A frosty day at Aberglasney Gardens
January 8, 2015 by squirrelbasket
Icicles hang over the stone arch in this view from the Cloister Garden to the pool at Aberglasney
We love visiting Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire and it’s a bonus when the weather conditions are a bit out of the ordinary. A week ago, on probably the coldest day of winter so far, there was frost at dawn and to our delight it lasted all day, with the gardens glinting with icy diamonds everywhere. Here are some of my pictures – where I caption them “Mystery #1” etc, I invite you to help me to identify the plants!
The Cloister Garden with frosted trees in a field beyond
The herbaceous Upper Walled Garden at Aberglasney in winter
I think this is frosted Alchemilla mollis, also known as Lady’s mantle
I think this is a topiary ball of box (Buxus)
Colourful Swiss chard in the Lower Walled Garden, which is a kitchen garden
Cavolo nero or Italian black cabbage – currently very fashionable (and delicious)
Can you identify the mystery object?
…looks like globe artichoke to me (Cynara cardunculus var scolymus)
Then we walked through the wilder parts of the garden, although one or two slippery and steep places were closed to the public on this day.
Winter oak leaves
Beech leaves and fallen fruit under foot
Frosted twigs look like early white blossom
Even the lichen is frosted
This one was labelled – Helleborus orientalis Harvington Double Pinks
Then we went into the wonderful Ninfarium created in the ruins at the rear of the house – and of course my camera immediately steamed up. But see how you get on in helping me to identify some of these tropical plants…
Inside the warm Ninfarium – these are possibly banana palms
Ninfarium Mystery #1 – thanks to Diana Studer in South Africa for identifying this as a Clivia – her blog can be found at eefalsebay.blogspot.co.uk
Ninfarium Mystery #2
Ninfarium Mystery #3
I think this is a delicate maidenhair fern, possibly Adiantum aethiopicum
Ninfarium Mystery #4 – thanks again to Diana Studer for recognising another Clivia
I think this may be Platycerium bifurcatum, known as elkhorn fern or staghorn fern
Ninfarium Mystery #5
Aberglasney Gardens are now flourishing thanks to a trust – a group of enthusiasts who saved them when the place had fallen into ruin in the 1990s. They have a steady long-term plan for both the house and gardens (some parts of which date to Tudor or Stuart times). The house is now looking good and a few downstairs rooms are used for events such as art and craft fairs. On this day all was quiet and empty – but I was most impressed by the glittery chandelier…
Chandelier in Aberglasney House
View from a French window of the house…
We had a good lunch in Maryellen’s Tearooms, run by sisters Mary Barnett and Ellen Plowman and overlooking the pool – warming cawl (traditional Welsh soup) with crusty bread and a chunk of cheddar cheese, and a warm salmon quiche with a colourful salad. Yummy!
The Pool Garden – we were told an otter had been spotted here at the weekend!
Time to head home – but finally a mention of this tree I always admire, which I think is a Thuja plicata, also known as a Western red Cedar…
I think these are the female cones of the Thuja plicata
Here is the official Aberglasney website
Here are two of my earlier visits to Aberglasney in winter
And here are the gardens in summer