I live fairly close to Brogdale where they keep the national fruit collection. This year they had a Hanami festival to celebrate the blossom. It’s an ancient tradition from Japan, dating back over 1000 years. What a nice thing to do – just wandering through the blossom in sunshine and admiration….

Well, the sun did shine fleetingly a couple of times, just to prove it could ;).

Yet it’s such an enchanting idea….the trees that were flowering were beautiful, and so many shades and forms. I’ve named what I can remember. And the paper lanterns bumping in the breeze so atmospheric.



The heavens opened so I retreated to the kitchen floor to plant some more seeds (obviously not into the floor lol). It’s finally warming up so time to get going.

I’m trialling these plug things – “growing pockets”. I’ve not used them before. The earth in them is quite course, and it’s hard to get the seeds into the holes. We will see.

The nicotiana seeds are so tiny I’m going to sow straight into the ground.

So far I have planted:

  • 2 types of Cosmos
  • Rudbeckia
  • Sunflowers 🙂
  • Zinnias – excited to try these
  • Scabious
  • Verbena
  • Ridolfia
  • Lupins
  • Bunny’s Tail Grasses
  • Helianthus
  • Teasel
  • Panicum

My plan is for the “pond bed” to have quite open flowers, so you can see the garden beyond, and it will move in the breeze (I’m optimistically going for breeze rather than the more accurate wind 😉 ).

I’m going to direct sow some more seeds over the next few weeks. Pics to follow.





Welsh Wales

Welsh Wales for work, well actually west Wales. Within Wales, some areas speak Welsh and some areas speak English (although Welsh is taught in school). In the west you can here Welsh spoken all around. It’s a strange impenetrable language for the uninitiated. A different culture and different attitude.

In the west the clouds are different, stretched as they have been, over an ocean. And there’s a beautiful sense of silence all around. I think it comes from there being hardly any people around. Less thoughts in the ether, or something like that….

Glad I cover the pretty bits of the country – what a great experience of this part of Wales.


Iron Age Village

So this is Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, stumbled across on the way between Haverfordwest and Cardigan. Did I tell you how much I love pre-history?

Having set off at 5.45am that morning, it was good to have a break in the most unusual setting. The village was on a raised bit of land, set in a bowl – you could certainly see everyone coming. And the views, some across to other early sites, were fab too.

There was a special feeling about the settlement, about history and time passing. A stillness. The robin and the squirrel came to hang out as I sat in the circle of the roundhouse. I have a thing about circles and circular spaces. They don’t work like normal spaces. Something different happens with the energy – no corners to hide in or gather dust.

I was last (it being late in the afternoon), and a very kind guide called Sarah rounded me up, and even unlocked a few huts she’d already padlocked so I could see inside. So glad to have seen this place and been touched by its spirit.

It’s structural

Working hard over the last few weeks, with my mum and on my own, the garden is progressing. A helpful blog (foolishly I didn’t save the link) pointed out how to deal with a mature unloved garden – strip it back. Dig out anything that isn’t in the right place – save it if you want to. It’s structural you see – you have to get it back to the bones.

So after several huge bags of ivy, one less pyracanthas (except the stump) and a fair amount of blood courtesy of the spines, we have made some steps forward. It’s way harder than it looks. The ground is clogged with roots, the ivy is everywhere. 😦 It’s heads down, forks in the ground, and keep going … and going… eventually I will see the fruits! I guess, this project may take some time!

I’ve removed one of the mystery yellow hose pipes – not connected to anything – guess it must have been some sort of ancient (and ugly) irrigation system.

The “pond bed” is half dug (stumbling across one of the pond pipes by mistake).

I’ve started laying out where the plants I’ve gathered so far will go. Even just laying out the garden has given it a new energy. The love is coming back in :).




In the glasshouses

Oh so beautiful – these glasshouses are over 100 years old. You’ve got to love the Victorians. Scale no object! There’s a peach house, a vine house, a melon house, a carnation house, 18 in all….. Imagine – a greenhouse just to grow carnations. They must have needed a lot of carnations in the nearby big house (now school). If you want to check it out it’s called The Walled Nursery. There would have been a large walled kitchen garden too, although that’s grassed over now.

As a true photographer I love a bit of dilapidation, although the owners are desperately trying to raise the enormous amount of cash required to fix it up.

But there’s a wonder in all that glass, and the spaces where the glass used to be. In the seized mechanics, and little artistic finials, and the task ahead to bring it back to glory.