Archive for the ‘Wales’ Category


Bright leaves of a rockery plant at Dyffryn Gardens in September

That headline will mean nothing to you unless you are familiar with The Dubliners’ Rocky Road to Dublin song, but hey-ho…

In September we visited the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens again. This time I was mainly going to look at some absolutely splendid old trees I hope to blog about soon, but I was also sidetracked by the rockery area you can see from the house. So here are my pictures – and I am sorry there are quite a few flowers I haven’t identified yet. (more…)

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Next year’s flower buds are already developing


I feel the year’s end drawing near for my empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) in Cardiff’s Bute Park. I know some tree followers track progress from March to March, but I tend to follow through a calendar year and then do a recap in January before choosing a new tree.

By the way, sadly Lucy at Loose and Leafy is calling time on hosting the tree-following meme for us all, but the good news is that she is passing it on to me to host, so hopefully I will do it justice!

I have set up a page with all the general tree-following information and links, here. I hope to publish a link box for all the tree followers on the 7th of each month and leave it open for a week – so see you Saturday. For now, though, here is my own monthly tree-following post. (more…)

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I saw this outside the shop at the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens and thought it was a Paulownia, but it wasn’t – read on to find out what it was…


At first sight the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) I am following in Cardiff’s Bute Park looked just the same as last month, so I let myself wander a bit.

Another tree nearby had been bugging me, as it also looked like a Paulownia and I really wanted my empress to be unique in this vicinity.

But first an October catch-up with the empress herself.

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Inside Dyffryn House


Stained glass window at Dyffryn House

The National Trust took over Dyffryn House and Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan in January 2013. The trust has not yet been able to “dress” the interior of the house with historical furniture, furnishings and paintings, which must be an expensive task, but the permanent fixtures are still worth a quick look. (more…)

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My favourite flower from the latest trip to the Bute Park borders – I’ll tell you what it is later…

Just as I have been following a tree every month in Bute Park, Cardiff, I have also been “following” the herbaceous borders there since they came to life in spring. My latest visit was on August 6. This is a view of the borders taken while standing near my Paulownia tree, but zoomed in quite a bit…


Bute Park herbaceous borders in August


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Fallen branch of empress tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, August 6, 2015


August is usually a rough time for the trees here. The summer weather dries them out and diseases take their toll. But this year we have had a very wet July and I was pleased to see that the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) I am following in Bute Park, Cardiff, still looked lush and green when I visited on August 6.

I’m following it every month as part of Lucy Corrander’s tree-following project.


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Low winter sunlight at Dyffryn Gardens in January 2015

Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan has just been voted the top Special Place in Wales in a National Trust survey. I went there on January 2 this year, but never did get around to blogging about it. I visited again on July 7, so now I am combining the two visits into a series of blog posts on different themes. This first one contrasts the garden treasures of midwinter and midsummer. (more…)

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