Lletty's Blog

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

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!

 

March 25 Llangadog Walk and Classic Car Show March 25, 2018

It wasn’t raining, it wasn’t snowing and it certainly wasn’t freezing cold so it must be Philip waving his magic wand again  to give our Walking Well group pleasant enough weather for our walk around Llangadog.

We all met on the bridge overlooking the Sawdde river.

DSC06770DSC06769We followed the road around the perimeter of the common where all the sheep roam freely  and passed through the village of Felindre into the fields beyond.

DSC06773DSC06776DSC06777DSC06780

There must be a new initiative to sign walks which are near the railway station  and the Heart of Wales line. Hopefully, these new signs, showing the Cynghordy  Viaduct   will help walkers to keep to the track and not get lost!

Passing  on through kissing gates…(no kissing allowed!) and through farmyards with cattle in barns and lambs in fields  we reached a stopping point outside a lovely old farmhouse.

DSC06785DSC06788DSC06791DSC06798

All beautifully behaved animals …even the lamb helping  to put out the washing!

DSC06793Lovely to see buildings like this alongside  fields full of  sheep and  lambs  and a grazing horse, who was not over impressed with seeing us all.

DSC06803

DSC06802DSC06812

The track led us on through the farm fields. In  the distance the railway bridge over the Towy river could be seen and a couple of Canada geese flew overhead as a sort of flypast to acknowledge our walking accomplishments!

DSC06816DSC06817

Of course no walk led by Philip would be the same without a bit of mud. However, this time he did offer us a rest on a bench!

DSC06821DSC06822

The river was flowing rapidly  and  some sharp eyed walkers saw a kingfisher swooping by….I didn’t…maybe I should stop talking and start looking!

DSC06823

Thank you Philip for a lovely walk that we all enjoyed.After such a  springlike walk some walkers returned to our house for a coffee and biscuit.

Yesterday  we caught the 5.39 train from Llangadog to the NEC Birmingham …again!

DSC06829DSC06830

Coming into New Street station at Birmingham we passed a train pulled by a double headed Class 37 Diesel  locomotives  with everyone on board enjoying a Rail Tour. (Thought you’d like to know that detail!!)

This time, at the NEC, we were going to the Classic Car & Restoration Show…as one might guess not my idea  even though I do love cars. Years ago my heart was set on  a Triumph Vitesse with a V8 engine!! Over the years we have  owned a Sprite, Midget, Morgan, Mini, BMW …..etc… and to see all the wonderful cars on display in the Show and all the restoration work going on was really great and interesting.

There were a few  classic bikes too.

DSC06849

…there were even classic caravans. I’d love one of these! The teddy bears on display are the exact ones that my brothers and I had as children ….maybe we are classics now!!

‘The Morris Minor was the first British car to sell a million units and as that milestone approached, BMC decided to create a special edition car – a common event now, but a rarity in the 1960s.

So the Minor Million was created. Mechanically a standard 948 Minor 1000 this special edition of 350 cars was distinguished by vivid lilac paintwork. 350 ‘Millions’ were produced in December 1960. Every showroom had a car on display on the official launch date -4th January 1961.
The actual millionth car rolled off the production line on 22 December 1960′.

Everyone used to own a Morris Minor…our family did and we’ve still got one! Wish it was one of these lilac millionth ones though…they are worth a fortune!

DSC06916

Even the police used minis !

DSC06907

Special treat was to see, hear and smell some amazing traction engines…our grandparents used to own similar…wish we had them now!

DSC06915 Never liking to waste a moment on our days out we stopped off on the train journey home at Shrewsbury to spend a couple of hours.  Such a lovely town full of character and  interesting shops!

 

DSC06930

The guns are pointing into town from outside the regimental museum.

 

DSC06942DSC06945DSC06948DSC06949

Even the pretty flower borders were laid out in a very organised and orderly fashion!

 

 

Shrewsbury has much to offer with all its  shops and history. The statue of Darwin outside the library is really  special.

Travelling back to Llangadog later on the Heart of Wales line we missed all the wonderful scenery as it was dark. Even though we were rather tired after our days excursion we remembered to turn the clocks forward  so I’d be up early and chirpy for my visit to Aberglasney to see David Cowdry’s  Art Exhibition and the display of spring flowers. Both were wonderful and the garden in the spring sunshine was beautiful.

DSC07010

Wish there  were more hours in each day to fit in all the things I want to see and do….but this weekend I think I’ve filled in every second…thank you for reading and sharing the weekend with me….a great start to Summer time!

 

 

David Cowdry Aberglasney Exhibition and Outings! August 29, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 5:19 pm
Tags: , , , ,

 

DSC05814Really enjoyed visiting Aberglasney to see David Cowdry’s new exhibition. It was wonderful as usual  and there were  many paintings that I just wanted to tuck under my arm and bring home!

DSC05821-1

DSC05819-1DSC05811-1                                                           Jim’s favourite painting.

DSC05812-1I didn’t  have a chance to photograph my favourite painting  as David was busy chatting to friends in the doorway  to the room where the beautiful woodland scene and owl was on display. Never mind , I’m going back to see the exhibition again  before the end of the week as it’s too good to miss!

It was time again for another walk with Walk Well Carmarthenshire. The walk was around Carmel Woods where there was a whole meadow, purple with field scabious. It was a delightful walk in the august sunshine  with interesting folk, who explained some of the history of the site, including use of the lime kilns.

We’ve had the family staying for a holiday and our grandson likes to visit the seaside….so do I!

Llanstephan is the place to go. There’s a beautiful beach, with perfect sand castle building sand, a castle, a tea room and a fish and chip wagon….what’s not to like!

The castle also has amazing views over the estuary and the best roly poly hill in the world…so says the grandson!

DSC05710-1

Next stop was a day walking around Garn Goch- an iron age hill fort- just 20 minutes drive from home.

DSC05724

There are two forts at Garn Goch and the remains of the walls are still to be seen and they are breathtaking!

Even after all this hill walking , the grandson still had energy to run all the way round our field and back again!

DSC05789

Just a reminder to visit David’s exhibition.

DSC05817-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 21 Busy Times! August 21, 2016

DSC05503-1It’s Summer and that means getting out and about  and enjoying  all the events and visits before autumn creeps in!

A week ago I joined the Walking Well Group for Carmarthenshire http://www.walkingwellcarmarthenshire.org.uk/ to keep fit ( as well as  all my gardening)  whilst Jim’s knee gets stronger! We met at Llandeilo railway station and walked up to Dinefwr Castle , back through the water meadows  and returned to the station via The Vintage Café  for a coffee and cake! It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk with lovely companions so I’m looking forward to the next walk this Friday.

DSC05428-1  DSC05439-1

Dinefwr Castle Llandeilo

DSC05449-1My legs started to ache on the last hill up through Llandeilo!

Later in the week, we spent a very enjoyable time on a visit to a friend’s house, where plants were for sale and  delicious nibbles and drinks on offer. She  will be opening her  plant nursery here next year so it was  lovely to visit her home and cross the  river  into her beautiful garden via a bridge ! There were no trolls under it!

 

DSC05474-1

DSC05475Visiting another pal, Jayne Russell,  at her wonderful exhibition in Aberglasney Gardens http://aberglasney.org/exhibitions/  was another  delightful excursion out.

DSC05494-1   DSC05504-1

DSC05507-1

With the damp weather the grass keeps growing and the plants need extra tending but another trip out was on our agenda….to Birmingham…don’t ask!

The high point was the amazing new station – it really was magnificent!

DSC05523  DSC05525-1

DSC05540-1Unexpectedly, we discovered a Welsh chapel in the centre of Birmingham!

DSC05554-1

This week it was Show Time! Llansadwrn Show is a jolly affair  when the community gathers together   to share their interests and to enter items for   judging in many different categories.

Photos, paintings and  plants were some of my entries  as  the other categories are too hard for me! There are some very talented cooks,  florists, vegetable growers, stick makers, jam makers , needle women and more in our village so  it is  great to wander around the marquee and enjoy  everyone’ s  entries.

DSC05594-1DSC05601-1   DSC05605-1

As expected in a country show there were a number of horses and sheep around!

As well as visiting places we’ve welcomed some lovely visitors to the cottage. It’s such a pleasure to meet new and ‘old’ visitors. The visitors last week have been coming to the cottage for eight  or is it nine years…who can tell when you are having fun!

DSC05623-1          DSC05624-1

This week our family are staying  and our first port of call today was the Botanic Gardens of Wales. There was a Woodcraft exhibition on  in the dome and some truly amazing wood carvings  on display. The borders were a delight to see.

DSC05637-1DSC05643-1     DSC05647-1

DSC05635

The Great Glasshouse was as magnificent as ever but the highlight for our grandson was the visit to the Butterfly House. He loved it ….as  did we!

DSC05665-1

 

 

November 11 St Peter’s Church Carmarthen November 11, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 12:30 pm
Tags: , ,

During our shopping trip to Carmarthen yesterday we popped into St Peter’s Church. This is a church that we have  passed many, many times before  but had never ventured over the threshold. Maybe as it was pouring down with rain this was a chance to stay dry and visit a church that has the remains  of Rhys ap Thomas,  who supposedly had killed Richard 111 on the battlefield at Bosworth  Field. (Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.)

There’s a very good website  telling the story of the church : http://www.netministries.org/churches/spetercarm

DSC01409

DSC01392In the porch there was this Roman Altar reflecting the Roman occupation of Carmarthen.

The door opened from the porch into the church and before us  at the end of the nave was a magnificent stained glass window. The side walls of the church also had wonderful windows with beautiful patterns and colours.

DSC01403-1

The church was surprisingly large inside with dozens of pews – all of which has little doors on the end which one had to open to step up into a pew to sit  and reflect.

There were a few side chapels   and a lovely pulpit, lectern and altar. Near the lectern  was the tomb of Rhys ap Thomas. The top of the tomb could be viewed by looking in the mirror conveniently  placed above it.

DSC01406

DSC01407

We shall definitely revisit the church and discover more about its history as  even on a wet and dismal day it felt very welcoming and full of interest.

 

September 14 The Adventures of Rufus! September 14, 2015

Rufus, our Maine Coon  kitten will be 1 year old next month and I can’t believe how much he has grown and become a real part of the family- except that is  for Holly!  I am sad to report that Holly and Rufus are not the best of friends and we have to keep them apart for feeding and sleeping!!

Holly, is  a normal, beautiful moggy, who  sleeps all day and night and enjoys a cuddle on the settee in the evening. Rufus thinks he’s a collie dog and bounds ever hopefully towards the sheep, who quite readily butt him away!

Part of our daily routine  is now taking Rufus for a walk around the garden and up the field, where he has many adventures, exploring the trees and everything growing above and below ground!

DSC00527-1

Trying to catch dragon flies

Trying to catch dragon flies

DSC00534-1 Pondering whether to climb this tree or wait until the larger lime tree appears!

DSC00538Not sure whether Rufus should be sniffing toadstools but this slug is getting  to grips with eating it in any case.

DSC00545At the base of our magnificent  lime tree before his decision to climb half way up and then fall off!

DSC00553-1Back to the willow tree for some easy climbing practice……

DSC00570-1before he ran off into the large willow tree copse  and climber higher and higher until the branches became too narrow so he had to learn how to reverse…not very elegantly!

DSC00584DSC00602-1DSC00588-1

The hips, haws, blackberries and sloes were all sniffed as we made our way to the top of the field.

DSC00612-1DSC00609-1DSC00616-1

Rufus liked sitting on Jim’s bench   looking back towards the house and the  Brecon Beacons hidden by low cloud before he set off at an incredible speed to the bottom of the hill again!

DSC00641DSC00647DSC00642

DSC00662-1    DSC00645-1       DSC00667

He roamed through the borders  until he reached the apple and crab apple trees where he had another  climb!

DSC00699-1DSC00697-1 DSC00701-1

The one tree he didn’t  try to climb- our Monkey Puzzle Tree!

DSC00682

At last he had worn himself and me out and settled  down  and tried to make pals with Holly!

DSC00633

 

June 12 2015 Aberglasney Gardens June 12, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:40 pm
Tags: ,

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

2015 june visit to AT 050-1

I know! I know! I’m always writing  or posting  photos somewhere about Aberglasney Gardens. Why? Because I cannot believe how many folk still haven’t visited them and  enjoyed the  most amazing garden experience that one could wish for. It is the finest garden in Wales…I say!

Recently I  was fortunate enough  to spend a  couple of days away visiting gardens in Gloucestershire. The various gardens had  beautiful features, different historical backgrounds and wonderful plantings  and indeed they were all a joy to visit . However, when I returned to Aberglasney last weekend it was like returning home. The Gardens have a definite special atmosphere  and are truly outstanding.

2015 june visit to AT 036

2015 june visit to AT 040-1

2015 june visit to AT 062-1

2015 june visit to AT 060-1The new bridge under construction

I took these photos on Sunday. They do not show the  borders in full bloom, the unusual plants, the Ninfarium, the Sunken Garden, the wood, the pool, the café, the rose arbour, the Cloister Garden…I could go on…best thing is …visit  and see it for yourself.

I rest my case!

 

May 26 Photos from our Visitors May 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 10:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

003 (2)-1We have the most amazing and friendly visitors staying in Lletty Cottage and we love hearing about all the places they visit and things they do whilst on holiday here. Sometimes   we are able to share their holiday by viewing their photos which they send on to us and here are a selection from a regular visitor/friend  who stayed recently.

This squirrel eats all the bird seed up every morning. I don’t mind one but when 6 turned up one morning I was annoyed!!

016 (2)Blue tit and a nuthatch on the bird table after the squirrel had left!

040-1Woodpecker on  nuts…at least the squirrel can’t get these! Today we had a jay and two wood peckers on the larger nut feeders.

038-1 This photo wasn’t taken in our garden! Chris visited the Wetlands Centre in Llanelli to capture this wonderful picture.

028-1 A visit to the waterfalls is top of the list for many of our visitors.

008-1 All our visitors are encouraged to visit Aberglasney Gardens not just because I’m a volunteer there but because they have the most amazing plants, woodland, rose arbour,  historical parterre,  a Yew Tunnel , a wonderful mansion with art and craft exhibitions throughout the spring /summer, a fabulous café where you can sit  out  enjoying your coffee and cake by the Pool garden seeing the swallows swooping down  and so many other delights…you just must visit!

Thank you Chris for sharing your brilliant photos with us all!  Hope to welcome you back to the cottage in the future.

I will be relying on lots of photos from visitors as my camera which was only a year old has seized up! It is a Panasonic DMC SZ3 with a Leica lens. It was wonderful  and a great point and shoot camera. Do you think taking it to Tenby beach and taking lots of photos of the twins  playing in the sand has anything to do with it not working any more??!!

 

April 19 Aberglasney Garden, Brooklands Trust Members Weekend in Wales and Flower Arrangements! April 19, 2015

Another beautiful day – we are being so fortunate  with this kind April weather  as it means everyone is able to get out and about and enjoy their lives. I  enjoyed today  volunteering as I do on a Sunday at Aberglasney Gardens. I  hardly ever pick flowers in my garden as I love to see them in situ , however, in Aberglasney, I am allowed to pick a few flowers every week to do an arrangement in the ladies loo and occasionally in the men’s loo too! Today there were so many marvellous  blooms to choose  from that I really couldn’t decide  and as I’ve just explained I prefer to see flowers growing rather than in vases!

I’m no florist but anyway I have  a go!

P1060905-1 The forget-me-nots were wilting before I’d finished!

P1060906-1Floating hellebores

P1060907-1 Hopefully this arrangement will last a while as next week I’m not going to the Gardens as my son and family are home from Canada for a holiday! The twins are now 16 months old so I’m very excited!!

Also in the car park  today were some  members  and  their  cars of the Brooklands Museum Trust . We’ve  visited Brooklands Museum in the past and it’s a  very worthwhile and fantastic  place to go and see if you’re in their area  :  www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Today the Trust  members were in their own cars on a Classic Tours of Wales weekend away. It’s all brilliantly  organised by a local company who have a Farm Guest House and they arrange everything.

P1060909-1

P1060908-1

P1060910-1

P1060883-1Brilliant reflections today!

P1060900-1

To round off a perfect day I’ve just ordered a new microwave to be delivered  on Tuesday…what a happy ending to another wonderful day in Wales!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: