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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

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My popcorn hydrangea ‘Ayesha’ is starting to show a range of flower shapes

It’s six years now since I first posted about my popcorn hydrangea ‘Ayesha’, but this summer, with all the rain, it has grown huge and vigorous. It has also started to diversify! Usually the flowers remind me of lilac but now the sepals are starting to appear flat as in many other hydrangeas.

I thought the proper word for it was “recidivism”, which I thought also applied to variegated leaves turning back to plain green, but now I can find no reference to this word botanically, only in the sense of a prisoner returning to a life of crime or a medical condition relapsing. (more…)

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A palm tree in the Ninfarium at Aberglasney House

A few weeks ago I published some spring views of Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire, but I saved some pictures for another day. Here they are – images of the Ninfarium and the Cloister Garden, which have in common a close association between plants and old stone walls. (more…)

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Aberglasney House in mid April

We often visit Aberglasney House and Gardens in Carmarthenshire and we have season tickets, even though the place is a long way from our home in Cardiff.

I have previously shared my pictures of Aberglasney in summer and in winter, but this was our first visit in spring. Usually we are spring-cleaning the house at Easter but this time we did some gallivanting instead. (more…)

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The western entrance to Belle Vue Park, Newport, South East Wales

Before I stopped working in Maesglas, on the western side of Newport, I made sure I visited nearby Belle Vue Park, which opened in 1894 and is a typical Victorian park with a pavilion and bandstand at the centre of wonderful trees, shrubs and Japanese-style plantings. (more…)

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The red dragon of Wales at the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992

I can’t believe that 2017 sees the 25th anniversary of the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival that brought two million visitors to Blaenau Gwent in South East Wales.

The festival lasted six months, from May until October and transformed a derelict industrial wasteland into a blossoming landscape nearly two miles long. (more…)

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Astilbe and Primula sikkimensis, the Himalayan cowslip, beside the stream at Minterne Garden, Dorset

I recently wrote about Minterne House, half-way between Dorchester and Sherborne in Dorset, but the place’s main attraction is its woodland garden.

The U-shaped trail is just over a mile long and we went very early in the day, so we were alone to enjoy the tranquillity among the trees, which are mostly tall beeches, oaks and conifers around a chain of ponds and streams. (more…)

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Peony in Bute Park, Cardiff, June 2016

These days I have trouble noticing anything but trees when I walk in Cardiff’s many parks. But I made a special effort to think about the flowers when passing through the herbaceous borders in Bute Park a couple of weeks ago. I followed the borders quite closely last summer (see my flower posts here), but now it’s a little bit “been there, done that”.

This time I snapped pictures of big ball-like flowers, skipping everything else. Although sadly my subjects – peonies and poppies – are dying off now it’s midsummer. (more…)

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