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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.

 

The Fourth of July.. No Independence Just Watering! July 4, 2018

Everyone in the UK seems to be having a proper happy summer  and here in Llansadwrn the sun is shining brightly all day and every day! So what’s there to complain about…well…watering! The cracks  in the ground are getting larger by the minute and plants are curling up and giving up! Plants have been frizzled and frazzled and burnt… so out with the hose pipe and watering can and try to revive as many as possible before the garden looks completely bare. How though does one know how much water is left?! We have  a bore hole that provides our water  so no checking the depth of water available ….rationing began today …just in case!

The Botanic Garden of Wales is well known for its wonderful plants, birds of prey and butterflies but very year around midsummer it becomes the venue for the Symphonic Tywi, West Wales’s best-loved symphony orchestra  under the baton of its founder, Michael Cottam. Sitting inside the Glasshouse  surrounded by all the plants and listening to some popular classic music, this year music celebrating ‘The Sound of the Sea’   is a delight. The orchestra is accompanied by the singing of the many birds  who live inside the glasshouse! Taking with us a light snack and a tipple to drink a very enjoyable evening was had by all!

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The Yellow Book National Garden Scheme is an amazing collection of  gardens…mostly private gardens that are open to the public on some summer days. Visiting the NGS  Lon Farm  in Talley last week with the Llangadog Gardening Club was a great pleasure. Arriving at the farm after a drive round Talley lakes and up to the top of a hill the  panoramic views were fantastic.  The garden was bathed in sunshine and looked lovely but the owner had suffered the same as the rest of us …the sun had dried up their streams , pond water levels way down and plants needing lots of watering!

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I love this flying dragonfly and the bee hives turned out to be compost bins…what a clever idea!

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There were pretty views all around. The pond was filled with many large fish, who jumped to eat all the food that was thrown in for them…they were huge!

 

I like a garden with lots of sitting places!

 

A clever use was made of the two derelict buildings as they had been beautifully planted up and artefacts added to give even more interest.

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One of the ‘rooms’ in the buildings was the duck house and outside their lovely pond. It was so hot we all wanted to paddle with them!

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Walking around the garden one discovered many unusual items.

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Of course no visit to a garden would be complete without a coffee and cake…this was no exception a delicious tea was spread out for all to enjoy.

 

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Funny how things turn out but my next outing was to Talley…again. This time with  ladies  from the Country Women’s Group. Talley is  just over the hill from where I live, just a  drive of a few miles on single track roads .  The  village  has    many pretty cottages, some large houses, two lovely lakes, an historic church and  an ancient abbey.

 

 

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It also has the prettiest and smallest church hall, where we were served tasty refreshments!

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Back home life is busy with the farmer mowing the field for silage,

The flowers that are surviving with all the watering are I’ve discovered …mostly red/pink!! I planted them so it must obviously be a favourite colour!

I’ve noticed that succulents are becoming popular again…every time I visit a nursery I see them all in their little pots wanting to be bought…by me! They don’t need too much water either!

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Mice have eaten my strawberries in the veg plot but they haven’t found these …yet!

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The farmer had to bring the sheep back on our Pond Field as they needed water to drink. It’s been lovely watching the lambs chasing around  and having fun….but there’s always one that gets into trouble!

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Enjoy the sunshine but keep watering!

 

June 9 Talley Village Open Gardens Day June 9, 2012

Hooray…the sun was out all day…what a change after all the rain. Although it had been wet for most of the week our cottagers had enjoyed their stay and visited many local places…pity that St David’s Cathedral was closed  to visitors on the day they visited -they were recording a TV programme!

Today we went to Talley…such a lovely place and just down the road- many of the gardens were open to visitors so it’s a good chance to look around and get some new ideas.

Not a garden but a lovely shed…I love sheds!

 

Another lovely garden building set in a beautiful garden overlooking the abbey

             

This lovely garden had two ponds, beautiful shrubs and trees and lots of animals- a proper smallholding and all overlooking the abbey.

 

   

I’ve always wanted a garden train and this one in a garden was just perfect

   

 

 

This garden was wonderful full of different plants, shrubs and trees and winding paths through all the foliage and shrubs…magical!

 

 

Up the garden path!

     

 

 

What a gaggle!

Another fabulous garden, another brilliant garden building…I want one!

 

Lovely creative garden with bee hives- which swarmed when we were there! Bought jar of honey…just had tea …honey on crumpets…perfect end to the day!

 

Last garden on visit was secluded,charming and romantic and very relaxing.

 Every garden was different but beautiful and all of them showing how hard people work to create lovely outdoor spaces.

Now it’s back to our garden to prepare for Llansadwrn Village Open Gardens Day on July 21st…so many new ideas from gardens seen today….but first it’s out with the lawn mower as the grass has grown about a foot in a week with all the rain !

 

January 31 Walk around Cwmifor January 31, 2012

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We went with friends for a lovely walk in the farmland and hills around Cwmifor. We followed the old….very old….Roman road over the hills to Llandeilo.

Greeting a friend on our walk

 

A mixed flock of sheep including some Jacob sheep came to say hello

 

 

The footpath leads through the farmyard of a working farm

 
 

Looking back towards the Talley road

 
 

Glorious woods which will soon be filled with bluebells

 
 

A hot drink sitting next to a pond as the sun set ended a perfect walk in Cwmifor

 

 
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