NGS Garden Openings; Flowers and Drones and Swarms.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

Egg Run and Floral Boosts.

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This gallery contains 118 photos.

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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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.

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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

A Day Without Rain; Tears in my Heart.

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This gallery contains 8 photos.

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

Overwhelmed?

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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.

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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.

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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

Distraction: Of Mice and Bees and Salmon.

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This gallery contains 69 photos.

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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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

Wales Fungus Day, Endozoochory and Halloween Tongues

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This gallery contains 38 photos.

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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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

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

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This gallery contains 59 photos.

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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This gallery contains 73 photos.

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

September

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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

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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