Lletty's Blog

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

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 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.

The tomatoes, cucumbers and salad are all growing well in the greenhouse and the runner beans, peas and courgettes are all planted in veg plot. I’d hoped to cut back on my planting this year but something happens and I just pop a seed into a deep root trainers and before I know it there’s a plant! I have to look after it now…don’t I !!!

Thank you Jane for the root trainers they have been amazing!!

Thank you for reading. Hope your gardens are growing well too!


June 30 Bethlehem Walk June 30, 2019


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.


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


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.


David Cowdry Aberglasney Exhibition and Outings! August 29, 2016

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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!


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!


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


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!


Just a reminder to visit David’s exhibition.








February 3 2015 Treasure Hunt to Find Mick Sheridan’s Bench and Snowdrops February 3, 2015

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P1060085-1Such a beautiful , cold, frosty and bright  morning calls  out for a wintry wander to Abermarlais , which is just down the road from Lletty Cottage. Also having read Mick Sheridan’s Blog yesterday:


about  another of his  Guerrilla Upholstery wonders  where he has renovated and upholstered a riverside bench at Abermarlais – I felt it compulsory to find the bench and sit on it!

Abermarlais is a parkland area where there used to be a high quality mansion, which has been demolished. More information  from Cadw: http://www.dyfedarchaeology.org.uk/HLC/HLCTowy/area/area209.htm

P1060062-1 Although Jim ‘s knees are painful at present I pressed him into accompanying me on the walk.

P1060073-1 After a short stroll along the footpath we found the amazing bench, glistening in the sunshine  and surrounded on one side by  the icy running river and the other by  snuggling snowdrops in the grass.

P1060074-1Underneath we found the three ducks!

P1060078-1 To sit on the bench in the winter is just a delight.  Enjoying all the sights and sounds all around.  There were  treecreepers,  numerous tits, blackbirds, thrushes, nuthatches and squirrels and  all  the chatter of the birds mixed with the rushing of the river  round all the twists and turns and under the bridges.

P1060092-1Crossing the river by the little bridge gives a new view of the bench  sitting amongst the snowdrops.

P1060096-1We continued along the riverside walk   enjoying   seeing the amazing amount of snowdrops covering all the banks around.

P1060106-1 Nature’s own creations are the best! We love having the time to enjoy all these wonders and have them right on our doorstep…we are truly fortunate. To top  the perfect morning off Jim’s knees are no worse -hooray!




January 14th 2015 Painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints from Llandeilo! January 14, 2015




Being that it’s winter and it’s cold and damp it’s time to do something in the house!  So off to the newish shop in Llandeilo :     http://www.thelittlewelshdresser.com   

The shop is lovely and the staff are very helpful and know their Annie Sloan paint and  are full of ideas and suggestions on its uses.  So as the TV table in Lletty Cottage needed an update I knew where to go for advice.

P1050703-1 TV table in original pine. No work necessary before painting so brush on Chalk Paint Country Grey and let it dry!

P1050710-1 and voila …nearly there! A coating of soft wax gives a lovely  subtle shine.

P1050778-1 All finished and ready  in the cottage and waiting for the first visitors of the season. I didn’t realise we had so many DVD’s !




August 11th Blue Tits in the Garden August 11, 2014

I have just received some wonderful photos  from  visitors to the cottage who left recently. They show  some of the blue tits that eat from the bird table and feeder in Lletty  Cottage garden.  Thank you  very much for sending them.

When visitors arrive in the cottage we always show them round and we tell them that the cottage garden is just for their use  and the only reason we go in the garden  is to feed the birds every morning at about 8.30am! At the present we have numerous LBJ’s (little brown jobs)   visiting the feeder  along with blue tits,  chaffinches, green finches, goldfinches, siskin, robins, blackbirds, thrushes, house sparrows, great tits, nuthatches, ringed doves, woodpeckers and the Sparrow Hawk! It is sad that the hawk also knows it’s 8.30am as he soon swoops in to the feeders to catch any unaware youngster.  It is the food chain in action but we don’t need to like it!


Blue tits on the cottage garden feeder

Blue tit

blue tit 2

blue tit 3

blue tit 6


Thank you again for sharing your lovely photographs. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay in the cottage and we hope that you will visit us again in the future.



July 25 Wonderland : Badgers Deer Dolphins and Sunshine July 25, 2014

Just sitting here at the computer wondering when we’ll have a Skype call from our son and family to say that they have arrived safely in Canada. They emigrated today and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions time saying goodbye to our baby twins- but hey…it’s all so exciting too…a new life waits ahead of them  and it may even get me on an aeroplane to visit them.  As I’ve never flown it’s quite a record these days and I’m not sure I want to break it!!

So feeling rather sad it was wonderful to receive an email  and photos from a visitor to Lletty Cottage. We have  amazing  visitors and it’s so interesting to hear where they have visited whilst on holiday here  and places that they recommend to others.

These visitors went to the Badger Watch in the  evening at Dinefwr Castle. They had a superb time and saw deer and  badgers  in a beautiful woodland glade at sunset.

2014 july chris flint badger

2014 chris flint badger 3

2014 july chris flint badger 2

2014 july chris flint deer

They travelled to New Quay and went dolphin watching and they were  fortunate to see this magnificent dolphin close at hand.

2014 july chris flint dolphin2

Thank you for sending on these and other photos. We look forward to receiving more photos from visitors this summer- it really is great having a holiday cottage and meeting so many lovely folk.


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