Archive for January, 2012


Low winter sun over the Cloister Garden at Aberglasney

I always try to visit Aberglasney House & Gardens in Carmarthenshire at least once in winter. This January it was just (more…)

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A bust of Sir Peter Scott at the Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre

Over Christmas I thought I would miss my usual trip to the Llanelli Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre because of the miserable weather, but as it turned out we found a break in the weather on New Year’s Day and went instead to the Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre over the Severn Bridge in England.

This is the original (more…)

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The National Botanic Garden of Wales in January 2012 - early daffodils...

While Mediterranean flowers were in bloom in the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in the first week of January, outside there were a few colourful surprises so early in the year.

These included daffodils, which traditionally just about manage to appear in time for St David’s Day, our national day in Wales, on March 1.

As well as these signs of spring, there were also still some of last year’s autumn leaves as well as the more usual winter Hellebores and Daphne. Three seasons in one…


The National Botanic Garden of Wales in January 2012 - 'autumn' leaves?

It has, of course, been (more…)

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The Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in early January 2012 - on a mild day of sunshine and showers...

Oh dear, as time goes by I find I am repeating myself. In early January I usually visit the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne in Carmarthenshire – partly because entry is free all month.

And for a second year I am sharing my pictures, first from the Great Glasshouse and later from the outside garden. Here is last January’s glasshouse blog post.


The Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in early January 2012 - Leucadendron (thanks to South African gardener Diana Studer - Elephant's Eye - for the identification)

Nothing ever stays the same in a garden, and (more…)

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It’s that time to draw a line under 2011 and announce my top posts for the past year (figures kindly crunched for me by WordPress) – and three out of five were posts I had published in 2010…

I seem to have the BBC’s Frozen Planet to thank for my top two posts this last year, as again penguins seem to have been the big attraction for search engines.


Penguin of Arabia by Ursula Vernon

1. Designer birds: Penguin

From paperback books to chocolate biscuits and much more besides, penguins are iconic birds. Here are some others I have chosen in 2011:

Designer birds: Peacock

Designer birds: Owl

2. English words from Celtic roots…


English words from Celtic roots were top post in 2010...

This year’s runner-up was last year’s winner – and again it’s all because I used a picture of penguins. The word penguin comes from either the Welsh or Breton
Pen-Gwyn (meaning “head-white”).

I have also posted several other items on the origins of the English language:

The ungothroughsomeness of stuff…

Latin for today

English words from Scandinavian roots

English words from Indian roots

English words from Spanish roots…


White tiger at Singapore Zoo by David George

3. The sadness of white tigers

This one was new for 2011 and is a memory of the white tigers of Bristol Zoo and some information on other threatened big cats of the world.

4. Carousel horses – an illusion of freedom


Horse head from the Riverfront Carousel in Salem, Oregon, by Crossmark

This was a wonderful excuse to collect together some beautiful images of carousel horses, unicorns and even zebras and this post was fourth in my top five for the second year in a row.

Another collection of art went with my post
Fairytale bedding: the Princess and the Pea…


Some 1970s 'sci-fi' fonts from the 1970s

5. Design icons: Letraset

Design and nostalgia combined to make this a popular post. The same elements appeared in
Every poster tells a story

There’s more art and design here
and more nostalgia here

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Pochard (Aythya ferina)

Between Christmas and New Year we usually visit the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre at Llanelli, but this year it has been very dark, wet and miserable.

So I thought I would (more…)

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