Pomona Pleasures, Harvests and Culls; Multicultural Bulb Harmony; and Firing Up the Greenhouse (Part 12 of Heating a Greenhouse With Leaf Mould Compost).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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?

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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

In Memoriam; Cracking Shells, Tiny Turks and Splayed Legs; Waiting for King George, and Friends.

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This gallery contains 50 photos.

Rarely has one of my blog images become more poignant. The Canada Geese photo on the previous post was selected by WP against my best wishes as the thumbnail feature. Little did I think that just 12 hours after taking … Continue reading

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

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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

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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

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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’

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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

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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

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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

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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

Valentine Memories and Slug Graffiti ; Up and Down and Down and Up; Cyclamania and Buried Treasure.

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This gallery contains 69 photos.

Just how wet has it been? Figures to follow, but put it this way, the slugs are moving inside to escape the sodden conditions. How do we know? Well the tell tale dried slug slime trails, which have appeared of late, … Continue reading

A Winter’s Tale – Into the West and the Intricately Dead (Welsh) Snow Drop; Resupination; and Heating a Greenhouse with Compost (Part 10 Update).

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This gallery contains 67 photos.

Follow me on a circuitous journey. A Winter’s Tale for this, thus far, mainly non-wintry season. Saturday January 11th dawned bright and crisp as a winter’s day should be… The sun rose, the forecast was for skies of winter blue…… … Continue reading

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

Elegance and Perspectives; The Greater Perfection; Desire and Sensuality; and The Fall.

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

First frost last night. First flock of starlings at dusk this evening, hundreds whooshing west over the yard at dusk as I gave up on outside work for the day. And at last the leaves left on many trees and … Continue reading

The Gathering Storm; Thoughts, Foxes and Poetry; Bees and Flower Choices

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This gallery contains 40 photos.

As I write, the clouds have darkened, rain is falling, the winds are strengthening and the Met Office is warning of a disruptive storm tomorrow to perhaps rival the Great Storm of October 1987, which felled 15 million trees in … Continue reading

Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Umami; Small is Beautiful, Blue and Green; and Firing up the Reactor (Heating a Greenhouse with Leaf Mould and Compost – Part 9).

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This gallery contains 61 photos.

It’s been a bumper autumn for mushrooms. I’ve found Pink Wax Caps (Hygrocybe calyptraeformis) in all 3 of our upper sloping meadows this year, after spotting them for the first time in just our High Meadow last year (Click here … Continue reading

First Amongst Equals; Curling, Furling and Burrowing; and a Reignited Interest.

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

 The nights have clearly drawn in, since the urge has returned for me to fiddle with an image and see if I can produce something as pleasing, but significantly different to the original. In this case the starting point was … Continue reading

Mist – The Unintended Artist; Sky Blue Pink; Height Matters and the Handstand Position; and The Rabbit Slayer.

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This gallery contains 10 photos.

We’ve slipped into that time of the year when with no obvious clues from the evening before (or at least none that I’m clever enough to spot), you can wake to a garden filled with dense mist. Apart from the … Continue reading

Mouths and Eyes Wide Open, Entrapment and The Dying Light.

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

Sitting on the sun warmed ancient hammer-dressed Bluestone chunk that we’d rollered and levered into position years ago for just this event, I was enjoying a divorced moment of reality watching the annual butterfly dance on the Buddleja… They’ve built … Continue reading

Fleeting Visits; Woozy Wasps, and Crossing the Threshold.

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This gallery contains 39 photos.

Significant subtle shifts since the last post. Shorter days, a return to rain at some time on most days and lots of seasonal observations – some familiar and, as always, some completely novel for this blogger… …(last year almost no observed … Continue reading

Swarms and Smells; Waiting for the Oracle and the Miracle of the (Probable) Persuasive Burglar

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This gallery contains 49 photos.

Over the few years I’ve written this blog I’ve occasionally referenced the poem, “In Translation”  which Mark, my younger brother, wrote about a stay here some 17 years ago. But until this year the last verse has never seemed appropriate… …(Thanks … Continue reading

Links and Visits; Hums, Drifts, Rattles, Hangings and Seasons

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This gallery contains 36 photos.

After recent comments following a previous post, how do I rattle through the multitude of topics I intend to cover without seeming even more incoherent than usual? The link HAS to be synchronicity. Click here for a brief resume. John, … Continue reading

Entomological Explosion; Growing Tomatoes Organically in a Garden Greenhouse (Heating a Greenhouse with an External Compost Bed- Part 8); and Egg on Your Face

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This gallery contains 51 photos.

Almost exactly a year ago the same issue seems to have preoccupied my gardening notes. Midges. After several days when midge numbers increased daily to the point that I had to use a deterrent spray, I’d wandered outside first thing. … Continue reading

Hay in the Rain and Sun; Flowers and Coherent Gardens; and The Right White.

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This gallery contains 45 photos.

Possibly my longest gap between posts since I’ve started this blog. Why? Well perhaps the teeniest disappointment at not winning at the Hay Festival, (clearly I have a small residue of competitive spirit which I thought had long since left … Continue reading

Super Red, Green, and Gold; Green and Gorgeous; Chelsea and Hay.

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This gallery contains 40 photos.

In the third week of May, I dropped Fiona off at the station for her trip to London to visit The Chelsea Flower Show for the first time. And how different it was in it’s centenary year, with planting challenges … Continue reading

Cliffs, Paths, Communities; Garden Visitors Meet a Sticky End; Gifts and Greetings.

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This gallery contains 34 photos.

Just over a week ago I had the chance to join my brother in law on the last day of his ‘holiday’ walking the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Having completed Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2011 in a continuous walk, … Continue reading

Homage to Giverny and Monet :- Impressionistic Planting and Diversity

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This gallery contains 37 photos.

It seems the appropriate time to write a post with this title. Since it was 8 years ago, in the first week of May on a hot sunny day, that we visited the garden of artist Claude Monet at Giverny. … Continue reading

Melancholy Monday and Minor Bird Melodies; Bitter Sweet Weeding; and Turkey Talk

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This gallery contains 28 photos.

Let’s get the melancholy bit out of the way. I finally heard ten days ago that we have a potentially wrecked engine (blown turbo on the way back from a lovely day trip to Highgrove to see the gardens. After … Continue reading

Toad Passion and Carnage; Chilling Down; And Hotting Up (Autumn Leaf Mould Energy Potential – Heating a Greenhouse with an External Compost Bed – Part 7).

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

The first swallow arrived on Monday morning. Summer’s nearly here? Tuesday saw four chattering enthusiastically as they checked out the barn to see if the accommodation was up to last year’s high standards, and changing to a more alarmed “Look … Continue reading

Colours, Aesthetics and Ladders; Ephemeral Art; and the Vanishing Ice Crystal.

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This gallery contains 39 photos.

Around the time that the Ice Crystal appeared, we’d been fortunate to experience another event so special that I have to mention it on the blog. I’ve frequently referenced other inspirational sources or ideas, that get the creative juices flowing. … Continue reading

Out Of The Blue Black?

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This gallery contains 14 photos.

I don’t often do urgent, short(ish) posts – they’re not my style. But something happened this morning which was so bizarre, even by the sometimes magical and unexplainable rhythms of life here, that I really had to slot in a … Continue reading

Easter Honey Bunny; Planting For Pollinators; Narcissus Names

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

We feel fortunate to have been spared the heavy snow in the latest blast of this extended winter. But the freezing Easterlies are with us again, and after feeding and sympathising with the sheep and poultry on Monday, I thought … Continue reading

Calon Aur; Power and Glory; Soil and Egg Shifting.

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This gallery contains 39 photos.

I’ve just come in and peeled off the water proofs after the morning stock round on a bitter, miserable morning. Lashing rain and gale force cold South Easterlies. No sign of ‘March going out like a lamb’ as I catch … Continue reading

New Life, New Tricks; Freeze Dried Mushrooms; A Symphony of Snowdrops.

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This gallery contains 56 photos.

Winter will return next week, but for now we bask in the after glow of 3 dry WEEKS, and much new life bursting onto the scene. The frogs have dodged or diced with death via the heron, otters, and last … Continue reading

Shared Pleasures and Treasures, Startling Starlings and Busy Bees

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This gallery contains 44 photos.

Over a week without rain, so the blogging takes back seat to the logging. A long winter has taken its’ toll of our wood stocks. But a huge amount has happened in the last 2 weeks.  … (Can anyone tell … Continue reading

Caucasian Bed Fellows and Leaving Your Mark; Bees and Belts; and Red, Blue or Black (Part 6 of Autumn Leaf Mould Energy Potential – Heating a Greenhouse with an External Compost Bed).

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This gallery contains 28 photos.

Few tasks a gardener undertakes are likely to leave a mark in a century or more. Unless you happen to be a part of one of those all too rare gardening dynasties (Think perhaps of the Banks family of Hergest … Continue reading

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

The Heat Goes On (Autumn Leaf Mould Energy Potential and Heating a Greenhouse With a Compost Bed – Part 5); Unintended Consequences; Looking Back, and Forward.

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This gallery contains 24 photos.

It’s now over 7 weeks since I set up ‘The Reactor’, an external compost bed designed to heat the ‘inner zone’ in our 14 X 8 foot cedar framed greenhouse. Thanks again to Fiona’s patience and wizardry with Excel, I’m … Continue reading