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

Gallery

This gallery contains 70 photos.

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 27 photos.

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

Gallery

This gallery contains 67 photos.

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 56 photos.

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

Gallery

This gallery contains 132 photos.

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

Seaweed; Germination; Kissed alone by Gods

Gallery

This gallery contains 40 photos.

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 38 photos.

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

Overwhelmed?

Gallery

This gallery contains 72 photos.

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 82 photos.

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 3 photos.

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

Winter’s Dawn; Last Plantings; Tasty Treats

Gallery

This gallery contains 74 photos.

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

“When Falling Asleep” – an Autumnal Swansong.

Gallery

This gallery contains 60 photos.

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

September

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

      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; Swallow, little Swallow; Roll your Own; Under Attack.

Gallery

This gallery contains 57 photos.

What halcyon days, the August 2019 bank holiday weekend. A record breaker for temperatures across the UK, and here as well as heat, 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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 20 photos.

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 31 photos.

In a blatant bit of promotional activity, I’m asking any readers of this 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 national … Continue reading

Ramblings and Roses; Meadow Medleys.

Gallery

This gallery contains 169 photos.

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.

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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?

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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?

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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

No Place To Hide

Gallery

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 20 photos.

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

Gallery

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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

Psychadelia, Fall, Liberty and Spaced Out Badgers? Welsh Wizardry Wonder

Gallery

This gallery contains 36 photos.

Struggling for a title. Even a word to get me going. I hit on psychedelic. And a journey of discovery begins. Isn’t that what’s meant to happen?  (All the images accompanying this post are from the garden in the last … Continue reading

Meadowed Out and Good Hair Days; Kapoored Constructions – Anished Arachnids.

Gallery

This gallery contains 71 photos.

At last a rain soaked scene keeps me indoors and tempts me to the relief of the keyboard. The rakes hang stiff on the old smithy wall. The pitchforks lean straight, tip toed on sharp pronged steel, and achy muscles … Continue reading