Archive for the ‘Wales’ Category

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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Half-dead tree surrounded by a fence in Bute Park, Cardiff, on May 8, 2015

I have been intrigued by this half-dead tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, since May. Now at last I know what species it is, but it took a while to learn its secrets. Bear with me, as I think it’s worth the wait! (more…)

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Pink peony in the herbaceous borders of Bute Park, Cardiff, in July 2015

Every month or so I am visiting the herbaceous borders in Bute Park, Cardiff, to see what’s in bloom and learn to identify a few more plants. This visit was on July 2, just after I had been to check up on the Paulownia tree I am following. It was early, so I stopped for breakfast at the park’s Summerhouse Cafe before walking through the borders to work.

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Fresh leaves on the empress tree, Paulownia tomentosa, in Bute Park, Cardiff, on July 2, 2015


Last month, as the purple flowers were falling and the leaves were just opening, the empress tree I am following in Bute Park, Cardiff, looked a mess – and I feared she would look terrible all summer. But bless her, she now looks splendid all clad in fresh greenery.

You may recall I am following this Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the foxglove tree, princess tree or empress tree, as part of the excellent Loose and Leafy tree-following project.

My latest visit to (more…)

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