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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

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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!

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Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) in Cardiff bus station, October 2010…

Sorry to disappoint you if you thought this was going to be about the famous Sean Connery film in which he portrays a Russian submarine commander with a splendid Scottish accent…

No, this is just a post about the lack of red leaves in nature this autumn, compared to previous years. For example, look at those leaves at the top of this post. Here is the same tree this year…

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Scarlet oak in October 2014


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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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This cute bee looks like it has huge eyes and long lashes…

At the end of July we visited Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, just before we went to Abbotsbury Swannery, in a village near Weymouth in Dorset. Here (more…)

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Glorious weed – a dark variety of Buddleia davidii growing over a fence at the back of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, mid July, 2014

I feel compelled to write about Buddleia, although I am not sure what can be said. This weedy garden escapee gets everywhere in our cities, seeding itself in brickwork crevices and chimneys as well as in gardens.

I have been keeping an eye on it this summer, although I first noticed Buddleia 35 years ago, when I was training (more…)

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Daylily (Hemerocallis) in my garden

As a mini-project this summer I counted how many daylily flowers bloomed in a single pot of the herbaceous perennial plant in my garden. I have no idea what possessed me, except that I am intrigued by the fact that each flower comes and goes in a day.

I first “identified” what daylilies were when I saw them growing in the walled back garden of my in-laws’ tall, Victorian terraced red-brick house in Yorkshire. These were the very common orange or “tawny” daylilies and they were growing near the shed, so I was (more…)

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Characterful old lion’s head beside a Cardiff street…

Cardiff is a very green city and alongside every street in the suburbs there are plants aplenty. These pictures were taken on a single long road a fortnight ago.

Of course the trees and shrubs have all moved on even more into spring since then… (more…)

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