Lletty's Blog

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

September 10 2022 Myddfai, Aberglasney, Porthcawl, Vancouver Visits September 10, 2022

My first Walking Well Walk in a month and poignantly and fittingly it was around the lanes of Myddfai, the village near to King Charles’s Welsh home, Llwynywermod. The weather seemed to echo our feelings as it was chilly and very wet. Phil had planned a lovely walk through the lanes but the weather made it difficult to enjoy the views that were shrouded by mist. As we neared the end of the walk we heard a lone bell tolling at the village church. A sombre note to recall the passing of our wonderful Queen and her remarkable life and then the sun came out, brightened the moment and we looked to the future.

Thank you Phil for a lovely walk.

It’s been busy having recently returned from a wonderful visit to our son and his family in Vancouver. Our son is doing really well now and we enjoyed lots of walks and visits out. The grandchildren are amazing and never stop! Life is very busy for them all especially now they have a puppy too! A husky cross!

A special visit was to Vancouver Island where we visited Butchart Gardens. On the ferry we were fortunate enough to see a pod of Orca whales…very exciting! No photos…too excited watching them!

I also managed to fit in a visit to Aberglasney where the Orchid Festival was being held. There were many displays of all the beautiful types of orchids. There was also a lovely display of orchids and other flowers in the Ninfarium to enjoy.

A quick walk around the Gardens showed that although there had been very hot periods of hot weather through August the Gardens had survived and looked magnificent.

Friends also visited us during the week and we enjoyed an outing with them to the Botanic Garden of Wales where sadly it rained heavily but we still enjoyed our visit with a coffee and cake in the Great Glasshouse.

Another day out to Porthcawl, with our friends, where we also got rather wet! However, the sun did shine enough for us to enjoy a walk along the front inspecting the lifeboat station, watching the seagulls overhead, the waves crashing on the rocks and a walk through the lovely town with its independent shops.

Back home the garden has also survived the hot weather that everyone had whilst we were away. A very kind neighbour kept the hanging baskets watered and then also kept the greenhouse and other plants growing . The water butts ran empty and finally we’ve had some long needed buckets of rain falling from the heavens! The garden has revived and now the lawns need mowing!!!

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.


February 3rd Paxton’s Tower and Salem Walks February 3, 2022

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Weeks ago BC…Before Coronavirus….I went on a walk with Llandeilo Walking Well Group up to

Paxton’s Tower which is a folly erected in honour of Lord Nelson by Sir William Paxton in the 1800’s.

The tower has magnificent views along the Towy Valley but on the day of the walk these views were shrouded in mist, rain and drizzle. We were a jolly bunch getting up the hill to the tower and could see the valley and all the floods too. Well worth the climb.

The walk continued down through woodland glades that had felt the force of the latest storms. It was wet underfoot but a really enjoyable walk .

There was a bit of scrambling over fallen tree trunks and a careful eye kept over some big branches overhead but we all made it back to our cars in one piece!

We even discovered a bee hive…with bees flying to and fro. Proves it wasn’t that chilly just fresh! Thank you Pam for a great walk.

Our most recent walk was through the fields and byways around Salem, a pretty village in the Towy Valley. We met at The Angel Inn car park and set off up the road. There were more walkers than previous months and hopefully that’s a sign that everyone is trying to get back to normal in their activities.

The weather rather let us down as again it was rainy, drizzly and damp! We knew somewhere along the walk we would pass a wind turbine but it was hard to see anything far ahead or indeed close to!

We knew we were getting closer and closer and out of the gloom suddenly it appeared…quite spooky as it whirred around in the murk!

A rustle in the fields bordering the road stopped us in our tracks! Wales is the land of dragons and witches and we weren’t sure what we could see …it was all very eerie and mystical!

The mystical creature.

Thank goodness there are some very sensible people on our walk and they pointed out to me that in the next field there was an alpaca…so mystery solved! I was hoping for something to challenge the Loch Ness Monster!

Funnily enough on our circular walk we ended back at The Angel where we all enjoyed some light refreshments. Thank you Biddy for a great walk.

Jim and I set out on a local walk around Llandovery. Again the weather changed our ideas as it began to rain heavily so our short walk was even shorter!

We were pleased to find that they have used us as a template for their road sign!

The river was about to get even wetter with the rain and this wonderful old house- Ty-Ficar Pritchard, stands proud in all weathers.

Ty-Ficar Pritchard Llandovery

Of course no post could pass without a mention of Aberglasney Gardens.. Spring is starting to bloom in the gardens with drifts of snowdrops under the magnolia trees and clumps of daffodils with their nodding heads at the entrance to the carpark.

The sculptures by David Petersen really stand out in the spring sunshine.

Back home the borders are beginning to fill up with flowering snowdrops all the way down one side of the drive , hellebores and the wonderful heather just keeps on going …love it!

The lichen, toadstools are everywhere and the scarlet elfcups are very showy amongst the fallen branches and leaf litter.

Best of all though the crocus have flowered this week to bring an even brighter splash of colour to the border.

This burst of excitement was followed by another when the Canada Geese flew into the pond…. whole weeks earlier than last year! The long tailed tits are still visiting and long may that last!

Self isolation in January gave me a bit more time to complete another ‘book’! I enjoy watercolour painting and decided I’d put my paintings in a concertina book…only small 4 inches square..keeps me out of trouble! This ‘book’ is called…January…what a surprise!

So all in all a good start to February with more walks to look forward to and more plants flowering in the garden and more paintings to do!

Thank you for reading and hope you are all staying well. Try some art/craft work keeps one smiling and enjoying life even when it’s raining and cold outside!

View from garden when taking Rufus his morning walk

August 30 Dinefwr, Hafod Estate, Aberglasney, Oldham! August 30, 2021

See the curtains hanging in the window,

In the evening on a Friday night

A little light shining through the window,

Let’s me know everything’s alright

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine,

Blowing through the jasmine in my mind.

I’ve been humming this song for the last few weeks as the sun came out and there was better news about a family worry. It’s been a busy time with a lovely Walking Well Walk around Dinefwr. The day was none too bright but the company made up for that with sparkling chat and coffee and cake outside Newton House at the end of the walk.

The walkers met at the top of the entrance drive to Dinefwr and walked through the fields up to the castle where the views stretch out along the Towy Valley. In the distance the ruin of Dryslwyn Castle stands atop the next rocky hilltop.

After enjoying a walk from the castle through the woods and along the board walk we ended up near Newton House passing on our way a new garden enterprise set up in the old ticket office- more wonderful plants to tempt one!

Another long day’s drive took us through the beautiful heart of Wales, the centre of Manchester ( the satnav went wrong!!) and to our destination Oldham. We were collecting some car parts. We enjoy the visit as the workshop is packed full of old cars, machinery and everything old, however, the journey seems to take longer every time we go!

Finding a shorter journey for a day out we drove to the Hafod Estate, near Aberystwyth. Although it was a drizzly, damp day we had a wonderful visit.

The Hafod Estate was designed in the late eighteenth century by Thomas Johnes and it soon became an essential destination for visitors touring Wales in search of “wild nature”.

The area was all ‘ picturesque’ and quite beautiful. There were many walking trails but we chose ‘The Lady’s Walk’ as it passes waterfalls, fields, streams and it was the ‘less strenuous’. It was a great walk and most enjoyable, however, we should have noted that if we walked downhill to the river there was a possibility that somewhere along the line there would be an uphill stretch! We found it- right at the end! Jim’s knees were squealing!! However, after the climb back to the car, from the bottom of the ravine, and a chocolate and coffee from the flask, we both warmed up and started planning our next visit here!

I loved all the heather…can you tell!

I loved the church, the woods, the river, the sheep baaarring the way and the waterfalls too!

Half way back up the hill from the waterfall- it was a long climb but worth it!!

Of course, visits to Aberglasney must be included in my posts. The Gardens have looked stunning throughout the summer and amaze visitors with the colour and splendour of all the plants in the borders.

There are also added attractions as every Sunday the Bonsai Group meet in the Piggeries and share their knowledge with any interested visitor.

There are art and craft exhibitions held in the mansion throughout the summer. The latest exhibition is stunning…as always: Andrew Douglas-Forbes and Rhian Nest James

Back home the garden has run the rest of my life! So much to do, mowing the grass, cutting back, but most of all enjoying the summer breeze!

It’s good to share the garden with little friends!

The ‘fernery’ looks bright and colourful in the summer!

The Pond Field has become too overgrown and my lawn mower won’t cut it all as the buttercups have taken over! I’ve done the best that I can though!

Lots more field to do and lots more garden to enjoy!

Hope your summer is breezing along happily too. Thank you for reading.


July 18 Gelli Aur, Botanic Garden of Wales, Aberglasney July 19, 2021

In no time at all there was another Walking Well Walk arranged by one of the leaders. Three ladies have taken over the organisation and running of the group and it’s all going really smoothly.

The walk was to take place in the grounds of the Gelli Aur mansion, a rather dour building, but surrounded by glorious woodland including many specimen trees.

As soon as I opened the car door the scent from the many lime trees around the carpark was quite over powering! Wish I could bottle it or indeed have smelly sensation available on WordPress to share with everyone!

We walked through meadows mown with paths and being aware of covid restrictions behaved extremely well (!) keeping in single file and metres apart!

The lovely stone walls marked the perimeter of the managed woodland. Even though the woods are managed there were clumps of Himalayan balsam- so pretty but our native plants suffer when they are present. Let’s hope the foxgloves fight back!

It was a wonderful walk as there were paths through the woods, through a small quarry, along a road, up a hill, down a dale and on the way meeting interesting people too! Chats with a gentleman who had been in the Gulf War and his memories all added to the enjoyable morning out.

Good to spot lots of wildflowers and things of interest- keeps the mind from wondering if the hill ahead is going to be manageable or not! One of the walkers had an app on his phone that tells you the name of the plant when looked at. It was fascinating trouble is I’ve forgotten many of the names of all the umbellifers..but I knew them when he said!!! Coffee and cake in the cafe ended another wonderful WWW – thank you Pam!

My recent visits to the Botanic Garden of Wales have been marred by the weather. Heavy rain shortened my last visit so it was great to be back there recently in full sunshine and happy summer weather. The gardens looked amazing and I remembered to take photos of the plants I liked and their labels so I know what I want to buy on my next visit to a nursery! Also it helps me to see how plant colour combinations are used to enhance enjoyment in borders- my planting of planned colours in borders never seem to turn out as I envision them- mine is a pot luck garden!

The Great Glasshouse looked splendid inside and out!

It was lovely to share the time at the Gardens with friends and we enjoyed looking at the new bog garden and we all ended up buying a plant in the plant sales area!

Of course no post would be complete without a mention of Aberglasney Gardens where everything continues to grow and flourish and brings pleasure to all the visitors.

Back home the sunshine has meant the watering continues apace! It’s very time consuming but necessary!

The Canada geese are able to cool off, in the recent hot weather, by hiding under the gunnera leaves and amongst the tall grasses in the Pond Field. How the Pond Field is going to get cut is something to worry about later as it looks rather lovely with all the grasses, wild flowers and a steadily increasing number of butterflies flying about. The goslings are now nearly the same size as their parents and practice flapping their wings vigorously on the pond. This helps break up the dreaded pond weed which is strangling everything else!

The rest of the garden is looking bright and more flowers are popping up in unexpected places!

The cottage has been buzzing with lovely visitors. It’s all to do with many deciding to stay in the UK for their holidays instead of flying off to countries new and then having problems with covid restrictions. It’s been really enjoyable welcoming people from all over the UK to stay in the cottage. Some have shared our home grown veg when it has been available! However, everyone has been delighted to visit Carmarthenshire, some for the first time, and discover what a beautiful county it is and a perfect place to spend your holiday.

Thank you for reading. Enjoy the sunny weather wherever you are!


July 4th Aberglasney Orchids, Wetlands Centre Llanelli, Llandovery July 4, 2021

July! Where did June go? Our strange weather continues with occasional spots of rain followed by spots of sunshine! I can cope with that!

Our front garden overlooks a paddock where a variety of different sheep are brought to live for short periods of time. Sometimes the farmer brings the rams to have a rest after all their hard work and at other times there are ewes and lambs. They are all delightful and make the outlook over the pasture very pastoral. That is until a ewe fancies some tasty leaves on the other side of the fence! Our side! One ewe limboed under the fencing but unfortunately, her lamb was on the other side! Maybe you have never had the pleasure of listening to a lamb wanting his mother all through the night! It is painful!

All sorted when the farmer arrived with a bucket of food in the morning- she followed him to her field down the road back to her baby…as meek as a lamb!!! The Canada Geese were not impressed!

The sheep haven’t been the only naughty ones around! The mice are eating all the bird nuts and the birds aren’t happy…nor am I!

There was another Walking Well Walk arranged and I was fortunate enough to gain one of the ten places available. We set off from Dinefwr and crossed highways to pastures new!

It was most enjoyable to walk through the fields and spot wild flowers, red tailed bumble bees and sheep!

The days before the walk there had been some downpours so the land in places was rather damp…reminiscent of Philip’s walks!

I was fortunate to catch a photo of a swallow as it swooped and swirled over the meadow. If you look hard through a magnifying glass you may see it!!

We ended our walk back on the National Trust land at Dinefwr. Thanks for the walk and company Pam.

A visit to Aberglasney is usually included in my posts as I do love the place!

At Aberglasney today there was a surprise in the Ninfarium! It is always full of interesting plants but now in most nooks and crannies and on windowsills there was an abundance of beautiful orchids on display.

A little garden elf whispered to me that Gardener’s World is coming to film there soon so everyone will then be able to enjoy seeing the Ninfarium and the orchids!

Just a sample of photos to tickle your interest!

After the excitement of seeing the orchids I had to have a cool down so no better place than under the gunnera umbrellas especially as it was raining !

Earlier in the week we had a day out to the Wetland Centre in Llanelli. Funnily enough it wasn’t wet but quite a pleasant dry day to enjoy walking around the centre and seeing all the wildfowl in situ and all those birds on the estuary that could be seen from the hides.

Far too many birds to take in their names and where they had come from but best of all was watching the birds flying in and out of the estuary. The unmistakeable flamingoes were the only birds I really knew to name! They were gorgeous.

Llandovery, our local town, has shown it is ready and waiting for all the visitors to arrive for summer. Everywhere looks bright and beautiful with bunting draped across the streets and places painted up shiny and new. Hope everyone visits as it’s a really lovely place to go.

Far too any photos in this post already but a few more of our garden won’t hurt…will it!!

As I only added 19 photos a few more of the cottage garden won’t matter!! It’s been wonderful welcoming back visitors to the cottage and seeing them enjoy sitting in the garden and sometimes the sun has shone too!

A dear friend in Nottingham has sent us a surprise box of chocolates. They looked totally delicious and they were! We have no control when there’s a box of chocs around. Hope you all have some lovely surprises this July and thank you for reading!


June 22 Dinefwr Aberglasney & Home June 22, 2021

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After a cold, damp Spring the garden seemed to fall into a slumber and nothing flourished until the sun started to make a regular appearance and now plants are all awake and growing fast! So fast that’s it’s hard to keep up with them all! With the sunshine- out comes the watering can, the hose and the sprinkler all things that take time to sort out…the kinks, the leaks and the varying water pressure…oh the joys of watering!

Early morning

It’s not too many weeks ago that the borders above were inches deep in water and now I’m spraying them!

An email today from one of the ladies organising the Walking Well Walks jolted me back into thinking about writing a post! A whole fortnight has whooshed by and I haven’t written about the last Walk out to Dinefwr in Llandeilo.

Only ten are allowed on the walks due to Covid procedures so I was fortunate to get in with my request straight away! It was lovely to be walking together again and in familiar surroundings. The walk took us through the woodlands and we could spot the deer herd through the trees . The scene made a good composition with Newton House in the centre, the deer in the foreground and the White Cattle in the background. Pity the photo/photographer didn’t capture the scene properly!

Walking through the meadow was a delight with yellow rattle, buttercups, clover and all the other wild flowers in bloom.

After walking across the newly renovated board walk we ended up outside Newton House for our take away coffees and cakes. Another great walk – thank you!

The farmer, who takes silage off our field, has had to wait for the weather to perk up and this week it was all action as the machines came in and cut the grass and in no time at all it was all wrapped up tidy and neat waiting to be collected!

A short walk, with a friend, to the path that we tried to clear in lockdown found us catching up with some neighbours to have a chat. We were shown into the garden of one of them and admired the tomatoes and cucumbers growing in their poly tunnel.

We continued our walk and found the path where we had valiantly cut down the brambles and branches was still remarkably clear. However, there was still a long way to go to reach the end of the path and we took a brave decision to leave the path and maybe we can find a wonderful volunteer with a power strimmer and machete to clear it for us!!

One of my favourite trees can be seen from the overgrown path.

Other favourites on a walk are the shadows on the roads. it helps me walk faster if I’m looking down at them!!

A visit to Aberglasney in the week was a treat.

Far too many photos in this post already but a few more of the garden. I had a brilliant idea!!! I would take photos of the plants in the garden and then it would help me remember where they were in the autumn when I needed to split them…especially the candelabra primula. I want to share the colours around. Of course I took the photos but no reference points…back to the drawing board!

Our bees, who live in the roof, are keeping busy in the garden but there are few other flying insects around. Most of the photos below had a flying creature on them when I took the photo but their flying is quicker than my clicking finger!

We do have eight flying birds in the Pond Field though! The Canada Geese and the goslings are back and doing well. One adult goose always has heads up and watches around whilst the goslings are head down eating- no wonder they are growing so quickly! Good to have them here we are very lucky!

Our son in Canada also has birds in his garden. Cedar Waxwings lovely to see but they are eating all his cherries!

Another Walking Well Walk on Friday to look forward to and more watering in the garden! The car needs a wash too- it’s good to be happy and busy!

Thank you for reading.


June 7th Visits to Westonbirt and Penllergare Valley Woods June 7, 2021

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At last after such a long time we’ve been able to see our family! A day out together with daughter & grandson plus extras at Westonbirt The National Arboretum. We had a wonderful day and enjoyed walking around through all the many paths amongst the thousands of trees. Best was walking over the bridge that spans across the woodland so it feels like one is a bird in the branches hidden from view but seeing all!

It wasn’t too busy but everyone we met had a very well trained dog on a leash. It was very helpful to find that all the trees were labelled and it stopped any wondering what species they all were- it definitely aids the memory when the name is on a label!

Back home we have had visitors! It was lovely to welcome new faces to the cottage after such a long break. All the cleaning and sanitising went well and even when the dishwasher broke two days before the first visitors came AO were fantastic and delivered one next day- great service! Friends arrived from England with gifts for us pie for Jim and stilton cheese for me and a fruit flan! We were very happy and full!

In our house we had the arrival of a bat in the bedroom and Jim luckily found the tiny hole that it had come through! The tallest ladder we have just reaches our ceiling but we had to open the window to get the ladder out again as it had jammed on the stairs coming up!! We do lead exciting lives!!

I enjoyed my weekly visit to Aberglasney with a good pal. She loves this tree a Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ wedding cake tree!

The rest of the Gardens are beautiful and it’s encouraging to see all the visitors returning now lockdown has eased.

The sun was shining when we visited Penllergare Valley Woods for a walk and coffee and cake! The Gardens are 40 minutes drive away from Lletty Cottage and are quite magical! Really! On both sides of the valley there are major roads and the Woods lie snuggled between them. A slight distant hum can be heard but the birds singing deafens the hum out! There are 12 square miles of woodland and 7 miles of footpaths…we haven’t walked them all….yet!!

There’s a fascinating history to the valley and there are great projects afoot to make the welcome centre larger and expand the facilities.

Can you hear that noise? It’s our grass and weeds growing! After the wet and cold we’ve had hot, warm and damp weather perfect for everything to start coming to life…in a big way! It’s been tricky trying to keep everything tidy when overnight plants seem to burst out of their slumber and shout, ‘ I’m alive and flowering…NOW! ‘

This succulent looked sad and down at heart and over a week has transformed into a beauty!

On Pond Field

Hostas ….before the slugs get them!

Flowers popping up everywhere all shapes, sizes and colours

Good to see so many bees in the garden and different kinds too. Sadly lacking in many other insects on the plants but there must be many flying around as the swifts are back at home nesting under the eaves and they must be eating something! There must be at least five pairs nesting and they squeal and screech around the house early morning and through the day…it’s a joy to hear them.