following the cawl came the puddings made by some walkers…the choice was too difficult  to make so I had some of each!! This was followed by mince pies and coffee…I’ll have to go on a lot of walks now to get those calories sorted! Thank you Philip and everyone for a brilliant day.

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Earlier in the week we had a day out to Haverfordwest…my childhood town! A new library ‘Glan Yr Avon’ has just opened there   so it was worth a visit. The entrance was  very promising.

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Looking back over the River Cleddau to the opposite side from the library.  The little  pedestrian bridges weren’t there when I was a child so it was a long walk round!

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A lovely view of a very old bridge from inside the library  which had all the books and computers needed these days  to  make up a modern day library.

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The frieze around the children’s book area was painted by Jackie Morris…I wish I could have it around my room!

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Surprisingly there was also a  very interesting exhibition by Kyffin Williams  showing  a range of his paintings of Wales and Patagonia.

 

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There were  single paintings by Claudia Williams and Gwilym Pritchard too.

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It was a delightful exhibition showing Welsh artists  especially those with a link to Pembrokeshire. Also on display  a diary and sketches of those who had lived on Skokholm  and Skomer islands recording the wildlife there!

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After enjoying a tasty lunch in the library cafe…yes they have a cafe too…we went for a walkabout! This was the bridge for cars when I lived there now it’s pedestrianised! It was built in 1726 so maybe it deserves a rest from all the cars and lorries that used to cross it!

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Further down the river is this bridge  that is used by all the traffic …hope someone knows about that tree!

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Lots to see and do in lovely Haverfordwest, especially the castle!

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Back home in  the evening in Llansadwrn it was the turning on of the Christmas lights and the arrival of Father Christmas. There was a very happy buzz amongst those attending…maybe it was the mulled wine…but the carols were sung very heartily and right on time FC arrived  not on a sleigh but in a prettily lit motor van! How exciting for all the children…well actually for everyone!

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Back in the garden I was wondering which tree to brighten up by decorating it…I have a good choice as I always plant a new tree every year! I’m supposed to dig the previous Christmas  tree up and bring it in the house  but it always seems to rain so I go and get another one!

Anyway they’ve all grown too big so I’ve bought another new one…tiny! I’ve also decided not to decorate an outside tree as the plants in the borders are decorating the garden beautifully themselves!

 

 

Best of all though is my little tree which gives pleasure throughout the year especially at Christmas when it is covered in red berries!

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Happy Christmas  to you all.

 

 

November 30 Dinefwr Walk and Picton Castle Visit November 30, 2018

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How does he do it?? Amazingly Philip organised this week’s  Walking Well Walk around Dinefwr in the dry …again! All week we have endured rain and gusty winds and today’s forecast was none too good -that is until we all met up with Philip IMG_1353IMG_1354 at Home Farm, Dinefwr in Llandeilo and the sun came out and shone brightly to greet us all!

We set off at a steady pace  and came to the winter quarters of the white cattle, who had just been fed their breakfast and all seemed very happy. Across the fields  we could  see the rest of the herd in a field. These were the youngsters and there isn’t enough room for them in the winter quarters so they have to stay out in the open. Seems a bit unfair when Christmas time usually means  there is a home in a stable somewhere for them!

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We followed the path  through the woods but there was no sign of the deer.

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Passing Newton House we noticed the ‘turrets’. Apparently the National Trust has replaced them after they had been removed years before….I like them!

Slowly but surely the fairies and elves  that reside in Dinefwr  seem to be growing in numbers and their homes are becoming more prominent and numerous. Elf and safety inspectors are watching the situation carefully!

Outside Newton House there’s a new member of the staff and she looked magnificent in her willowy way.

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Our circular walk continued …in a circle! We walked  through the fields  with views of the distant castle  and followed the path down to the water meadows.

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We were accompanied as usual on our walks  by some very friendly  dogs, who are always welcome at Dinefwr when kept on leads. Their owners are very pleasant too!

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Set by the church wall is a well used watering place for all the animals  and views over the fields can see why they are called the ‘water meadows’ .

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Our walk took us past the beautiful church which needs  lots of care and renovation work…let’s hope it gets all the support it needs.

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Spotted by my friend in the corner of the graveyard was this  amazingly beautiful tree in full blossom… which season is it?!

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After crossing the newly built bridge which replaced the old one we crossed the fields back to Home Farm.

The weather gods congratulated us all  by adding a beautiful rainbow in the sky to end our walk…thank you Philip !

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Earlier in the week I visited Picton Castle, near Haverfordwest for a day out with the gardening group. Sadly, the weather gods weren’t with us…(where were you Philip?)… and on arrival at Picton we were informed that no-one was allowed in the gardens due to the wind and danger of falling branches! However, we were booked in for a tour of the castle, which was all decked out in lovely Christmas decorations reflecting the theme of ‘The Nutcracker’.

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After the tour we enjoyed a tasty lunch  before we left for home…earlier than anticipated!

Back home the birds continue to enjoy all their meals and the sheep continue to enjoy eating all the grass!

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Very noticeable this year is the large amount of Christmas  events going on locally. It’s very hard to support them all but do you know…I’m going to give it a try!! Enjoy the fun!

 

November 18 Abergolech, Aberglasney and Arborists ! November 18, 2018

Amazingly  the weather stayed bright but chilly for our Walking Well Walk in Brechfa Forest, Abergolech. Driving through the narrow back lanes,  which were covered in fallen autumn leaves, was a lovely   way to get to Brechfa. It’s always a tricky decision around here…take the  main road  or go  cross country  and fingers crossed that you don’t meet a tractor coming towards you. Luckily, fortune was on our side and we followed a car in front and when we did meet an oncoming car pulling a  trailer  – it had to reverse as there were two of us and no  pull ins behind us!

A good crowd had turned up for the walk and we followed the leaders  up into the forest at a swift pace…kicking  up  all the leaves  on the way and enjoying the company of friends and their dogs.

Walking alongside the river  we  remarked how clear the water was as every  river stone was visible.   It looked so inviting…maybe a paddle if we come back in the summer!

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The walk was delightful  with the footpath threading through all the  trees  with their autumn leaves sailing to the ground, the river gurgling alongside and a Monet bridge just  inviting one to cross and play Pooh sticks!

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The path took a sharp turn up the hillside which was a bit strenuous  but we all made it to the top …some breathing more heavily than others!

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Some had even brought their dogs  to assist with the pulling!

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One could tell it was quite a damp area with the amount of moss growing on the trees and underfoot.

We crossed over the river again  to begin our trek back to the cars  and complete our circular walk.

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The paths through the forest are mainly for mountain bikes and runners  but we only saw one bike and no runners!

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At the end of the trail there was a wonderfully carved tree trunk.

As usual after our walk we headed for refreshments! The Black Lion in Llansawel was our destination where we were welcomed by a lovely landlady  and we  all enjoyed a drink …some had  small alcoholic ones but  we had delicious  large hot cappuccinos…yum!

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The village is obviously very proud of all its rugby players  and had a lovely display of photos of the players over the fireplace.

Not only does one have to cope with narrow lanes around here the villages also have traffic problems too!

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One can always rely that there will be a tractor in the mix somewhere!

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As I may have mentioned in my blog before we live near Aberglasney Gardens  and I visit there every Sunday as a volunteer but I also visit   other times in a week too…as I love it! After Art class this week my friend and I went there for lunch. Where else could you sit and get a view like that and a delicious meal too?

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After lunch we strolled through the garden and enjoyed the autumn colours.

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In the gardens there are many special aspects to enjoy: the Pool Garden

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The Yew Tunnel

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and now an oak tree that grows there has been found to be unique so  it has been named  Quercus ‘Aberglasney’!

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Over the last weeks we have had very varied weather to say the least! This included lots of heavy rain and wind. Sadly the wind caused problems with some trees in our garden  so we had to call on the professionals to help us out! Pro Climber from Llangadog are the ones to call if any work is needed on trees. They duly arrived and sorted our problems out straight away and left everywhere looking spick and span!

Before!

 

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After:

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Of course this meant lots of wood chippings…hurrah …I can use mountainfuls (not sure that’s a word!) …I should be careful what I wish for!!! Steaming away in the morning mist!

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We also have a lots of logs  and Rufus was very interested in counting them all! We can now use the wood store again as I’d banned Jim from putting anything in there whilst the swallows had their nests in the eaves!

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It’s not long until the Aberglasney Winter Fair November 30-December 2. Their holly trees are getting in the spirit already!

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Christmas is coming! Our grandchildren have their stockings up already!!!!!!

 

November 4th Llansadwrn, Aberglasney, Gelli Aur Art Day November 4, 2018

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http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

It was autumn and then….

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Winter arrived with a blast of  cold and chilly weather. The garden, although curling up  for the winter took on a magic beauty of its own when Jack Frost touched all the plants with his icy fingers.

The little tomatoes left in the greenhouse looked on in horror as the frost covered the glass and crept slowly towards them!

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