Lletty's Blog

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

October 19 Cwrt Henri Walk, Elan Valley,Concorde, Aberglasney Visits October 20, 2019

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Not an easy morning to get my ‘get up and go’ feeling started. It was miserable outside with the rain pounding against the window panes, the odd flash of lightning and the wind bending the trees and stripping the autumn coloured leaves down to block our gutters…but hey-ho it was Friday and a Walking Well Walk planned by Philip and Lewis around the byways of Cwrt Henry with the promise of coffee and cake at Juliet’s house at the end.

Fast forward a few hours and we all met outside Juliet’s lovely house to park our cars and start the walk.

A good crowd had turned out for the walk even though the weather hadn’t looked promising. The rain had stopped for a while but the roads and lanes were full of puddles .

There were some surprised onlookers who wondered who was making all that chit chatter down the quiet lane.

We walked past a number of lovely properties with splendid views over the distant hills. Luckily we were right outside an open barn when the heavens opened for a sudden downpour of really large raindrops!! We ran inside for cover and cwtched together till the storm blew over.

Further up the lane we stopped for a check on which road to take and continued onwards on our circular walk.

Campion were still flowering in some hedges alongside some unidentified toadstools.

These are my favourite cow gates. Not only are they not going to chase me but they are safely locked inside a gate!

The rain had stayed away for the latter part of the walk so we arrived back at the house in a very jolly mood which was further enhanced when we saw the super spread that Juliet had prepared for us. Many thanks Philip, Lewis, Juliet and Clive.

Philip had extra plans as he asked if there were any helpers to pick up the windfalls of apples in Juliet’s orchard in readiness for the Apple Day at Cwmdu over the weekend.

Bags and boxes were soon filled with an amazing range of Welsh apples…many tasted when picked…all deliciously different tastes and textures. A number of apples managed to jump into my pockets! Hence the two apple cakes now cooling in the kitchen!

The rest of the garden was also a delight to wander around. The large poly tunnel was a happy home to the chickens, cockerel and pea hens, who as it was the end of the season had the rich pickings all to themselves!

The lovely lake in the garden was home to the geese and one chicken, who was their friend!

The news has been full lately of the horrid treatment of some dogs in puppy farms. Juliet has adopted a labrador from dreadful conditions on a puppy farm and steadily and slowly Molly, the dog, is learning to love again and learn all about kindness. She has started to go out in the garden and has wagged her tail. Juliet, you are a star!

Earlier in the week we had a day out to Elan Valley. The drive through mid Wales was wonderful with fantastic views across mountains and valleys and all this just an hour from home.

In 1893 Elan Valley dams were completed and opened by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. A further dam was completed in 1952 and
opened by Queen Elizabeth II as one of her first duties as monarch.

I visited the dams in the 1950’s with my grand parents on a very special day out. I remember it being a very long drive!

Nowadays there is a super Visitor’s Centre and many wonderful walks around the area to see all the wildlife and enjoy the views.


First things first …a coffee and cake in the cafe with amazing views over the dam!
Hope there aren’t any leaks!

The scene was very powerful with the water roaring over the dam and through the sluice- all senses were alert!

After a bit of persuasion !! We walked up to a viewing platform at the top of the dam. There were a number of steps to climb first!

But boy was it worth it!

Views over the dam were amazing so too the views across the lake towards all the mountains…wish I’d taken a flask of coffee to sit and enjoy the scene whilst I got my breath back!

Starting back down the hill we took another path with hawthorn trees, ferns and gorse covering the land.

A good variety of lichen was spotted on many rocks….like maps of the world.

Now I do rather like bridges and at the bottom of the valley we came across this metal (wrought iron?) one. I liked it even more when I saw how derelict it was.

A splendid day out and so much to see, do, enjoy and discover- just like this statue to Shelley and his connection with the area.

Of course an area like this with rugged hills and curves and bends in the roads attracts bikers. Jim loves to chat about his bikes and the one we’ve sold!

This weekend we’ve visited Bristol and the Concorde museum. It is thrilling to see the plane in its lovely setting.

This morning, instead of rain clouds, the mist was in the valley and the bright sun peeping over the hills. It was glorious!

The plants were waking up .

Followed by all the flowers opening their petals.

Later in the day a visit to Aberglasney was enjoyed especially seeing the Yew Tunnel, the cloisters and the stalactites on the arches all in sunshine. I think I’ve mentioned it before…I do love the Aberglasney!

Thank you for reading.

 

July 15 Caio Walk, Llandovery, Laugharne Aberglasney Visits July 15, 2019

After some hot and dry days it was lovely to start our Walking Well walk in the coolness of Caio Forest which is just twenty minutes drive away from home.

There are good forestry tracks leading all through the woodland and this was a circular walk that we had completed before – but this time back to front! Philip does like to confuse! As usual we were accompanied by some very well behaved dogs.

The whippet with the yellow lead is very sensitive and the lead shows other dog owners that he can be anxious. What a good idea!

We began the trail and quickly fell into chatting groups which like a slinky never stays the same. People move from the front to the back and vice versa so conversations get moved on and chatting continues with different folk!

The verges were crammed with wild plants but some were hard to name!

Three photos of the same plant in various stages of growth- think it’s a hogweed.

There were some uphill parts passing through the woods and some pretty views to see when using the bridge to cross the stream.

The willow herb plant was in full flower and competing with the knapweed to see who could be the purpliest flower around!

After the walk we all met up at The Bridgend Inn where we all enjoyed a drink and some very tasty food ranging from sandwiches, chips, lemon meringue cake to hot sticky toffee pudding with oodles of custard and sticky toffee sauce…guess wish I had and really loved! Thank you Philip.

In the week I went to Llandovery to do my shop in the Coop! It’s a lovely town with lots of interesting little shops and a grand history!

It was also Llandovery Bike weekend so there were lots of interesting bikes motoring around.

In the week we visited Laugharne with lovely friends. We walked around the base of the castle and headed straight for the Dylan Thomas boathouse to have some refreshments.

After a walk around the town we drove onto Pendine for a walk along the front and another chance to try the refreshments on offer! Oh I do love to be beside the seaside! Our family had a caravan here in the 1950’s and it brings back so many happy memories of playing in the sand dunes with my brothers, who used to dig long tunnels in the sand and crawl in!!! Health and Safety didn’t seem to be an issue in those days and our parents just let us grow up and roam alone!

Back home our swallows have fledged and I can start hanging out the washing again!

Taking care of the garden is taking rather a long time each evening as there has been plenty of watering going on and tidying up in the borders. I promised myself last year that I wouldn’t plant up so many baskets and pots…don’t know why I don’t listen to my sensible self sometimes!

Pretty pinks!

Flaming reds!

‘orrible orange!

Spiky and patterned and glorious!

Veg and fruit growing in harmony along with the slugs/ snails and grubs! grr!

A weekly visit to Aberglasney Gardens is a must in my life. The gardens are in full summer splendour and the wildflower meadow is just beautiful! Carol Klein showed all the thalictrum plants from here a week ago on Gardener’s World but you couldn’t see on the programme all the wonderful borders and plantings everywhere…so here are just a few snapshots of an amazing place…I love it!

Thank you for reading.

 

June 30 Bethlehem Walk June 30, 2019

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

Hottest day of the year so it would have been helpful to have a donkey to assist our walk from Bethlehem to the River Towy and back again! A good number of Walking Well walkers were well prepared for the conditions with bottles of water at hand, wide brimmed hats, sun lotion and plenty of enthusiasm but it was rather warm! A recce of all walks is carried out beforehand by the ‘leaders’ (Philip and pals) and this time the path had been carefully made safe by pruning branches, cutting long grass and clearing passages through woodland- it made the walk a very pleasant one and safe! Thank you.



View over Towy Valley from Bethlehem Road

We followed the Bethlehem Road away from the village and look a turn down a narrow track. Following the track we walked through a woodland glade which was just right to keep us all cool.

Some took the high road and some the low until we reached the River Towy.

Property for sale- beautiful cottage with fine views

We completed our circular walk by returning to the Bethlehem Road and walking back to our cars parked outside the old school building. We all thought that we would love to buy this pretty cottage that was for sale along the way.

Back to 139 Llandeilo for our refreshments which we all needed. Thank you Philip and pals!

Earlier in the week I had visited Aberglasney…again! Every corner of the garden is beautiful but the rose arches were breathtaking.

I also visited Dyffryn Gardens a NT property with lots to see and enjoy. The borders were just being planted and unusually they were using succulents to create marvellous patterns…I loved them and came home with many ideas to try planting one of my own…in a container!

I might try something like this…only much smaller!

I’d love a tulip tree too!

The sunny weather meant that a walk up to Llansadwrn village was a real pleasure. The wild flowers are filling the hedgerows and even the cattle are looking happy!

I became rather fixated with the shadows on the road from the hedges- such lovely patterns. They started off small and grew larger!

At home the farmer has been very busy cutting our meadow for hay/silage/haylage.

In the garden the wild flowers are thriving!

The rest of the garden is doing well too considering we’ve had some very breezy drying days, very hot drying days and some cloudy days!

We have had some wonderful guests in Lletty Cottage this summer. Some who have been before and some new faces- it’s lovely to welcome them all. Amazingly we have had three different couples staying from three different parts of Australia and none of them have turned anything upside down yet!

Latest purchase by guests…what will Australia think of this when they return home? I love it!

Thank you for reading.

 

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!

 

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!!!!!!

 

July 15 Dinefwr Walk, Aberglasney, Gardens and Gwili Railway July 15, 2018

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

It’s still very hot and very dry! We are hoping that our borehole has enough water left until the rain arrives! Aberglasney Gardens are still looking amazing and the sprinklers are managing to keep everything looking bright and  beautiful. Sitting on the terrace drinking in the view …and a cup of coffee  is pure delight.

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Luckily Friday dawned bright and not too hot so off to Llandeilo where Pam was leading our Walking Well Group  around Dinefwr this week…well…actually…it’s not Walking Well now…it’s just us! The WW funding has  been stopped but we will all carry on regardless as we enjoy it so much…..it will all get sorted!

The walk started at the station as usual and we walked down through the town, past the colourful houses and on into the Park.

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The rest of these houses  aren’t buried below ground!

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Lots of wild flowers out in bloom  and it looks like we are going to have a bumper year of blackberries!

 

A glimpse of Paxton Tower can just be seen in the distance …clever planning..  maybe  the view was planned by Lady Cecil Rice:

This year at Dinefwr we are celebrating the life of Lady Cecil Rice, 2nd Baroness Dinefwr, one of the most influential women to ever have lived on the Dinefwr Estate.

Lady Cecil was the only child of the fabulously wealthy William Talbot of Hensol in Glamorganshire.  
She married George Rice, MP for Carmarthen, in 1756 and together, they transformed the Dinefwr Landscape into what we know and love today.  
Splendidly well connected, Cecil and George spent much of their time in London where they were influenced by new ideas of philosophy and culture, especially the view that nature could be art.

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Walking on through the fields  and  up into the woods it felt cool and welcoming
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There was plenty to see and catch ones attention!   Two  large magnificent fungi…must remember to bring a nature book next time for identification help!
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Next   as we emerged from the woodland another splendid view appears through the trees …this time the castle  and  further on Newton House.
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The sycamore seeds are getting ready to twizzle down to the ground like helicopters …seems early to me!
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It was getting hotter by the second so the walk was rather curtailed so we headed back through Llandeilo to The Works for coffee! Sad to say we found the coffee shop closed …the owner away on holiday…never mind we’d had a lovely walk…thank you Pam.
Our local village had a splendid weekend…The Big Lunch. Everyone took a plate of food to share. Entertainment was laid on in the afternoon with choirs , soloists and bands and in the evening a family get together with young and old sitting in the marquee watching  a film The Greatest Showman.
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It wouldn’t be a summer weekend if we didn’t have time to squeeze in a visit to a car/ bike gathering. This time it was to Gwili Railway in Carmarthen. Over 100 cars and bikes to look at and enjoy!
I was gasping for a drink too…just like this little chappy!
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Some of the spectators were too shy to look !

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Back home the garden seems to be lasting with lots of spot watering. It’s the hanging baskets and window boxes that take such a long time   to get wet!

Just looking at those pansies with their pretty faces brings a smile… so do these other faces that appear when I’m bringing them a drink!

The  garden wildlife seems to be thriving too!  The mouse still appears most days ( sorry Jacqueline!)   and the swallows have fledged this week and are enjoying their flying lessons all around the house. The swifts are still screeching around too so it’s all go!

 

My new greenhouse cost a lot of money and took Jim a long time  and a lot of effort ( bad back!) to  build but I told him and assured him that it would all be worthwhile in the end. Today  I proved my point. Tah dah……one brilliant green pepper!! I even shared it with him…now that’s called…something!

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Walks and Visits Dinas, Llansadwrn, Tregib, Treberfydd Brecon June 3, 2018

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

We all wrapped up well for our Walking Well Walk but no need! Rain was forecast  and although damp and cloudy  it stayed dry whilst we had a tramp around Tregib Woods in Llandeilo.

We crossed the swing bridge which actually does swing and  can make one feel rather light headed!

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Looking down the river Towy a heron flew overhead and landed just down stream.  There’s a heron in this photo somewhere …honest!

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We crossed over fields and followed the road until we entered the wood. Llandeilo looked its usual lovely self with its houses perched  prettily on the hill looking down towards the river and the bridge.

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Tregib Wood is a Woodland Trust wood .

‘Coed Tregib is a beautiful site set within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Ancient woodland (predominantly oak and ash), grassland and new native woodland are the prominent features. Wetland plants are supported within the wood, and dormice have been recorded at this site.’

There were definite wetland plants amongst the wetland! Well, no walk with Philip would be right unless we got a bit damp! It was all  very primeval and one expected a dinosaur to come charging out of the undergrowth at any minute!

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Heading back to the town after our circular walk it was good to pass through a new gate erected by the Ramblers. The last time we were here there was a very rickety stile! This was far more civilised!

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A last view of the bridge  from another angle as we completed our walk. Thank you Philip!

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No wonder I run out of time to do things…I start so many jobs but move on to the next one before finishing the last one…you know what I mean!  The sunshine  recently has made it impossible to stay in and do any housework/ washing etc. so we’ve been out enjoying ourselves. We visited RSPB Dinas and really enjoyed  the walk over the board walk and on through the blue, blue, bluebell woods . Following  the river round  we came to more woods and completed our circular walk…it was difficult walking in some places but well worth it!

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There’s always one that wants to be different!

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A walk up the hill to our village seemed a good idea one sunny afternoon. It was sad to pass by the junior school that has recently closed …it was very solemn and quiet. Good news though it has been bought by a local family…so it will be interesting to see what happens next!

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Across the road from the school is the  pretty church and the village memorial stone.

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The village sits at the top of the hill so there are beautiful views all around.

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A memorial stone in the community field.

A ‘posh’ gate.

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The local pub the Sexton Arms…great place and the landlord Cliff is amazing and does so much to help the community in many ways.

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Llansadwrn  means the church of Sadwrn.

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Whilst I was at the top end of Llansadwrn and not the bottom end where we live I called  on a friend, who is selling her lovely bungalow with land…Purple Bricks!

Photo looking out of her window at  her detached cottage.

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Poppies growing in her garden!

After a lovely cup of coffee I was all set for the long walk back home but this time it was all downhill…much easier!

 

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A coach trip out, with the gardening group, was next in the week. We visited Treberfydd House Brecon which is a Gothic Revival house built in the 19th century. We enjoyed a tour around the house led by the owner. We were treated to  tasty light refreshments  and coffees before we headed off to explore the gardens and the Walled Garden Nursery, where some hardy plants just had to be bought!

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The Nursery was wonderful within such a lovely setting and so many wonderful plants for sale… a return visit is planned!

 

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An interesting coach drive   with a great driver ( a 50 seater coach through very narrow country lanes!)  took us to the next garden, The Neuadd, Crickhowell, which is open with the NGS.

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Here there was a lovely woodland walk which led to a walled vegetable garden.

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The owner’s dog was delighted to welcome us all into the house for a delicious tea!

Not sure which end to pat!

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Back home gardening continues and now Jim has completed building my wonderful new greenhouse  I have even less time ! I have sown far too many seeds  which will all need pricking out! Huge fun though having   a proper place to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and all the other veg I want to try!

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I do so love the colour pink!

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I also love Aberglasney Gardens. Today  on my visit there the sun was shining brightly and I enjoyed a delicious cake and coffee with our lovely cottage visitors from Australia…I think they’ve brought this lovely weather with them!

The gardens are looking beautiful. They are also selling plants that they have  grown in their new greenhouse….so I just had to have one! No idea yet what it looks like   when fully grown so it will be a lovely surprise!

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I love this weather but a couple of nights of heavy rain would certainly help out and cut down all the watering!

 

 
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