Flipping Hydrangeas; Battling Bumbles and Jewelled Wasps; and Bonus Butterflies.

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

A fortnight for personal, novel observations. So what’s new – there’s always something different to spot without leaving the home plot. We grew few Hydrangeas before we moved to Gelli Uchaf, though we did bring with us a cutting of … Continue reading

Sensational Sunday – Sunny Monday; Anniversary Ants; and The Fastest Moving Plant in The West.

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This gallery contains 54 photos.

Sensational Sunday completely passed us by in a blur of forks and rakes. For the fifth and last time this year, I opened the back door to the smell of half dried hay this week. A wonderful scent to be … Continue reading

National Meadows Day; Well, Wells, Wales; Big Bag Bottle Bank Update, and Gelli Uchaf Plant Palettes (Late June, Early July)

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This gallery contains 22 photos.

Never mind “What a Week!” (My previous post). What a fortnight! However I shall ignore the May supershuffle, Wales’ eventual glorious departure from Euro 2016, Corbyn’s challengers, Farrarge’s farewell, Murray’s Wimbledon, the Nice atrocity, and Turkish coup, since I’m completely … Continue reading

What A Week!

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What a week! Or perhaps 10 days. The personal, everyday, seasonal. Interwoven with unique moments of (inter)national and historic gravitas, prompts this very brief post’s personal jottings, before the memories fade. _____________ A Rural View Sheep shorn. Votes Cast. Counting … Continue reading

Moments In Time and Birthday Bonuses ; Gelli Plant Palette (2); Hay Meadow Sightings.

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This gallery contains 97 photos.

Well over 20 years ago we needed to chat with Dad about a longstanding family issue, and since my birthday was approaching, arranged to meet him in the gardens of Sheldon Manor, outside Chippenham. At that time the garden was … Continue reading

Sunshine and Surprise Visitors; Gelli’s Plant Palette – the First Dozen

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This gallery contains 56 photos.

A fabulous week of warm sunny weather here has straddled the passage from spring to summer, May to June. Quite different to the 43 mm of rain in 24 hours with which last June began,  or indeed the torrential rain … Continue reading

Looking Up; Beyond Maturity; The Power of Green; and Giverny Revisited.

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This gallery contains 50 photos.

Do you know what this tree is? And they’re pink leaves, not blossom. Answer later. We didn’t, but spied it from afar to the right of the main entrance as we were leaving the Parc de Florale in Paris. This … Continue reading

Early Birds, Show Stoppers and Painting The Garden

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Picture the scene. You’ll have to, since the camera was inside as I turned from filling the watering can and spotted a robin perched on the highest point of the rusty chair’s back. Fluffing herself up (and you’ll see why … Continue reading

Fertility and Frostkist; Historic Snowdrop Hunt, Vertigo and The Charge of The Light Brigade.

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This gallery contains 50 photos.

Fiona often reminds me of the danger of using the word “never” when referring to natural events. No sooner had I written that I’d never seen bumblebees visit snowdrop flowers in our garden, than I spotted one determined to prove me … Continue reading

West is Best; Chomped Crocus and Pollen Tube Survival; Nocturnal Photography and a Lucky Escape.

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This gallery contains 83 photos.

West is Best.   Three words we always relish on the National weather forecasts. Relief assured. Sunrises with distant dense cloud banks smothering the Eastern, and Southern horizon hills. And overhead the blue, blue skies of home.  The weather has picked up, … Continue reading

Birthday Memories: the Vanity of the Long Distance Blogger.

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This gallery contains 262 photos.

Firstly, the answer to the question posed in my last post, is that 1284 litres of water fell on every square metre of our garden from November 2nd to February 9th, (when our garden was filmed for BBC2 Gardener’s World) in … Continue reading

Visitations: Tarka On Stage, Imogen and Typhoon TV, and a Funny Valentine.

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

A week of turmoil here. Highs, highs and more highs, and then, down to earth with a bump. Nearly literally. Thanks to Dave’s very kind loan of his Bushnell HD trail camera (and spare tripod) designed to capture passing wildlife, … Continue reading

Ice Spike Revisited; and the Historic Welsh Snowdrop Hunt.

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This gallery contains 48 photos.

After the excitement, for me, and the interest from readers in the ice spike featured in my previous post, I thought I’d write a little more about these unusual natural phenomena. Ice spikes, or my earlier ice vase (below) from … Continue reading

Ice and Snow and Fireflies; Garden Opening 2016

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This gallery contains 21 photos.

At last. After a nearby West Welsh village, Eglwyswrw, had featured in the National Media as it closed in on the 90 year old UK record for the longest continual run of days with some rainfall recorded (held by the … Continue reading

Smashed and Topped; Clearing Up; Abandonment and Signs of Life

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

2016 begins with some pretty impressive new records. Maximum rainfall levels across many areas of the UK have been smashed, not just broken, and any readers in the UK will no doubt have followed the flood devastation images, (if they … Continue reading

Warm, Wet, Grey, Green, White, Black.

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This gallery contains 31 photos.

Hello friend(s). I’ve missed you. The curiously addictive challenge of chronicling the everyday, off the beaten track. So after nearly a month’s absence, I can briefly gaze again upon a few years’ scribblings and photos before returning to purdur. And … Continue reading

The Stars of the Show; and Under Pressure

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This gallery contains 22 photos.

Who were the real stars of last Thursday? The wonderful enthusiasm and communication skills of our speaker? The gorgeous late autumnal light? Our massed Persicaria vaccinifolia and Saxifrage fortunei? No, on reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst all … Continue reading

Here comes the Sun; Breaking Waves; A Whole Life

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

Recurring themes are the lot of this plodding blogger, who tries to make sense of the goings on in the world around him, as events crash in to disturb the daily routines of life. And so amidst another run of … Continue reading

Memories revisited; a is for Abbot’s; o is for Oak and g is for Gos.

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This gallery contains 89 photos.

Just under 40 years ago. No texts, or mobiles. So a handwritten note shoved in my pigeon hole. Please call in at the Porter’s Lodge. I’d been finding my feet towards the end of my first term at University, and … Continue reading

Whether or Wither the Weather; Coiling, Uncoiling, Sucking and Leverage.

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This gallery contains 53 photos.

July and August 2015 will be remembered as very poor summer months in this part of the world, with some rain on the majority of days, generally low light levels, cool temperatures and very few still days. But we had … Continue reading

Surprise Arrival; Designs and St.David’s; Betony, Valerian and the Pied Piper

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This gallery contains 29 photos.

Like much of the UK, this part of West Wales had a July of huge extremes – the hottest day of the year at the start of the month, then a steady decline to one of the coldest July nights … Continue reading

Timing and Name Changes; Longevity Hill and Pelotons; and Hair Pencils, Love Dust and Sex Brands.

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This gallery contains 58 photos.

Here’s a number sequence. 1.5,0,1.5,0,6.5,16,11,2,0,4,8,3,8,8,0,4, 0.5,5,0,3,1 What does it signify? Well simply the daily rainfall totals in mm for July so far. Nothing too dramatic, and whilst there’s relief that watering is no longer needed for outside vegetable growth, which … Continue reading

Butterfly Bonanza – Jizz, Flibutting, and Etymology; Growing Tomatoes Organically – Update; Roast Apricots with Amaretti, Vanilla, Lemon and Brandy.

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This gallery contains 61 photos.

Recurring themes. Seasonality of thoughts and observation run though a blog like this with inevitable reassuring familiarity. But there are always novelties and new discoveries. Searching for a post I knew I’d written on ‘entomolgical explosions’, I discovered it was … Continue reading

Events, Events, Events:- Wales Wildflower Day; Jane’s Open Garden Party; and Noel Kingsbury Workshop at Gelli Uchaf Garden

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

A rare plug on the blog for 3 special events. Firstly a brief mention that next Sunday, June 28th, at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), the third annual Wales Wildflower day will be hosted. By way of a sneak … Continue reading

Of Hawks and Hobbits; Borderline Gardens and Bedroom Firetails.

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

The day began with a flash. A brown flash. Or should that be a streak? (Word selection has suddenly become much more important…). I’d nipped back to pick up the metal watering can outside the back door, when a fair … Continue reading

Bye, Bye, Bees. Cuckoos and Camassias. Squashing and Pumpkins.

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This gallery contains 52 photos.

How big is a bee’s brain? Clearly much smaller than my ‘pea-brained’ derogatory insult sometimes hurled at siblings in the battles of teenage youth. Although it seems from quite recent archaeological discoveries that one of our ancestor primates (Aegyptopithecus zeuxis) from … Continue reading

Bottle Bank Recycled; Why Do I Do it? Spring Song Symphony – with Warbler.

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This gallery contains 50 photos.

Sublime songs have serenaded us over the last 10 days, whenever we’ve ventured into the lower parts of the garden. Initially I’d thought it was a swallow, without paying it too much attention, and then realised that the mellifluous, clear … Continue reading

Luminosity; Boiling Horn and Lifelong Learning.

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This gallery contains 52 photos.

The extraordinary sunny, dry and chilly, start to April deserves a burst of photos. Only 14 mm of rain has fallen by the 24th. The Rhododendrons are late (Bruce Brechtbill)…… the Amelanchiers have the least flower for years…… the Camellias … Continue reading

The First Spring Day, Daffodil Sunrises and Eclipse; Little Blue Bulbs, Mishtaken Origins, Stuffocation and Scillas.

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This gallery contains 44 photos.

Better late then? March 10th will be recorded as the first proper day of spring for 2015 at Gelli Uchaf. Sunshine, little wind, temperatures nearing double figures, and at last I see my first bumblebee of the year. A fortnight … Continue reading

St. David’s Day – Flowers, Flocks and Festival

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This gallery contains 36 photos.

March 1st, being designated as St.David’s Day, celebrating Wales patron saint Dewi Sant, always challenges me to look at how spring is progressing. In particular how many daffodils are out in the garden. This year has ended up being one … Continue reading

Downs Tools, Walks and West Wales Snowdrops; and Floral Symmetry.

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This gallery contains 38 photos.

No disgust here, but delight at a fabulous clear blue sky on the morning of February 17th. Clearly time to down tools, and walk. The inevitable late stage symptom of rural disease. Not entirely true either since I spent much … Continue reading

Welsh Hill Country RIP Rap Riddle

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

Perhaps before dawn, as warm neck caressing fingers work, will frost thaw, and words flow, to catch the scene, too far away to see? Perhaps my absurd wizard’s cloak of birth, first grey, then white, straddling the dyke, means I’m … Continue reading

Candles in the Wind – The delights of Snow Crocuses; and Spiral Conundrum Reprise

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This gallery contains 49 photos.

How do flowers open? And close? Almost in the twinkling of an eye, and in this chilliest season of the year. The rose can’t manage it, even in the warmest of summer days – the bud unfurls gradually on one … Continue reading

Dine With Bee; Snow and Colour Drops; Moon and Starls; Cutting back on Honesty, and Gardening as Therapy.

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This gallery contains 33 photos.

Contemporary science, pollinator decline, the theory of evolution and crowd funding are all linked with this plea. Please consider supporting the team behind the Urban Pollinators research at Bristol university with their upcoming “Come Dine with Bee” project. Click here … Continue reading

Christmas Cheer, Boxing Day Blooms and Golden Hares

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Few words here. Just a record of this Christmas’ unseasonal flowers which seem to match the sentiments of the first verse read, snuggled up on Christmas morning, once the paperback was retrieved from the stockinged toe and fell open at … Continue reading

Red Robbo and the Waning Stain, and Christmas Cookery.

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

First sharpen your knife. The Kerfuffle. The Catch. The Short Walk. And afterwards, the time to reflect. And this year, with greater numbers of birds brought on from their yellow igloooed kitchen incubation and coaxed from tough dry shells, through … Continue reading

Red Star Days; Tears, Clowns and Bees; Splitting Witches and First Frosts.

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This gallery contains 52 photos.

Here we go again. It’s the time of year for seeing red… Is it a coincidence, or is the frenetic pre Christmas activity for many, seen as the ideal cover? Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, the developers (another … Continue reading

Hunting Gold and Bonfire Skies; Magic M on M’s; and Ovine Debauchery and Entanglement.

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This gallery contains 54 photos.

“What’s the rush?” Was the query from beneath the quilts this morning as I delivered the early morning cuppa to Fiona, still in cosy comfort. I’m on sunrise alert. Partly because the weather and day length make any outdoor activity … Continue reading

Starry, Starry Days; Spindle, Stewartia, Sycamore and Samarai; and A Historic Trio.

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This gallery contains 51 photos.

Gonzalo got me gazing skywards. Frankly, not much excuse was needed as I repeatedly rammed the digging bar into the shrubbery shale, in patterns as close as possible to the 5 dots on a dice side. I’ve slowly learned that … Continue reading

Pomona Pleasures, Harvests and Culls; Multicultural Bulb Harmony; and Firing Up the Greenhouse (Part 12 of Heating a Greenhouse With Leaf Mould Compost).

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

As autumnal tints continue to briefly colour parts of the garden, it’s time to record one of the successes of this year’s exceptionally dry summer…Growing apples successfully at 800 feet, with annual rainfall of up to 83 inches (2012), was … Continue reading

Painting with Putty and Tupping Time; Dragonfly Dipping and Smashing; Picton Perfection.

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The yard at dawn is quiet. The inveterate chatterers have left, reminding me that the swallows’ leaving and arrival are very fixed annual seasonal events which hardly change from year to year. In 2014 a switch to winds from a Northerly direction … Continue reading

Bee Respectful; A Teatime Swarm; and Moths, Iron and Funnels.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

10 days ago, honeybees returned to Gelli Uchaf full time. They’ve been visiting regularly, but a surprise phone call on Monday heralded our neighbour Andy, dropping off a hive he’d collected from higher up the mountain, just after teatime. When … Continue reading

As Dull as Ditch Water.

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Our recently revealed, wet meadow’s old ditches… Leached out, decades old, decayed detritus. Memories of previous existence. Dusts rainbowed over muddy sludge. Reincarnated by recent rain. Colours bleed. Animation returns. Dull? As Ditch Water? Death, or Life?

All of a Flutter, Flap, and Buzz – Vanessa, Cynthia, Poly and David; Lining Up and Tripping Out.

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This gallery contains 45 photos.

August 5th saw us pass the annual ‘Welsh fifteen moment’, when more than 15 butterflies simultaneously appear around our multiple Buddleja davidii bushes (B. davidii is named after the Basque missionary and explorer in China, Father Armand David). As happened … Continue reading

Restoration Rain; Many Blooms Still Linger There; Hunting Hydrangeas; Manual Hay Baler – a Design

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This gallery contains 55 photos.

The novelty of it all. Standing under an umbrella. Listening to, and smelling, the rain… I’d made a second trip down to the stream to photograph the novelty of that. Revived by barely 10 mm of overnight rain, it was … Continue reading

Time to Fly; Plus Couleur et Plus Pluie; Rattling Up the Numbers.

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

Writing this up under oppressive heat and humidity with not a breath of wind as we wait for much needed rain. On June 27th I finally got round to taking some photos of this year’s swallow brood. Unusually, one of … Continue reading