Snow Sheep; Colour Perception In a Monochrome World; Otter Show – Snow Tunnel.

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This gallery contains 46 photos.

As I write the text, all the snow which features in the images below has finally melted, and been washed away in further deluges, preluded by a brief power outage inducing storm on Saturday, with savage thunder and lightning which … Continue reading

Ice Vases and Snow; Golden Slumbers; Heavenly Hamamelis; New Year, New Look.

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This gallery contains 67 photos.

After taking the hair dryer to the ice encrusted satellite dish this morning, and getting connected again, I can write this post and feature an Ice Vase. Until last weekend, I didn’t know that such structures existed. But I’d been … Continue reading

Food and Frost; Trust and Goodbyes; Autumn Leaf Mould Energy Potential (Part 4 : Heating a Greenhouse with an External Compost Bed – First Month’s Experience).

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This gallery contains 34 photos.

Having been caught out by the severity of the last 2 winters, we were a bit better prepared this year, when the cold weather arrived early. The last week has been very cold, but the carrots we lifted at the … Continue reading

Patterns and Perceptions; Autumn Leaf Mould Energy Potential (Part 3 – Heating a Greenhouse with an External Compost Bed:- Design Tweaks, Internal Set Up and Initial Temperature Findings); Growth Limiting Factors.

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This gallery contains 60 photos.

To put everyone out of the suspense left after my last post, I’m going to show the starting point of the mystery image. Thanks to Carolyn for having a go at the identification. As you can see it’s an image … Continue reading

Hello November; Autumn Leaf Mould Energy Potential (Part 2 – Construction – Heating A Greenhouse with An External Compost Bed); Bat and Butterfly

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This gallery contains 32 photos.

Most of this post will be devoted to the detail of constructing ‘The Reactor’ – a compost bed designed to help to heat the greenhouse and keep it frost free over the winter. (Addendum: – There are a lot of posts … Continue reading

Goodbye October; Inching, Leaping and Dying Back; Autumn Leaf Mould Energy Potential (Part 1 – The Idea)

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This gallery contains 33 photos.

As the light seeps from the grey wet scene at 3.30pm, I’m taking a pause from work on “The Reactor” to catch up with a blog Post. More about this project later, but first a few of the gorgeous and … Continue reading

Autumn Leaf Colour Physiology; The Big Bulb Plant Ends, Nearly.

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

I always loved my university courses in physiology and biochemistry. I didn’t find them easy, but even all those years ago there was the realisation that life wasn’t just amazing at the whole organism or species level, but almost more … Continue reading

Insect Friendly Flowers; More Mushrooms; Lighting The Fire.

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This gallery contains 30 photos.

The last swallows have finally fled, the sun hasn’t showed for the last 3 days, the forecast shows more of the same and the nights have really drawn in, so I thought it might be appropriate to explore a topic … Continue reading

Master of None; Weed Steaming; Pink in Red; and Being in The Right Place at the Right Time

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This gallery contains 29 photos.

Butt, Tip, Slype, Wale, Scallum, Back, Belly, Rod, Dark Dicks, Light Dicks, Bodkin……. The lexicon of a new activity had to be assimilated quickly, along with practical skills when Fiona and I headed off last weekend for an intensive course … Continue reading

Lagging; Logging; Serendipitous Swarming; Blogging in Perpetuity; and Solar Chimney and Greenhouse Heat Stores

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This gallery contains 28 photos.

“Gosh, I LOVE your fabulous hips“……. “Would those be mine or Fiona’s, you’re referring to, Rosemary?” Not the conversation I was anticipating with our lagging glamorous garden guest on Friday, as we enjoyed the sunshine on a post prandial garden … Continue reading

Great Expectations; The Warmest Place; And the Value of Caged Silence

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This gallery contains 33 photos.

I had great expectations for Monday morning. A new day, week, month (just) and season. And the fact that summer had ended with an appropriate Blue Moon on the penultimate day of August seemed a good omen. (For those unfamiliar … Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Green and Grey; Seasonal Landmarks; and Coping with the Wind

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This gallery contains 33 photos.

Lightning. Thunder. And Fifty Shades of Grey. Followed by sunshine, and the strangely vibrant Fifty Shades of Green that are the very stuff of August Welsh landscapes. Pretty much every year, but in this year more so as the weather … Continue reading

Definitions, Media and Mo-tivation; Luscious Lord Napier; Solar Inputs and The Laws of Thermodynamics

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

The challenges of the rural blogger….As I sat down this morning to write this post, with heavy rain and strong winds forecast by 10.00 am, the screen went dead – the power was off. Ah well, into the greenhouse as … Continue reading

Tatton and Tomatoes, Lammas Laments, Olympian Swallows, Urban Apiarists and Avian Intelligence

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This gallery contains 34 photos.

As I waited for the first home grown Tomato and Nectarine of the year, quite a lot more thoughts and ideas on tomatoes have gelled over the last couple of weeks. Before we’d headed off on holiday I’d installed reflective … Continue reading

Swallow Chatter, Noms de Roses, Through My Window, Bedding Bliss

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This gallery contains 21 photos.

We’re just back from our annual week’s holiday. Strangely for reasons I won’t bore you with, we can’t actually choose the week we’re away and so this year it landed in early July. Hardly the best timing for keen gardeners, … Continue reading

Oh What a Lovely Boar! Smelly Mushrooms, Squashed Slugs and Blooming Dragons.

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

Intrigued by the email mentioning the Basket Making event held last week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), we headed down and thoroughly enjoyed the display and demonstrations in the marquee by various basketry and rope work experts … Continue reading

Rain, Rain, Rain. Manic Midges, Abseiling Slugs and Simple Singles.

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This gallery contains 31 photos.

So, the nights are drawing in…Having just passed the longest day, we’ve also now notched up the wettest month in 2 years (even though we’ve over a week to go in June, and well, it’s JUNE, for goodness sake.) 273 … Continue reading

Kingdom United? Taller When Prone, Bat on My Hat, Meandering Jetstreams, Serenading Swallows

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This gallery contains 49 photos.

The day began well with a pristine Green Silver-Lines Moth resting up on the barn door. I’ve only ever seen this moth 3 or 4 times before, so when we had a phone call a couple of hours later from … Continue reading

Monosyllabic Profundity, Dirt, External Stimulation and a Bee in My Ear

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This gallery contains 27 photos.

It started with Time. And A Watch Ad. And another full-page colour supplement Watch Ad,  4 pages further in and both were featuring sponsored aeronautical display teams behind the shiny complex watch face. And both, no doubt, were hugely expensive … Continue reading

When I’m feeling Blue…., Pitchers,Twits,Carnivory and Reliable Rhodies

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This gallery contains 31 photos.

All I gotta do, is take a look at you….. (As Phil Collins sings on Groovy Kind of Love). A busy 10 days and more cold wet weather. But at this time of the year even rainy days and Sundays … Continue reading

One Man’s Trash, Nine Wild Plants, and Weather

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This gallery contains 30 photos.

‘Dewi’ the cuckoo should have stayed in Cameroon. After getting a mention in my last blog for making it back to the UK ahead of the 5 tagged birds from East Anglia on April 16th, Dewi wasn’t heard again until … Continue reading

Morning Preenings, Night-time Droopings and Dustings, Last Daffodil and Snowdrop Comments and Seed Successes

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This gallery contains 30 photos.

Every year the Canada geese fly into the valley sometime during February or March to breed. I guess that the 5 or 6 ponds in the immediate surroundings of the village are a sufficiently good draw. This last week I spotted a new … Continue reading

Courting, Cavorting Red Kites; Dawn to Dusk Sunshine and the Challenge of Maximising it; and Drilling and Placing the Willow.

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This gallery contains 35 photos.

The last week has seen our first garden visitors of the year, happily visiting on days of glorious sunshine. But the most dramatic event was on a very sunny Sunday 10 days ago when we ate our lunch outside under … Continue reading

The Value of Bees; Peter’s Leeks and Daffodils; and Where Were You When the Slam was Won?

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This gallery contains 15 photos.

How to begin this week? Moral Capitalism! (Actually this post has been delayed by a bout of glyphosate induced illness, so the text might seem a bit out of date, but the issues with using this widely promoted herbicide will wait … Continue reading

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even; Bilingual Profanity; Untangling and Releasing the Welsh Dragon; Fish and Chips and Frogs.

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

It’s been one of those spells since the last blog, when the rain has held off, the days have lengthened, and the blog takes back seat to all the other tasks and events going on. One of the major outdoor jobs … Continue reading

Sooty and Sweet, the Departure of the Chattering Classes, Making Time to Smell the Daffodils and it’s a Birthday Blog

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

Another blog, another torch-light discovery. A consequence I suppose of no TV to while away the dark evenings and the appearance of a new trial rabbit burrow amongst the snowdrops, primroses and hellebores. So trying to spot the culprit, I nipped … Continue reading

Drought and Humidity, Spawning and Splitting the Mighty Atom, and Growing Down or Up

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This gallery contains 29 photos.

So last week was the time for Caroline Spelman M.P. and Environment Secretary to gather the movers and shakers for a drought summit. Why? Because many parts of Eastern, Southern and Central England are at risk of severe shortages of water over the summer … Continue reading

Green is the word…….and a little bit of Purple

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

Ready for a ramble? Visual and verbal? A lot of thoughts have churned around the simple word “green” over the last few days. Kicked off by a couple of necessary long walks to work off the slight excesses of a Valentine’s day meal. … Continue reading

Wild West Wales Snowdrops, National Botanic Garden Solitude, Perspectives and Inspirational Gardens

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This gallery contains 24 photos.

I decided to slot in a quickish blog to record a trip out after cabin fever was descending following the rigours of the recent cold. A planned all day electricity outage for another cold, but as it turned out slightly sunny Tuesday, made … Continue reading

Wind and Weather Flips, Spiral Conundrums and Imbolc Fibonacci Issues

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

So the “Beast from the East” has swept in after all. The initial derision on Radio 4 of newspaper reports of a Siberian blast approaching at least alerted us to the risks of proper wintry weather, which has hit Gelli in a very … Continue reading

White Blanket plus Green Teeth plus Green Tears equals Galanthomania

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This gallery contains 22 photos.

My order for writing these posts seems to have developed into consistently being ….. ideas, research and taking photos, fix a title, write the text and finally upload the images. So 2 days ago when I fixed on the title, it was going to be … Continue reading

The Sun And Life Returns, Witch’s Hats, Frost Beards and Compound Interest from a Paint Brush

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

Just in time to save our sanity the sun returned to this small part of Wales and reminded us of the delights of winter. It really turns our days’ activities upside down after all the greyness. Frosts, mists and the … Continue reading

Confusion and Cloud Cover, Moss Mayhem, Water in and Water out and Snapping Hazels

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

A cacophony of climate confusion perplexes me as we head into a New Year. December 2010 saw the coldest UK December on record, autumn and December 2011 the warmest on record. In between, a record-breaking sunny, dry and early spring; extreme drought in Shropshire, … Continue reading

Parental Influences and Literary Links, Reversion to Mean, and Unseasonal Blooms For A Happy New Year

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

In a typically unrestful lead up to Christmas, chance comments with friends led us to embark on retro fitting of extra insulation to part of our home. Also typically, it will take us at least 3 times as long as initially … Continue reading

The Bare Bones, More Mushrooms, Crow and Second Flushes

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This gallery contains 22 photos.

So its official. Wales (and Northern Ireland) have had the warmest autumn ever recorded. This certainly confirms our impression. But its been a very strange year weather wise. The PV inverter record for the year confirms the very sunny and bright … Continue reading

Norwegian Wood – Dismantling 80 Years of Inconspicuous Consumption and Lighting A Fire, Saved By The Flowers and Tree Seed Stratification.

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

Its taken 3 or 4 days to find a chance to start writing this post. This might seem strange since the days are now so short, but it’s been tidy up time after the efficient chaps from Lampeter Tree services came to … Continue reading

Travel, Couleur, Culture and Wild Life near PC’s

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

A fortnight ago we set off for a rare holiday, and en route stopped off at PenPont house outside Brecon to collect a Welsh Blanket, which by some fluke I’d won in a questionnaire raffle a couple of weeks earlier, after … Continue reading

Pictures speak louder than words, Fading Gracefully and Last Pickings

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

I managed to find a seed of an Erodium manescavii about to be released which I’ve included below, after mentioning the fantastic form of its seed in my last blog, and how the seed augurs its way into the ground … Continue reading

Strange Smells, World Record Flings and Patience Pays With Growing Trees From Seeds

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This gallery contains 16 photos.

The gap since the last post was caused by a very busy period of garden activity – more later, but a couple of night ago I walked out into our copse just as dusk was falling. The air was laden with moisture … Continue reading

A Welsh Indian Summer, The Importance of Opening Your Gob In the Right Place and a Significant Number Sequence

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This gallery contains 14 photos.

Writing these pieces occasionally when I get the chance means that there’s an inappropriate time lag for today’s 24 hour rolling news savvy readers. So since I must record the fantastic start to October with the hottest days of the year … Continue reading

Blink and You’ll Miss it, Let Sleeping Hogs Lie and the Mystery of the Egg in the Stone

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This gallery contains 16 photos.

Four interesting observations and 2 wonderful new garden discoveries for us, and all in a week when the weather has been profoundly gloomy. The 2 new gardens are both privately owned and created by their current gardeners, and are also both … Continue reading

It ‘Aster be September, The Underclass arrives in a Box and Bums on Seats

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This gallery contains 21 photos.

Along with Crocosmia, Sedum and  Japanese Anemones, its increasingly the Asters which I really look forward to seeing  flower as we get into mid September. I’m a fairly new convert to their prolific autumnal show, and by chance we seem to … Continue reading

Goshawks, Shooting Stars, Degenerate wasps and Tiffany Dragonflies

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This gallery contains 17 photos.

The day after my last post I was filming wasps demolishing a Red Melba apple when a vehicle drove into the yard. Things often seem to happen when Dave arrives (we saw the Sparrowhawk take a Pied Wagtail earlier in the year … Continue reading

Mists, Threads, Butterflies, Bumblebees, Bees and Harvests

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

We’ve now moved past the brief period when although midsummer has passed, the evenings seem to hang on to their long daylight hours. Over the last fortnight the day length seems to be shortening fast. But I love this time of … Continue reading

In The Blue Corner, Arthur Turner with a Grey Dagger and a Sex Change Inducing Banana Skin

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This gallery contains 21 photos.

The title of this blog isn’t a solution to a strange local variant of the game of Cluedo, but developed from a bit of research into Hydrangeas, inspired by a couple of days away looking at other gardens in Herefordshire. Just … Continue reading

First apple of love, Comma, Mermaid, George Cave, Helleborine and the Annual Ant Swarm

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This gallery contains 11 photos.

Gardening, especially down here, is very like my previous existence as a small animal veterinary surgeon. Hardly a week goes by even after all these years, when you don’t see something new. Or a significant variation on something seen previously. The last … Continue reading

Flowers in the rain, Watching the garden grow, and A Moth for lunch.

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

The weather year is shadowing the last 3 or 4. Glorious dry and sunny springs, followed by cloudy, wet and cool  summers (85mm of rain in the last week, 35 mm in the last 24 hours).  But really one can’t complain, with so many … Continue reading

To Hampton Court and back, again. Greenhouse temperatures and ventilation, and more seeds.

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

It seems a long 10 days since we ventured up the M4 to visit the Hampton Court Flower show for the first time. We were fortunate to enjoy pleasant sunny weather with only a single shower, and were hugely impressed with … Continue reading

Paths and Yards, Clouds, Silhouettes, and Foxes

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

At last after a fairly ordinary, cool and damp June, a recent sunny spell has seen the temperatures rise, and allowed me to catch up on some routine garden maintenance. We’re lucky to have a lot of level changes in … Continue reading

Going with the Flow of Words, Slopes, Roses, Rabbits and Welsh Wasps

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

So as the nights start to draw in, are the gardening times a changing? Readers will detect a steady theme in the blog content on gardening to work with insect diversity, indeed to positively encourage it. So as a loose … Continue reading