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The graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Lytchett Matravers

The village of Lytchett Matravers, to the north of Poole in Dorset, is one of my ancestral places. Several times in the past I had tried to find the parish church, but with no luck. We had driven around in circles in the middle of the village and there had been no sign of a tower that could have been St Mary’s.

Then this summer, when we were killing time for half an hour by driving around the country lanes, we took a “wrong” turn in the vicinity of Sturminster Marshall. And there, surrounded by patches of woodland and farmers’ fields, was a church. I was amazed – the nearest village was Lytchett Matravers, so this must be St Mary’s!

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At last the hornbeam fruits are changing colour…

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Amazing to think this is my tenth blog post about the hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) I am following in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff. Thanks again to Lucy Corrander for setting up her Loose and Leafy tree-following project.

I visited on October 2, at the end of a long, dry, mild month. But I knew cold, wet and windy weather was coming, so I had (more…)

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Golden ash in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff, on October 2, 2014

I found autumn the other day, in a usually unvisited quarter – the very far corner of Llandaff Fields in Cardiff, right beside the main road.

Here stand a row of golden ash trees. Not just (more…)

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Yucca filamentosa at Powis Castle, August 2014

A decade ago, when I was doing a gardening correspondence course, I chose to write about the gardens of Powis Castle, which is perched high on a narrow ridge near Welshpool in Mid Wales. But I wrote about it without ever having been there and it has taken me until now to make the journey.

We visited in August this year and as it belongs to the National Trust and we are members, it felt like we got in to see everything free! (more…)

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Jacko the injured jackdaw, sitting beside the herb garden…

WARNING: You may not want to read this…

It’s SO sad, but we knew he would soon die. I was so tearful at the time that only now can I write this little tribute to the resourceful old jackdaw who came to our garden in July. (more…)

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The silver tree in Baiter, Poole – an iPhone picture I snapped in 2012…

We have holidayed in Poole in Dorset so many times now, and often walked along the edge of the harbour in the Baiter leisure area, but until this summer we had always turned back when we reached what I call “the silver tree” at the end of the car park.

But this time I looked at the map and worked out we could carry on and end up doing a round trip back to the quay via Poole Park and the town centre. This is (more…)

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Hornbeam leaves and fruit, September 8, 2014…

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Patience is a virtue I don’t have. But “my” hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is in no hurry to embrace Autumn (which our transatlantic cousins call Fall). So my most recent visit to the tree in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff, was a little bit disappointing.

Thanks to Lucy Corrander’s Loose and Leafy blog, a whole bunch of us are “following a tree” and reporting back every month on what’s been happening. I left my September visit as late as I could, in the hope of seeing a seasonal change.

I always say I love Autumn, but (more…)

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