Lletty's Blog

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

October 22 Botanic Garden of Wales, Dylan Thomas Laugharne, Pendine October 23, 2020

Not long now until 6pm today when Wales starts its own lockdown…a firebreak -to try to halt the spread of the Covid virus.

Thank goodness we are surrounded by beautiful countryside to walk in and enjoy all the autumn colours…that is when it’s not raining or too cold!

The local walk around our village lanes is called ‘The Loop’. How ever many times one walks it there is always something new to see and enjoy.

There are the wildflowers, the trees with fairy doors and the rushing streams.

The friendly donkeys are always there at their gate and always ready for a happy chat and a photo…they know they are gorgeous!

After the Loop it’s a downhill walk passing the field with the friendly bullocks, who are all safely behind the gate, and then a view over the hedge of our house and that cup of coffee!

It’s the season when the lichen are looking interesting and being noticed around our garden and on all our apple tree branches.

On a visit to the Botanic Gardens there was an excellent embroidery display in their gallery and some of the amazing work showed many of the types of lichen around…a very useful resource for me! There are so many talented folk around!

On my visit to the Gardens I was accompanied by my friend and the sunshine came too! It was a glorious day.

After another visit to the Gallery to see the other work on display we walked down through the wood to see the new bridges.

My very knowledgeable friend told me that this year is a mast year for acorns when oak trees produce a bumper crop. There are certainly a great many acorns around and squirrels to pick them up!!

October is also a bumper month for friends and family birthdays! A visit to Laugharne to do the Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk is becoming quite a tradition.

The walk starts in the village and follows the shoreline which leads up the hill to St John’s Wood, where there are lovely views over the castle and the estuary of the River Taf.

Who needs man- made decorations when nature can provide the prettiest decorations ever!

Back in the village we walked up to Dylan Thomas’s writing shed which was having a facelift! Usually one can only peer through the window but this gave a chance to have a nosy inside!

The Boathouse, where the Thomas’s lived was closed to visitors but open for refreshments in the garden. Passing under the fig tree and pausing by the garden bench it’s no wonder that Dylan felt inspired to write with such amazing scenes all around.

Another visit to Pendine, to have a walk along the seafront, brought back many happy memories of our childhood holidays here in a caravan. There are now huge caravan sites all around the village but the beach hasn’t changed at all! It’s still seven miles long and wonderful! The plaque, detailing the world land speed records on the sands, is still on display on the pub wall.

Back home the garden is till giving pleasure. I have stripped the borders of all the ‘thugs’ that although quite beautiful were dominating everything else and have planted some more evergreens and smaller perennials. We’ll have to wait and see next year if I’ve been too fierce!

Delighted that I have finished writing this blog before the lockdown! Our wonderful pub in the village is closing at 6pm!

Thank you for reading.

 

August 23 Out and About! August 24, 2019

The clouds were parting, the breeze dropping , the sun was peeping and it was a Walking Well Walk at Myddfai and Philip was back bringing the good weather with him.

A good crowd set off briskly through the delightful village, Lewis setting a fast pace out front- his usual position, and we all managed to reach half way up the hill before stopping for a breather and to give two walkers time to catch up.

Five beautiful fuchsia ‘trees’ outside house in Myddfai
Catching up !

Following the road we soon reached the stile which we needed to climb over to continue our walk. After climbing the stile we were in a well looked after field where sheep were grazing quietly on the grass.

This land is Llwynywormwood, which is an estate owned by the Duchy of Cornwall (Prince Charles). There are 192-acres but we weren’t going to walk all round it…this time!

Very well behaved sheep

We strolled across the field and crossed a sweet bridge which joined the track leading to the house…which is closed to visitors. We passed the empty sentry box before entering a field of oats and unknown plants!

Moving swiftly onwards we crossed over another path adjoining a paddock where a horse showed interest in us all and then flicked his tail and galloped off!

The geese were rather more accommodating and lined up like soldiers for us on parade. Wonder which one is destined for Christmas lunch for HRH!

Continuing the walk across fields, where the hedges were full of autumn fruits and colours, we eventually reached the road that led back into the village.

Passing some renovated houses that were once the old school buildings we reached the Myddfai Hall https://www.myddfai.org where we all sat outside in the beautiful sunshine and enjoyed a delicious cake and coffee. Thank you Philip and Lewis for a lovely walk.

Earlier in the week I visited the National Botanic Garden of Wales- visited many times before but always finding new things of interest to see and enjoy. I was accompanied by a dear friend who is VERY knowledgeable about all things concerning the flora and fauna of the land.

The Japanese Garden is a favourite of mine.

I liked the way they had left the ‘gone to seed’ lettuce as a decorative border in the veggie plot…I must remember this and use it !

Loved all these plants too so many different shapes and colours !

Everywhere one looked there were vistas to enjoy.

They must have very small gardeners!
An interesting project being conducted in the gardens relating to wild flower seeds

Next visit out was to Dinefwr Park . A circular walk around passing Newton House, along Brown’s Walk , around the lake, down to the boardwalk and back up to have a lovely cake and coffee in the cafe. The walk was to be a gentle introduction to Jim about the benefits of walking together. It nearly went right except for the downpour of rain half way round, the boardwalk closed for maintenance, a locked gate, a fence to be climbed, a lost path, a hill to climb, a stag to avoid…tired legs, aching knees meant that on reaching the car in the carpark…no coffee in the cafe just a swift drive home and no more talk about short circular walks!!

Dinefwr Castle through the rain.

Trying again to encourage more walking out together I embarked on suggesting a visit to Llanwrtyd Wells. This was well received so with the sun shining brightly we set off for a visit to this small town about half an hour from home. Once there we set off walking down a pretty country lane to find the lake! The town is well known for amongst other things Bog Snorkeling Championship and Man versus Horse Marathon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_versus_Horse_Marathon, it is also on the Heart of Wales Railway line. https://www.heart-of-wales.co.uk

We passed the train station and walked on going under the railway bridge.

Unexpectedly we found ourselves looking at some very interesting climbing equipment set out in a fine parkland…it was an adventure school!

We were very impressed but didn’t wish to try any of them out and continued walking until we came to the lake. Sadly the footpath is not a public one so we had to backtrack a bit and walk further along the road until we came to another entrance . This time we walked right by the lake admiring the swing rope running across it…another adventure activity no doubt and enjoyed the sight of some beautiful red lilies on the water.

Looking in the water…I didn’t jump!

Walking back to town for a quick beer in the pub we passed the stunning red kite sculpture and enjoyed a visit to the Heritage Centre.

A lovely town to visit with lots of interest and very friendly pub and people!

Back home the plants have enjoyed the rain water and now the sunshine>.

But Rufus has found the heat rather too much!

Thank you for reading. Sorry it’s so long but we’ve been busy out and about!

 

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

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk.

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.

 

April 24 Home and Away April 24, 2018

info@llettycottage.co.uk

DSC07304

View from the garden

Well..  hope that wasn’t it…I mean Spring! The glorious sunshine, the warmth, the buds opening and everywhere greening up …oh it was all so wonderful  while it lasted  but now today it is raining  and the heating is on again! Thank goodness I have my photos to remind me of all the  spring flowers bursting open  in the garden, my Walking Well walk and visits to familiar places with family visitors this last weekend.

 

Driving to Myddfai where our walk was starting took far longer than usual. Traffic  wasn’t allowed on the main A40 road  as a sink hole had appeared! The detour took us through a small, local  village and the queues were very long with  huge lorries having to navigate  carefully through the narrow roads.  It should all be fixed in 10 days!!! After the late start,  with the sun  shining,  we all set off on our WWW  through the lanes around Myddfai  and  across the fields of Llwynywormwood, the estate owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

DSC07381

We crossed over pretty bridges  and enjoyed  seeing DSC07390

all the wild flowers growing along the banks, especially the violets, celandines  and primroses.

DSC07393

 

DSC07413

As Prince Charles wasn’t at home the sentry box was empty! Discussions were held on who should be  Christopher Robin  and Alice!

DSC07405

Fair do’s  to Philip, the path was a lovely one with only one wet spot which was easily avoided!

DSC07411DSC07403DSC07404

Delicious coffee and cake were the order of the day at Myddfai Hall and Visitor Centre. Thanks Philip for another lovely walk.

DSC07418

The National Botanic Garden of Wales    is a great place to take visitors as there is so much to see and do there. In the largest single-span great glasshouse in the world  there is the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere. The flowers looked at their best.

A visit to the Edwardian pharmacy is  a must when at the Gardens. I love looking at all the bottles and packaging of medicines and recalling some of them from my youth! I might have to bring my tube of Savlon here soon. I had a rose thorn in my arm  recently and reached for the Savlon and oddly read the sell by date…October 1993…anyway it still works so I’ll keep it! DSC07476DSC07473

In the Apothecary’s Hall   there’s an excellent exhibition of patchwork plants.

DSC07480

There is always something new  to see in Plas Pilipala (Butterfly House).

DSC07500

No guessing who this butterfly was trying to imitate and frighten off its enemies!

DSC07509

Another day of visits took us to Laugharne and Dylan  Thomas land!

 

DSC07538DSC07552DSC07560

Great to see my friend’s painting of Dylan for sale in  the house.  Jayne Russell 

In the house there was a new exhibit made by Itchy  Fingers Textile Group and very good it was too!

DSC07558

After a tour around the house and reading through all the poetry  books  we headed to the coffee room and enjoyed a morning coffee with  slices of bara brith….very tasty!

DSC07555

The rain was holding off quite well but after another short amble through the village we headed for Brown’s Pub  and sitting under the photograph of Dylan and Caitlin we enjoyed a delicious lunch and cocktail (Penderyn gin and vodka!) …a lovely  light headed end to a day out!

DSC07569

Back home although the lawn is drying out…well it was until the downpour today …the borders have been looking rather desolate  and bare. However, with the sunshine  everywhere perked up  and  started looking bright,  purposeful  and  beautiful.

There are the usual visitors in the garden  a pheasant that races through the borders and a very patient  and stoical Mrs Canada Goose, who is sitting  on her eggs on the island in the pond.

DSC07259DSC07309

DSC07315

The lime tree looks stunning as it comes into leaf and its base surrounded by celandines.

DSC07314

Not surprisingly the bog garden is  thriving  but getting rather too wet!

DSC07331DSC07308

Despite all the recent wind and rain the blossom is steadily appearing on the fruit trees and thinking positively  the trees may benefit from this extra dose of rain today! Fingers crossed!

DSC07379

 

 

January 26 Botanic Garden of Wales Walk…Again! January 26, 2018

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

One can never have too many visits to the Botanic Garden of Wales,  especially in January, when entrance is free during the week!  Weekend entry in January is only £4 and tomorrow 27th and Sunday 28th  there is an Antiques Fair to enjoy too!

Anyway back to my visit today with the Walking Well group led by Philip. Somehow or other he manages to arrange these walks when it is dry and sunny! The weather over the last week has seen our garden flooded!  Today, however,  with the sun shining brightly a large group assembled in the Botanic Garden carpark to begin a figure of eight walk around the parkland.

DSC05780

The track led us around the perimeter of  the first lake with the Great Glasshouse,

The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere

looking like something from Stars Wars ( I enjoyed The Last of the Jedi..last week!)  set  up high on the opposite bank.  Wonderful reflections of the trees in the water- good enough to paint!

DSC05787DSC05786DSC05785DSC05782

Brilliant coloured cornus bushes  shone in the sunshine and the aroma from the fountain of green Sarcococca confuse bushes filled the air…everyone stopped  to catch a closer sniff!

DSC05789DSC05790DSC05791DSC05792

Passing a desolate farmhouse we walked up quite a steep incline until we reached the top. Here  Philip explained there was a spring  hidden behind a locked door and a pump room.

It was well worth carrying on up the hill as looking back we had the most marvellous view over the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, including Paxton’s Tower.

DSC05823DSC05825DSC05826

We walked along the ridge of the hill until we dropped down again  from the Parkland towards the Gardens.  We didn’t take a detour into the woods as we were uncertain what we’d find there!

DSC05828DSC05832DSC05831

It wouldn’t be one of Philip’s walks if it didn’t entail some mud walking and some nature spotting. There’s an excellent exhibition on at the present in the Gardens by Julie Sheridan of the Last Gallery, Llangadog . Her  series of paintings depict the symbiotic nature and pattern of lichen.  She may have been able to identify some of our findings!

 

The Ghost Forest was our next stop!

‘This display of tropical tree roots is one of the most significant environmental art installations to come to Wales

The Ghost Forest has come from the tropical rainforests of Ghana .The oldest tree root is 300 years old, the heaviest weighs 19 tonnes

They’re the inspiration of UK based artist Angela Palmer. She was horrified to learn that a tropical forest the size of a rugby pitch is destroyed every four seconds. Just think how much is lost every minute, every hour………every year.
Apart from the huge loss of species, rainforest loss is contributing to climate change.

Angela Palmer made world ambassadors out of these tree roots. She chose Ghana as it now sustainably manages its rainforests. She brought the tree roots to Trafalgar Square, to the Earth Summit in Copenhagen, to Oxford University and now here, their final resting place.’

Lots of photos as they were amazing  especially against the blue, blue sky!

DSC05860DSC05861DSC05862DSC05864DSC05871 (1)DSC05876DSC05878 (1)DSC05881 (1)

Time for coffee and cake in the Glasshouse surrounded by exotic  and some recognisable lovely flowers.

 

Also to view were the antiques. The Rupert annual…one of my favourites  as a child… now classed as an antique!! Help!

The view going down the Broadwalk back to the carpark was  far different from last week when everywhere was coated with shiny icy crystals- this week shiny bright sunshine. I do love our changeable Carmarthenshire climate!!

DSC05897DSC05896DSC05905

Thank you Philip for another happy, enjoyable walk.

DSC05901

 

 

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

 

 

July11 Visit to the National Botanic Garden of Wales July 11, 2016

DSC05050-1

I know I keep writing it but it’s TRUE! This is the  most beautiful part of Wales to live in   with the rolling green countryside, the  beautiful  beacons, the splendid  seaside  and the special gardens and now we have a tropical butterfly house at the Botanic Gardens to visit too! Today a lovely friend invited me to join  with her and another lovely friend  on a visit to the National Botanic Garden of Wales to visit the  butterfly house  and  walk round the rest of the garden before lunching out!

The butterfly house is BRILLIANT!  One enters the glasshouse  by pushing  through protective sheets   hung over the entrance and  in an instance you are in a jungle world! Bright coloured flowers, bright green undergrowth,  bananas  ready for picking, palms, orchids and hot, steamy conditions  and then the bright flash of  blue as two huge blue Amazonian butterflies flutter over head  – more  colourful butterflies flutter by and land on feeding stations  and flowers – it is a magical experience!

DSC05053-1 DSC05057-1

2016 july david's card botty garden 045-1  2016 july david's card botty garden 051-1

2016 july david's card botty garden 068-1

An amazing sight is a cabinet  full of butterfly chrysalis in various stages of development  and at 3pm each day newly emerged butterflies are released into their own tropical Welsh rainforest! How special is that?

2016 july david's card botty garden 043 2016 july david's card botty garden 044-1

DSC05065-1  DSC05032-1

The walk round the rest of the Garden  was very special too! The walled garden was  alive with the sound of bees, the scent of all the flowers   and  the rainbow of  colours from the huge range of plants.

Another facet of the gardens  are the art exhibitions that are held there. The Shed Project is totally wonderful!

DSC05075-1DSC05080-1DSC05083DSC05081-1 This is one wall with some of the drawings displayed- it’s brilliant!

DSC05097-1  DSC05090-1

Wild flowers  shining through the raindrops!

DSC05099-1On display in the dome was this colourful  collage sewn by a group of needleworkers from the Garden .

Real flowers  in the dome were also  showing their best faces  and  trying hard to win the prize  for the most spectacular colour and shape- this one was  the winner today!

DSC05103-1

DSC05111-1A walk around the lake   watched by a very metal bull  and a  quacking puddle duck  ended our eye-opening  and  glorious  day  out. Thank you for taking  me!

DSC05114-1

 

 

 
%d bloggers like this: