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

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

What A Week!

Gallery

This gallery contains 12 photos.

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.

Gallery

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

Gallery

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

Early Birds, Show Stoppers and Painting The Garden

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

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.

Gallery

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

Ice Spike Revisited; and the Historic Welsh Snowdrop Hunt.

Gallery

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

Gallery

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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

Gallery

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

Of Hawks and Hobbits; Borderline Gardens and Bedroom Firetails.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

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

Gallery

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).

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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.

Gallery

This gallery contains 20 photos.

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.

Gallery

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

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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

Rainbow Flowers; On the Make; Heating a Greenhouse with Compost Update (Part 11)

Gallery

This gallery contains 28 photos.

Blog Catch Up Time. 13 days with no rain. 15 days, but for a brief shower which, moving East, arced the landscape with a fantastic full rainbow, exceeding my wide angle lens’ ability to frame it, and provided the image … Continue reading

Plant Tapestries and Meadow Management; Vespine Delights – Garlic and Honey; A Crock’s Tool.

Gallery

This gallery contains 88 photos.

With so much to look at in the garden over the last fortnight, why devote most of an overdue post to meadow management thoughts? Simply because it’s difficult to rival the beauty and diversity of a traditional hay meadow, and … Continue reading

Losing Control; Honesty is a Virtue; Heat and Light or Society’s Trash?

Gallery

This gallery contains 49 photos.

The curse of strategic gear failure, in the form of knee and back issues have struck. So typing or camera contortions are limited. Let alone serious gardening. But this does focus the mind on the illusion of a false sense … Continue reading

The Missing Senses; Easter Hunts and Bleeding Hearts; and A (For Now?) Shared Secret.

Gallery

This gallery contains 53 photos.

What a fabulous but exhausting fortnight we’ve enjoyed in the garden. Just compensation for the poor wet winter and disappointing freeze drying of last spring’s Easterlies. But how to record this in a blog? My brother Mark has told me … Continue reading

Historic Choices, Succession, and Digging up Gold

Gallery

This gallery contains 49 photos.

As usual, my post title was dreamed up over a week ago, but to my great delight some internet searching last night has given it a ‘double edged’ or even ‘Halberdian’ meaning. To encourage you to follow through to the … Continue reading

Coloured Cues; Mossy Mulch; and Easter Eggs

Gallery

This gallery contains 53 photos.

For now the turkey pollinating brush can take a rest in the kitchen, job done on the nectarines and apricots for this year. But as the blossom faded and there was that expectant wait to see whether any fruit had … Continue reading

Belly Down and Buzzing; Hellebores’ Hurrah. NGS Snowdrop and Spring Bulbs Garden ‘Fourth Week’

Gallery

This gallery contains 53 photos.

After weeks with no dry weather (1089mm rain for the 3 ‘winter’ months here!), West Wales weather finally reverted to normal (?) and has given us a sun drenched and completely dry 10 days. And the very first sunny day … Continue reading

Toms; Toms; Toms; TOMS. Colour In the Kitchen; and NGS Snowdrop Garden and Spring Bulbs 2014 ‘Third Week’ at Gelli Uchaf

Gallery

This gallery contains 66 photos.

I must spend a bit more time featuring the fabulous Crocus tommasinianus, which is a mainstay of our spring garden. Named in honour of a Hungarian botanist Muzio de Tommasini, it’s native to parts of Hungary, Bulgaria and the old … Continue reading

NGS Snowdrop Garden and Spring Bulbs 2014 – ‘Second Week’ at Gelli Uchaf

Gallery

This gallery contains 23 photos.

What a difference a few days makes at this time of the year. Particularly if you get a little sunshine. As the second in a series of mainly image based posts to record the progress of the spring bulb emergence … Continue reading

NGS Snowdrop Garden and Spring Bulbs 2014 – ‘First Week’ at Gelli Uchaf

Gallery

This gallery contains 25 photos.

Forget the wettest ever Welsh winter… February’s Fantastic Flowers are loving it and blooming at Gelli Uchaf… This by chance is my 100th post, so I’m relaxing and making it very short on words or ideas… It’s designed to capture … Continue reading

New Year, New Word; Crescents; Fat Buds and Excitement; and the Top 25 Snowdrops.

Gallery

This gallery contains 33 photos.

SUPERHYDROPHOBICITY. Even the WordPress spell check flags it up as a new or unrecognised word. It’s nothing to do with our extreme dislike of the current run of wet and windy weather that gave us record rainfall in December 2013 … Continue reading

AAA – Avoid All Acronyms; The Dragon Sleeps and The Sky People are Coming.

Gallery

This gallery contains 37 photos.

A much heralded Geminid meteorite shower round the middle of the month had me waking at 3.00am to a bedroom far too light in spite of drawn curtains and blinds. The moon was still high in the sky. (Click here … Continue reading

Seeing Red; Gandalf the Grey; The End of The Seasons; and Peace Music

Gallery

This gallery contains 58 photos.

The skies have frequently been amazing of late, mainly in brief interludes at dawn and dusk, between grey, mild, and increasingly wet days…The sun is surely the same (?), but the cloud effects and the colours have been dramatic. Like … Continue reading

Hail, Queen Olga; Fighting Ferns; Cold Shoulders and Dark Heralds.

Gallery

This gallery contains 50 photos.

It seemed quite appropriate to have a heavy hail shower 10 days ago, to greet the first open snowdrops of the year, which perhaps otherwise could have seemed out of place in a still largely autumnal landscape … I’d planted these … Continue reading