Lletty's Blog

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

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.

 

March 8 Llandeilo Walk , Cars at Botanic Garden of Wales March 8, 2022

It’s hard to write about my activities when the world seems to be in such turmoil. To show support for Ukraine all my flower photos will be in yellow and blue.

The Walking Well Walk led by Biddy was most enjoyable as we started in Dinefwr and ended in Dinefwr! A circular walk that led us over fields, new bridges, across main roads and up country lanes. We saw trees that had fallen in the storms, baby lambs gamboling after their mums and huge molehills like mini mountains!

It was good to see the first dandelions and flying insects and the woods, where the bluebells flourish later on in the season, all cleared of fallen debris.

There have been plenty of birds in the garden to keep me glued to looking out of the window. Any slight movement I make means the birds fly off in a flutter! Not so the squirrels! Banging the window or opening the window and shouting obscenities means they just carry on eating the sunflower seed giving me disdainful glances all the while!

The long tailed tits are reluctant subjects and do their very best to keep hidden. As you can tell the nuthatch has attitude! The robins look good all year round not just at Christmas time!

A visit to the Botanic Garden of Wales together was a treat! Jim came too as there was a vintage car display being held in the courtyard.

We enjoyed a lovely walk around parts of the garden and of course treated ourselves to a scone and coffee in the newly refurbished cafe.

The show was interesting and it’s good to recall some of the cars we have owned over the years. There was a Morgan, an original Mini and others that we wished we had kept!

Back in the garden the land is still very wet but the plants are holding their own and doing their best to brighten everyone and everything up.

The six lovely rams are back in the next field. They are having a rest after a very busy season! I just love them- they have wonderful faces and expressions! The farmer who looks after our field has put silage on it this afternoon …it really feels like spring is here!

Other welcome visitors back on the Pond Field are the two Canada Geese who are preparing their nest on the little island. Two mallards have settled in on the pond too. The two resident moorhens are keeping watch on these new arrivals and letting them know who is in charge….such a lot of name calling!!

The views over the Carmarthen Fans from our garden continue to inspire me. Lots of photos and an early March book made. Now that the evenings are lighter and hopefully the weather improving I thought I’d get a March book made whilst it was still raining outside and before gardening started in earnest!

A very appropriate coloured bird of paradise flower caught my eye in The Telegraph Garden Centre Llangadog.

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!

 

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.

 

February 23 Talley Walk and Lots of Visits February 23, 2019

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All the walks and visits in this post are all within one hour from the cottage and all make a great day out when staying here.

I’m feeling very buoyant after just watching the rugby match on TV…well done Wales! In fact I’ve felt very chippy over the last few weeks as I’ve been on quite a few visits to beautiful places with the family who have been on holiday here from England (half term!)

First though an absolutely wonderful walk with Walking Well around Talley in glorious sunshine!

Talley Abbey

The walk was a bit strenuous as we had to climb up the steep hill behind the abbey. We all know…no pain no gain! It wasn’t too long before we had all reached the top and stopped …to catch our breaths… and to admire the stunning views over the hills and valleys. Some of the hillsides have been cleared of trees which made the views more interesting.

We enjoyed the views and then slowly made our way back down the tracks through the remaining tree plantations. Our refreshments were taken in the local church hall which had kindly been offered to the group for their use.

Thank you Philip for the lovely walk. Congratulations on your news!

Earlier in the week I had been on a visit to the Botanic Garden of Wales with a friend. She is involved in all sorts of voluntary work and one of her special interests is the Conservation Group at the Garden. She showed me some of the trees that the Group is taking a special interest in.

Goat Willow Tree with 27 different lichen growing on its trunk

This tree has had tree lungwort transplanted onto its trunk. It is believed to be the first ‘rescue’ of this type in any botanic garden in Europe. If it grows well it can be ‘transplanted’ back onto other suitable trees in Wales, where once it grew. There are many potential medical uses for it.

Mallard looking for his lunch

Returning from the Gardens and after looking at all the birds on their lake I was thrilled to see the return of the seven Canadian Goslings that hatched on our Pond Field Island last year. Every year the returning ‘goslings’ fly back in with a day or two of the year before.There they all were circling the pond as if they hadn’t been away. I do wonder if they are the seven from last year and I do wonder where they have been for Christmas! I’m just pleased to see them again and hope that two remain and make a nest on the island so we can enjoy the spring and summer watching them grow up.

A day visit to the seaside was next up so we could enjoy the sunshine that we were having. Over the Black Mountain and a short drive along the M4 though Port Talbot and we were in Porthcawl. We sat in the new cafe on the promenade sheltered from the wind drinking our coffee and eating hot cross buns….idyllic! We could have been in the South of France with the sun shining through the glass windows with the sea just a few metres away but reality was we were just South of Port Talbot and it couldn’t have been better!

We had a lovely walk along the promenade and then through the town with all its independent little shops, along the harbour wall to see all the boats, past the lock gate which was winched open to let a boat out and then along the pier to the lifeboat station. A real treat and a great day out.

A castle visit was next on the agenda for the family visit and Dinefwr Castle just fits the bill. Only 10 minutes drive away the whole of the park is a delight to wander through in any season but with the sun shining …again… we headed up the hill to the Castle and then back over the Boardwalk before circling the pond and heading back to Newton House for refreshments.

Last day of family visit and another visit to the beach…one of my favourites…mind you they all are…Llanstephan!

A walk along the sand and trying carefully not to stand on too many shells was rather tricky!

After climbing up the cliff (not me) over some mighty large rocks and a circular walk past the castle, through lanes filled with the scent of gorse and back to the beach brought a lovely end to another sunny day and a great half term holiday.

 

May 14 Hello Blossom! May 14, 2016

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Why does it always seem to catch me off guard?  Spring arrives  quickly and the garden looks as though I’ve never touched it! The grass is growing ridiculously quickly, the weeds are everywhere, the soil needs digging over  and  I’m trying to sow   seeds for summer  veg and flowers!  Good job I love gardening! DSC03616-1

Our little magnolia tree has flowered for the first time today…hooray!

The new visitors on the block  are the moorhen chicks which are scooting over the pond as though they are on hoverboards!  I’ve only seen 4 chicks  so far   but more may appear tomorrow. We have had a moorhen on our pond for eight years. We don’t know if it’s the same one or it may be one of the  chicks that grows up and stays. Through the winter we usually have two moorhens on the pond but last winter  there was only one. So another one must have flown in early Spring.

DSC03607-1 DSC03612-1 The  camera was on full zoom  so poor photos of an adult moorhen with two chicks and a chick  ( the black spot!) running underneath the gunnera  (which shows frost damage on its leaves!)

The Canada Geese and  their 6 goslings  do not like the intrusion of more babies on ‘their’ pond so after a quick feed  this morning  they have walked over the fields to  another  pond.

The garden looks very springlike in the evening sunshine  and many plants are bursting with colour and growing so quickly.

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Pretty cowslips in the long meadow grass.

 

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The crab apples and fruit trees are all looking  glorious  with their beautiful blossom – fingers crossed that we don’t get a late frost like last year .

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I thought I’d try to be clever and start at the first tree in the row  and take a photo of all the trees in order  so I could recall which blossom went with which tree! No chance – as I took two photos  sometimes of the same tree- never mind!

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This one is definitely  a crab apple as helpfully  there’s a crab apple left on from last autumn that the birds have somehow missed!

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DSC03496Just look who’s coming back over the fields for the night- hope the moorhen chicks are safely tucked up in bed for the night or there’ll be ructions!

We went into Llandeilo today to buy  some plants- two new roses from the Works Nursery.  The Works    http://www.worksantiques.co.uk/  is an amazing place. There’s a  garden centre, a wonderful cafe  and an antiques  shop, which is like a rabbit warren as it goes on for ever with  wondrous things to discover round every corner. I bought two new pretty cups and saucers for the cottage which are now on  a tray ready for the   new visitors tomorrow from Australia.

DSC03633-1Happy Gardening everyone!

 

April 30 Dinefwr, Bluebells and Geese April 30, 2016

 

First job of the day  was to check on the Pond Field to see if the Canada Geese and goslings have  managed to get through the night safely without any mishaps. All was well!

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DSC03259-1 The goslings are only two days old and already  quite  able to forage for themselves  but stay close to mum and dad!  The ‘dad’ chased away the moorhen , who had only come to say ‘Good Morning!’

Two minutes later the parents collected the goslings and two by two they marched them off away from Pond Field  to a new home three fields away!  They do this every year  and we can only think they are going somewhere quieter without moorhens, lambs and cats to bother them!

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The lambs  are as cute as ever.

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Rufus is still trying to organise them!

DSC03243As it was a dry, sunny  but chilly day we thought a ‘brisk’ walk would be in order. Jim’s  knee is not quite up to ‘brisk’ yet but it’s getting there…when the swelling goes down!!

Dinefwr Castle and Park http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dinefwr   is less than 10 minutes drive away from  home so in no time at all we were on our walk to  check out the bluebells. They  are  just a few days away from   being fully open but the view of them ‘blueing’ up the woodland was beautiful .

DSC03299There are many magnificent oak trees around the parkland – how many mysteries have they seen?

DSC03305-1Turn the other way from this view of the bluebell woodland and you see Newton House  and in front  the White Cattle  enjoying  a morning snooze.

DSC03317Continuing our  circular walk  we passed banks of primroses  between the  woodland bluebells and saw  some White Cattle close at hand!

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Finally we  completed our walk back in front of Newton House. We went for a quick  look around the House  at all their  amazing  displays and   room settings  and then  enjoyed a well deserved cup of coffee!

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On returning home we met our cottage visitors, who also had had a very pleasant  day out. They had visited  Laugharne,  Pendine ,Saundersfoot and Tenby- so very busy  too!

Not to be out done we too have bluebells in the garden , not as  stunning as Dinefwr but getting there and admired by Rufus!

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**** 9pm – just writing this and the light is going fast  but guess who has returned to the Pond Field…the geese…all numbered and correct! *******

 

May 26 My! How the Babies Have Grown! May 26, 2015

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It’s ages since I’ve added a post in this blog as I’ve been busy having fun with my family on holiday here from Canada! They have now returned home  and the house is sadly  quiet without the sound of our twin 16 month old grandchildren scampering everywhere!

They have certainly grown since we saw them last year  and they have enjoyed playing in the garden and watching the lambs  racing everywhere and the Canada   Geese goslings  eating up all the grass!

P1060991-1 Looking through the gate onto the Pond Field  and keeping an eye on the lambs.

P1070153-1The Canada Geese goslings have also grown so quickly. The male goose has now flown off somewhere unknown and left the female goose to keep her six goslings under control. There were seven but sadly one has gone!

The moorhen also has chicks . We’ve counted five but they dash for the reeds as soon as they hear us so  unfortunately we haven’t any photos of them They are tiny balls of brown fluff which seems to hover on the water and disappear so quickly  they look as though they are magically propelled!

P1070160-1All the lambs are now a fair size and look quite sturdy. This doesn’t stop them  chasing each other around the pond every evening and having great games of hide and seek! The male lambs butt each other on their heads and mount one another and play typical boy games! The ewes come and bleat at them and tell them to stop mucking about  and get ready for bed but just as children have that mad half hour before bedtime lambs are just the  same!

The flowers in the garden are growing well but the late frost caught a number of plants including my wisteria which was in full bud and now all the buds are frosted and dropping off the stems.

Today the sun was shining and the visitors in the cottage were out enjoying the sunshine on the patio next to the azaleas which are really doing well….note to myself…plant more azaleas!!

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April 30 2015 The Eggs have Hatched! April 30, 2015

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Seven Canada geese goslings are enjoying their first lap of our  pond with their beaming parents  looking on!

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In previous years the goslings are taken by their mum and dad across two fields to another pond. We’ll wait and see if the same happens this year!

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The parents have just chased away some very inquisitive lambs who came to pay their respects…fingers crossed the goslings stay close to home   and stay safe over the next days.

 

March 18 Spring Has Sprung- Sitting in the Garden March 18, 2015

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What  a beautiful spring day we’ve had here  today- the geese were back on the pond, the Mallards flew in at lunch time and the moorhens are nesting- so plenty of activity. It’s not only the birds who are active we’ve been pretty busy too getting the garden ready with new places to sit and enjoy  the views.

Good old Ikea!

Good old Ikea!

These seats are in pole position to catch the morning sun and just right for sitting in with a cup of coffee whilst reading the paper!

Spring bulbs springing in morning sunshine!

Spring bulbs springing in morning sunshine!

Front door of Lletty Cottage with newly stained  garden seat.

Front door of Lletty Cottage with newly stained garden seat.

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The crocus and hellebores all opened out in the sunshine showing all their beautiful colours.

Even more  Ikea garden seating in  the front garden- what would we do without it! Painted black this time!

Even more Ikea garden seating in the front garden- what would we do without it! Painted black this time!

2015 march garden 071-1 Crossing through the Pond Field and passing the boat to the far corner  we have had a bird hide/shelter/ sitting place  built by Bob the Builder! He was amazing and built it for us in a day as well as organising some new fencing around the field for us.

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2015 march garden 086-1View from the shelter back towards the house and pond.

Now we need to  organise another visit to Cardiff Ikea to get even more garden seats for the Pond Field Shelter!

We also  need this fantastic weather to continue throughout the Spring and Summer so  all our visitors can  enjoy  all the seats in our garden!

 

 
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