About thegardenimpressionists - Julian and Fiona Wormald

Julian and Fiona Wormald met and married whilst at Cambridge University. Shortly after qualifying we established our own veterinary practice in Bristol which we ran for over 20 years before relocating to West Wales. We have restored our derelict longhouse home and created a garden over the last 23 years, which we now occasionally open for charity, by appointment, for the N.G.S. About 7 years ago we started "The Garden Impressionists" to reflect our current ideas. Our principal gardening influences over the years have included the gardens and writings of Claude Monet, Beth Chatto, Joy Larkom and William Robinson. Incorporating some of their ideas and philosophy into our own garden, alongside our own ideas of what is important for this location and climate, has kept us physically and mentally challenged as the garden has developed.

Images and Words, Entangled Life, Pop Up Opening in Early September, Perseids


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My last post was rushed out before a frantic but delightful weekend, when our son’s family and 6 grandchildren descended, overlapping with a pre-planned NGS pop-up weekend. This was promoted as part of a BBC Radio 2 event, “The Big … Continue reading



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Extreme. A single word, reflecting a manic month, when, with little respite from time spent outside, the charm of putting together a blog post has dissipated in much the same way as water has been sucked from this, now dessicating, … Continue reading

Midsummer Meadows; Catching My Eye, and Tom, Dick and Harry; Busy Bees.


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Midsummer’s past. The nights are drawing in. Although the inevitability gnaws away at my consciousness on a dank foggy morning, this year it’s different. Our discussed expectation, as we toiled with the hay last year in the upper meadow, was … Continue reading

Early June in the Garden


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This short compilation was stitched together in a hurry, to coincide with our talk on June 17th on Noel Kingsbury and Annie Guilfoyle’s Garden Masterclass Thursday teatime chat at 6 pm. The limitations of Zoom means sharing videos clips on … Continue reading

Spring, Light, Change; Stopped in my Tracks; The Power of the Super Moon


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Sometimes it’s worth revisiting thoughts. “But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud. There could I marvel My birthday Away but the weather turned around.” … Continue reading

World Bee Day 2021


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World Bee Day 2021. I’ve just bought a new external Røde VideoMic NTG microphone to link into my standard Lumix FZ 1000 bridge camera, to enable me to capture sound better without the machinery rumble which comes from the camera’s … Continue reading

A Coastal Break; Tulips and Daffodils; Molehills and Miners; Water Collectors; and Conflicts of Interest?


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A late date change, suggested by our lovely amenable hosts, meant our planned short dash to Pembrokeshire for a 4 night recharge, was still possible, having been just the wrong side of the deadline for self-catering accommodation to re-open in … Continue reading

Narcissus Nirvana; Garden Masterclass; Lockdown and N.G.S. Garden Opening; Mad about Moles.


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What a pair of words to place together. Crudely linked by their common first letter, yet full of rich and varied cultural depth, and filled with distant, ancient meaning. Much of it unknown to this blogger, before I was inspired … Continue reading

Winter and the Cold Blob; Snowdrops – History, Myth and Murk; Closing the Circle; Large Woody Debris.


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It’s been a long month here since I last sat and typed a post. A lot has happened and I have to confess that my usual get up and go has been worn down a little, and as often is … Continue reading

Under the Weather; The Iron Mouse Mystery; Winter Bees; Conundra.


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The weather has continued to be a dominant factor in life here over the last 4 weeks. Culminating this last week in what I can only describe as brutal conditions for several days. However, to rewind, named storm Christoff, battered … Continue reading

Digital, or Print? The First White Wave, and Reasons and Rime.


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What a start to 2021. Just when you thought 2020 did pretty well at shaking up the world’s complacency, along comes 2021, and already we’ve had the storming of the Capitol by a Trump supporting mob, a pending second impeachment … Continue reading

Hope Springs Eternal in the Human Breast


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What a strange Christmas this year. No physical visitors, but a wonderful, across the globe, multifamily, multigenerational, even multi continent, ZOOM call. In Wales, a recent apparent surge in Covid case numbers, the discovery of a new “mutant” and “more … Continue reading

Big Fish and Creative Synergies; Ice Spike, Glass Eel; and Splitting Lilies.


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I’ve always been a sucker for synchronicities – those serendipitous events colliding in time or meaning, yet with no apparent causal link. The word was first used to describe the concept in the 1920’s, by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, who … Continue reading

Blue Moon; Defuzzing; Milestone and Himalayan Light Bulb Moments.


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Were you lucky enough to see October’s Halloween blue moon? Many will know that the “once in a blue moon” event when we can see, weather permitting, two full moons in the same month does indeed happen pretty infrequently. The … Continue reading

Masts; Memories; Dust to Flesh.


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I can’t recall a year like this. Never mind the “pandemic”, I’m referring to our lovely Oak tree, draped over the barn roof. (The valleys though, aren’t singing. Locked down again, for 17 days from Friday. So listen instead to … Continue reading

You Are What You Eat; Butterfly Kiss; Shake, Waggle, Tremble, Bash ‘n Beep.


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For many decades, I’ve been convinced that our diets have a huge impact on our health and state of well being, but a few recent observations and discoveries had me trying to track down who was the first to coin … Continue reading

Mundane and Thrills; Perceived Colour Challenges; Tropical Perseids and Battling Sexes.


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I feel very fortunate that we’re always kept busy here, even if much of what we do is repetitive, manual and mundane. It’s good to have elements of effort which are routine, even if conditions make them more challenging, so … Continue reading

Kick the Can, Foot Tasting, Feather Tag, and Garden Opening Update


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I guess we’ve all played kick the can at some point, a great multi generational game though possibly needing modification in these days of social distancing – actual physical contact probably not being a good idea. But I’m now programming … Continue reading

NGS Garden Openings; Flowers and Drones and Swarms.


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I’m beginning with a quick update on the current situation regarding possible garden visits to Gelli Uchaf for the rest of 2020. National Gardens Scheme (NGS) gardens in Wales are still currently unable to open to the general public, though … Continue reading

Time To Prove; Frosty Formatting; Worth the Wait


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Little did I think, as I worked in early April writing words for “This Glorious Spring”, that began with these three lines: In this most glorious spring, our cruel Gods with cunning irony, And perfect twenty twenty vision, hung out … Continue reading

Anti-Social Life; Lenten Lampreys; Mark, Les, Red Masons and Green Fairies; R-0 and Intolerant, Patient Gardeners.


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Fiona told me a friend had recently shared a Facebook post along the lines of : “You don’t realise how anti-social you are until a pandemic comes along…. and then you discover that your life has hardly changed”. There’s certainly … Continue reading

Life in the Slow Stream; Sally and Harry; This Glorious Spring; A Virtual Garden Tour


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With apologies to The Eagles, “Life in the slow stream, Surely gonna ease your soul” seems a suitable line to begin a post typically full of the observations that always happen down here when the weather is wonderful. And DRY! … Continue reading

Egg Run and Floral Boosts.


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Early on Mothering Sunday morning, March 22nd 2020, in glorious sunshine, on the day after this sort of headline hit the news media – Coronavirus: ‘Unprecedented’ crowds in Wales despite warnings and the day before the nation heard in a … Continue reading

Seaweed; Germination; Kissed alone by Gods


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Monday March 16th dawned clear, cold with a light frost, and sunny for a good couple of hours. Thrushes were serenading, small feathers drifted across the yard, as house sparrows and wagtails built nests. By 9.30 honeybees were visiting the … Continue reading

What’s a Long Time? Or. A Thoroughly Good Rant.


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If “a week is a long time in politics” ( first coined by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1960’s), then how long is a year in weather terms? 2020 seems to be continuing the trend for the weather to … Continue reading

A Day Without Rain; Tears in my Heart.


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It doesn’t matter how many forecasts are pored over, the weather here is fickle, so rising early last Thursday, the date of our first pop up open garden open day of 2020, the desire to draw the curtains and peer … Continue reading



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Me, or you, by the end of this? Let’s get the word out of the way first. Apparently derived by combining “over”, with the Middle English verb “whelmen”, meaning to overturn, turn upside down, or submerge completely. Click here for … Continue reading

New Decade – Old Bloomers; Apistasy; Queens and Araldite; Mice and Soaring Music.


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New year. New decade. What a beginning! Welcome to the roaring twenties, with some previously unseen images from early January exactly 10 years ago. Whilst struggling to get started on this post, news has run ahead of me. The suspicion … Continue reading

A Slow, Fast, Welsh Christmas.


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Lurgy struck, our planned visitors had cancelled, which meant Christmas Day dawned bright, quiet, and relaxed after the previous evening’s calm was spoiled by ominous loud tapping from an kitchen internal wall. Checking the under-stair cupboard showed signs of recent … Continue reading

Distraction: Of Mice and Bees and Salmon.


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Though not necessarily in that order.Locked into the combination of rain, frequently grey skies, and the lethargy that comes with insufficient light waves winging their way towards my retinas, comes the added torpor induced by the recent media coverage of … Continue reading

Winter’s Dawn; Last Plantings; Tasty Treats


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Fortunately, a noisy wiper blade made me think twice about heading out for an evening talk last week, with the forecast heavy rain. Just as well, since with no warning hints from any of our weather forecasts, as I nipped … Continue reading

Wales Fungus Day, Endozoochory and Halloween Tongues


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A fortnight ago, we headed down to the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) for their annual Wales Fungus day event. In spite of a poor forecast, as always there were several interesting talks and events laid on, including their … Continue reading

“When Falling Asleep” – an Autumnal Swansong.


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After my last long post, heavy on history, this one is much shorter on words, and more garden focused. It begins with a tribute to Jessye Norman, singing below the third of Richard Strauss’ wonderful Four Last Songs – Beim … Continue reading

An Honourable Defeat; (Their)story and a Bag of Memories.


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I recently checked out the Shed of The Year competition website to see who the category and overall winners were, since we were sworn to secrecy in an email a few weeks ago having been told The Hut hadn’t won, … Continue reading

Starry Days; Counting Colours; Collecting, Cutting and Sowing.


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As autumn proper has arrived, and October is a mere gale and thunderstorm away, it’s a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the delights of Dahlias.Very late to the Dahlia party, I’ve realised that they provide a wonderful autumnal … Continue reading



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      September Today I yearn serenity.   And on this first morn, Shorn of politics and prorogation, September smiles.   Struggling through horizoned clouds, A window opens; golden light floods Distant Pumsaint’s rich veined coum.   The hidden … Continue reading

Halcyon Days; Swallows; Roll your Own; Under Attack.


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What halcyon days, the August 2019 bank holiday weekend. A record breaker for temperatures across the UK, and here too with heat and wall to wall sunshine. Yet what of the origin of “halcyon days”? You have to return to … Continue reading

Pop Up Garden Opening – Sunday August 18th; Vegetable Ideas; Floral Meadows.


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Autumn has arrived here early, in the last 48 hours. Rain. Gales. Home fires. Even if the air is still warm. After what must rank as one of the best summers we can recall here, life can calm down a … Continue reading

Shed of the Year 2019 and the Dunbar Number; Bees are Back; Jewelled Insects.


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In a blatant bit of promotional activity, I’m asking any readers of this post to support “The Hut” in a public vote to find the Cuprinol Shed of The Year 2019. Having decided to enter “The Hut” into this annual … Continue reading

Ramblings and Roses; Meadow Medleys.


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With most of the hay we need for the next winter already safely harvested, we headed off, relieved, for what passes as a significant break for us in early July, spending 6 nights away travelling up to Northumberland and back. … Continue reading

Guerillas; Words; Hatch; Meadow Magic; Robbing; Tick, Tock.


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Just in time for a bit of planned guerilla planting, or more accurately sowing, our eldest son and fiancée arrived at the end of the first week in June. Following the wettest day in 3 months, a quick trawl beneath … Continue reading

Hannah; Margaret; Claire and Mad May


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As always here, no news isn’t good, or bad, just a reflection of the weather – almost no rain, and too much to do. I should start with a quick reference to Hannah, which we hope will be the last, … Continue reading

Easter: Aggression, Lunarcy, Bullhead, Hornet, Nomad, Butterfly Bonanza and Grandchildren.


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Was it the full moon? Or the sudden warming in temperatures last week? Or impending Easter – which won’t fall this late in April again until 2030? Or the threat of predators? At that stage unseen.We’ll never know, but after … Continue reading

Last Crops and B-Benefits; Reptilian Repose; Cariad and April Snow; Magic Excitement.


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Warning – this is a long catch up-post.And for anyone quick off the mark, we’re holding a “pop up” Garden open day for charity for the National Garden Scheme, this Easter Saturday at 2.30 pm – but you MUST contact … Continue reading

Ffloss; Well Choughed; Kestrel; Snakeshead; Seedlings.


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Seizing the moment on a currently rare March morning, forecast to be dry and sunny after much rain, cloud and wind during the first fortnight of this highly variable month, Fiona had plotted a circular route centred around the coastal … Continue reading

An Idyllic Calm? Or Perfect Storm?


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What a fortnight! Spanning the days between two saintly commemorations. Firstly, Italian martyr St. Valentine, tortured and then put to death on February 14th 269, after refusing to revoke his faith to the emperor Claudius. Beaten with clubs and then … Continue reading

Imbolc, Brighid, Mary and B-Day


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February 1st and 2nd are important dates. Or certainly used to be in this part of the world. February 1st being the ancient Celtic festival date for Imbolc, when winter was considered to be passing into spring. A word of … Continue reading

Could do Better; Recomposing; Without Love; Flowers and Insects.


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It’s only mid January, and already I’m thinking about next year’s bulb order. Significant numbers of larger bulbs aren’t going to be on it, maybe just a few Narcissus ‘Rjinveld’s Early Sensation’ but certainly lots more of those smaller gems which … Continue reading