Bottle Bank Recycled; Why Do I Do it? Spring Song Symphony – with Warbler.

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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.

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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

The First Spring Day, Daffodil Sunrises and Eclipse; Little Blue Bulbs, Mishtaken Origins, Stuffocation and Scillas.

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This gallery contains 44 photos.

Better late then? March 10th will be recorded as the first proper day of spring for 2015 at Gelli Uchaf. Sunshine, little wind, temperatures nearing double figures, and at last I see my first bumblebee of the year. A fortnight … Continue reading

St. David’s Day – Flowers, Flocks and Festival

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This gallery contains 36 photos.

March 1st, being designated as St.David’s Day, celebrating Wales patron saint Dewi Sant, always challenges me to look at how spring is progressing. In particular how many daffodils are out in the garden. This year has ended up being one … Continue reading

Downs Tools, Walks and West Wales Snowdrops; and Floral Symmetry.

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This gallery contains 38 photos.

No disgust here, but delight at a fabulous clear blue sky on the morning of February 17th. Clearly time to down tools, and walk. The inevitable late stage symptom of rural disease. Not entirely true either since I spent much … Continue reading

Welsh Hill Country RIP Rap Riddle

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This gallery contains 19 photos.

Perhaps before dawn, as warm neck caressing fingers work, will frost thaw, and words flow, to catch the scene, too far away to see? Perhaps my absurd wizard’s cloak of birth, first grey, then white, straddling the dyke, means I’m … Continue reading

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

Hunting Gold and Bonfire Skies; Magic M on M’s; and Ovine Debauchery and Entanglement.

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This gallery contains 54 photos.

“What’s the rush?” Was the query from beneath the quilts this morning as I delivered the early morning cuppa to Fiona, still in cosy comfort. I’m on sunrise alert. Partly because the weather and day length make any outdoor activity … Continue reading

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

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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).

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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