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.

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

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

Just in time for a bit of planned guerilla planting, or more accurately sowing, our eldest son and fiancee 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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This gallery contains 92 photos.

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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This gallery contains 60 photos.

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, … Continue reading

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

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This gallery contains 32 photos.

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 … Continue reading

Ffloss; Well Choughed; Kestrel; Snakeshead; Seedlings.

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

Seizing the moment on a rare March (2019) 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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This gallery contains 17 photos.

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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This gallery contains 42 photos.

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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This gallery contains 44 photos.

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 … Continue reading

Looking Back; High Pressure and Maddening Julian Oscillations; NGS Snowdrop Festival 2019

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This gallery contains 16 photos.

Since creating this blog and website I occasionally look back, with interest, at how things have changed over the years. In this, the first written post of the New Year, I thought I’d begin with reflections on some of the … Continue reading

Earthtongues and Tapers; Snowdrops and Carbon Storage; B-Lines; Keeping up with the Waltons.

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

At last I’ve made it to the Gower. An invitation that popped into our inbox for a day’s course on managing land to help our native invertebrates caught my eye. Particularly since one of the tutors was the naturalist Steven … Continue reading

Insane, Vain Curate; Paradise, Parasols and Coppers; How should we then Live?

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

This may be a confusing slog,  (no typo)… Both to write and read…A blurred rush, as is my own self imposed challenge over all these years, through topics related to the natural world around us in rural West Wales, and how … Continue reading

Callum Calls; Lunch with a View; Scarlet Caterpillar Club; Compost, Worm Cities and Dragon’s Breath.

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

It finally happened. We’ve been hit by the severe rainfall event which we’ve expected for many years, and the prospect of which had driven all our work creating rain management channels on our access track. However before this, preluded by … Continue reading

Fantastic Fungi and Web Watching

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This gallery contains 24 photos.

Every once in a while a big concept strikes home, creating a damascene like moment. I reckon my heightened awareness of the importance of fungi in the ground beneath our feet, which is outlined below, will prove to be almost … Continue reading

Pictures or Words: Just Another Day.

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

Pictures?   Or Words?   Another Day   Saturday morning, before Today begins. Warm, still, silent. Up here. Crow crudely cracks the soundscape open. Beetles blurrrr West. Blushing pink flushes swiftly gold. And valleys haze. So calm, so calm.   … Continue reading

Colours; Mosquito Hawks; Dandelions and Trust.

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This gallery contains 55 photos.

Naked ladies, Devil’s Paintbrush, Brimstone, Mosquito Hawks, Hordes of toads, Erupting craneflies, Dandelion diversity… The list of interesting observations here in the last 10 days has certainly kept my eyes wide open, and my shutter finger twitchy. But I’ll begin … Continue reading

Mushrooms, Mistles and Myremycology

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This gallery contains 38 photos.

The fabulous summer of 2018 ended for us in late July. Our weather has fortunately reverted to type here, with grey days, dampness, drizzle and occasional deluges. Only 3 days with no rain as of August 27th. However August is … Continue reading

Why? Flowers and Insects; Hanging on; Diverse Forages; Relief

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This gallery contains 89 photos.

Ignoring, no, deleting the spam comment thoughtfully sidelined by WordPress on a “Practical Pregnancy Plan” as I logged in today, this is a post with a few unanswered “Why’s”? A simple question I always dreaded hearing from a client. Demanding … Continue reading

Heat, Drought, Stress, Fire; Flashy Misses; Floral Meadow; Coastal Cove.

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This gallery contains 123 photos.

More rare than even an England football team playing in a World Cup semifinal. Having to write a post preoccupied with the effects of an ongoing heatwave, sunshine most days, and the drought conditions which continue to affect us here. … Continue reading

Explosions; Swarms, Scents and Parental Care.

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This gallery contains 63 photos.

June 2018 proved me wrong. Dramatically. After the apparent crash of many species populations here in 2018, which I’d written about last time… Came the rebound. Or recovery, and an explosion in numbers… It began with the bumblebees on the first … Continue reading

Memories of May – Sun, Wheels, Bells, Clocks, Hay, Mother. Crash.

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This gallery contains 98 photos.

How shall I remember May 2018? Certainly not the 30 mm deluge on May 2nd which now seems an age ago. The abiding memory will be, at last, of a lengthy dry spell, with much fantastic sunshine and warm days. … Continue reading

Scream; Lamb Whispering; Aphrodisiac Orchids; Painting with Narcissi; Deliverance.

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This gallery contains 24 photos.

This week, the evening after we’d decided we could relax and leave our last single lambs outside for the night, I had my usual pre bathtime use of the watering can outside the back door. The lambs have done very … Continue reading

Lapsed Time; Hand Weeding; Snowdrop Farewell; Nos Da-Good Night.

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This gallery contains 45 photos.

  __________ Lapsed Time Slow down, young lad. Take time to find the gaudy foil wrapped Eggs and rabbits hidden ‘mongst The mossy greens.   Slow down, young lass. Paint shells and papers, Gaudy bright, but leave the Brows and … Continue reading

Survival, Tracking, Sniper; Redemption Rain.

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This gallery contains 39 photos.

Survival is a common thread here. Trivially, WordPress have just reminded me that I’ve now been writing, and photographing for these posts, for 7 years. I’ve survived for that long. This surprised me – that on one level I’m still … Continue reading

No Place To Hide

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This gallery contains 96 photos.

A night disturbed by strong winds, and fitful thoughts about what to choose as a title for this post. How to capture the roller coaster of experiences here since my last post? Carnage, The Beast from the East. Arctic. Welsh … Continue reading

Eruption Week.

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Eruption   Long before the golden blue-grey Tints hint breaking skies, and Sun, once more. Howling Easterlies rake the facing slopes. With poached mud, frozen. Hard. Some time before the landing Creyr, wings folded in, Took patient station on the … Continue reading

NGS Snowdrop and Spring Bulb Weekend 2018

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

I thought I’d do a near wordless post, having just held our annual snowdrop opening weekend for charity for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS). I last did a similar post in 2014, and it’s surprising how the garden has changed … Continue reading

A Welcome Wind; Beyond Blue Monday; Familiar Haunts, Surprise Treasures.

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This gallery contains 85 photos.

The New Year began with snowdrops aplenty, but as I mentioned last time, no warmth for them to spread their petals wide, so a selection were brought inside for a New Year’s Day lunch, along with some snipped Daphne bholua … Continue reading

Ripening, Falling, Dropping, Melzing; Shuttlecocks and Sowbreads; Ty Unnos, Rebecca and Dylan.

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This gallery contains 85 photos.

How much energy is needed to melt a cubic metre of snow? This question popped into my mind after our previous heavy snowfall here, and whether we’d manage to escape down our track and make it to our Christmas gardening … Continue reading

Nightmares; Dreamscapes; Snow and Acts of God.

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This gallery contains 63 photos.

I rarely dream. Never have. Just the odd bizarre vague memory on waking. And usually sleep quite well, for which I’m grateful. However in the last month my sleep has been unexpectedly broken twice. Firstly by an insect loudly buzzing … Continue reading

Early Arrivals and Departure Times; Starry Days; Not Weeds and Insects.

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This gallery contains 116 photos.

This week the valley roared, the birch bowed… the daisies danced …and the lashed larch littered mossy paths with twiggy lichened debris.  Storm Ophelia’s much heralded arrival lived up to expectations. Potentially movable detritus was tidied, travel plans for Monday … Continue reading

September’s Song: Orange and Black – Hibernating and Recycling

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This gallery contains 76 photos.

The garden mourns… So begins the poem written by Hermann Hesse, in translation, which you can read in full below, and which was chosen by Richard Strauss, right at the end of his life, to form the basis of one … Continue reading

Pitching, Rolling, Yawing and Probing – Humming Buddlejas, and Ripping Badgers

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This gallery contains 74 photos.

It seems a long time ago, but we did briefly achieve our annual Welsh fifteen moment in the garden this year, when more than fifteen butterflies, of the usual 3 suspect species – Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock had … Continue reading

Toil, Aerial Conflict, and a Garden Walk.

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This gallery contains 85 photos.

Another month of significant physical effort here, in part influenced by a late season request to look round the garden by a small recce group for a possible party flying in from over the pond. Sometime next year. Perhaps. We’ve … Continue reading

National Meadows Day; Sowing Beauty or Tainted Love; Buttercups, Pizzas and Seasonal Invertebrates.

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This gallery contains 61 photos.

The first of July seems a long time ago. Hay has been cut. Twice. A shed has been built… Seeds have been shed – pale stem straws shimmering…  Or catapulted, crisp, hairy and augured… Rain has fallen, at times heavily. Miraculously, … Continue reading

Elysium: Power, Money and Four English Gardens; Birthday Bash and Books.

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This gallery contains 97 photos.

A threshold crossed this month. A number to blame for the stamina reduction, typed letter reversing, and creaky joints.  An excuse. Or an opportunity? Changed perspectives threaten. The slippery slope beckons beyond the summit. Or will it be more of … Continue reading

June Jewels; Summer Spate; Crocus Clubs and Cuckoo Spit

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This gallery contains 70 photos.

Life has exploded this June. It probably happens every June, but maybe weather conditions have concentrated the process this year. And when I say life I really mean the invertebrates which share our garden and meadows. I get used to … Continue reading

Waves, Meadowfoam and Blowing in the Wind; Colonial Plants and Control.

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

Waves have gripped me over the last fortnight. Made me stand and gaze. And wonder. Not those which batter our nearby coasts, crashing on rocky cliffs, or transporting drifting fleets of jelly fish, as seen recently near Cwmtydu.But those that … Continue reading

Branded; Rooting Down and Linking In; May and Montanas; and a Little Shared Limelight.

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

Frost. Sun. Wind. Fire. RAIN. The elemental forces which have played out over the beginning of May and shaped our outside work, and the garden’s feel. Never mind the gardeners’ state of mind. Following on from the very dry April, … Continue reading

Why Do We Do It? Nature Calls; A Cornish Garden Party; Specialist Nurseries.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

I’ve been pondering the issue of why we garden of late. Why do we do it? A simple five words which interestingly brought to mind for both of us a clearly remembered song from decades ago – though I’d mistakenly … Continue reading

As Good as it Gets, and Good Timing; Daffodils; Dippers in the Valley Of Flowers.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

A day after the novelty of waking with the bedroom suffused with golden light, I hit the keys under grey gloom first thing. Lowering mists, a full rain gauge, and the still cold saturated ground, struggling to recover from yesterday’s … Continue reading

Cometh the Hour; Visitors and Visits; Pond Life and Death

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

As February lurches violently beyond dangerous Doris (storm number four of this year’s named sequence) and onwards towards St. David’s day, there have been two recent fleeting occasions when the sun has shone and the temperatures risen. And in our … Continue reading

Rushed Out, Snowed Under, Hedged In, Hunting On.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

A rushed post, between the flipping weather patterns from dry sunny and cold, to wet, mild grey. The nocturnal serenading Tawnies mimic my angst. To Do, To Do, To Do … But daily seasonal reminders of the natural world springing back … Continue reading

New Year, New Week, New Buzz

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This gallery contains 62 photos.

The first week of January. What a week for being outside! Pardon? Yes, really. Although no spectacular sunrises and the weather has oscillated, as usual, from minus 8 frosts with feathered, blue-from-cold, greenhouse windows, and the first ice spike of … Continue reading

Hornets, Wagtails and Wrens; Silver Linings and Seasonal Snowdrops

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

Our resilience planning had a pre Christmas test, when at the height of our flu, we suffered quite a long power outage. Having basked in the warm glow from our wood pellet stove, and the novelty of automated central heating … Continue reading

Red, Green, Gold, Black, and Whiteness – Christmas Colours? Seasonal Shearing, Silk Snipping and Seamstressing; Knockout

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This gallery contains 35 photos.

We’d had the expected call earlier in the week, so everything was organised for the Saturday. A necessary advent calendar event, impinging on the usual pre-Christmas rush, such as exists even in these rural parts. Doors opened and closed. A … Continue reading

Bits and Pieces; Word of Mouth; Head In the Clouds

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

Starting to write this on the last day of November, after a freezing night, as the thin clouds glow neon pink towards the Black Mountain. Sennybridge made the national weather news at 7.00 am with minus 9.4 degrees C. On … Continue reading

Abscission – Cutting Loose, Breaking Free.

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This gallery contains 61 photos.

A definition. In the early C17th, a century before the masons raised the mauve rubblestone walls of St.Edith’s, a wordsmith merged the Latin Ab (off) with Scindere (to cut), to create abscindere, or abscissio, and thence today’s abscission. An action noun meaning … Continue reading