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Archive for the ‘Gwent’ Category

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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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Yarrow or milfoil (Achillea millefolium) in the office car park, June 2016

For a few months now I have been working three days a week in an unprepossessing low-rise office on a small industrial estate in Newport, South East Wales, about 10 miles down the road from Cardiff.

I don’t go out much, as the weather has been wet and there isn’t a lot to see apart from corner shops, but the other day I found myself wandering around the car park in the sunshine, while on my mobile phone to someone. And I suddenly realised that the scruffy edges of the car park are full of wonderful wild flowers. (more…)

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Inside Tredegar House

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The housekeeper’s room at Tredegar House

When I posted about the gardens of Tredegar House I did say I would come back to write about the interior of the mansion in Newport, South East Wales. I’m a bit reluctant now, as my pictures are a bit sparse and badly framed, but here goes anyway. (more…)

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Zinnia elegans in the gardens of Tredegar House in late September, 2015

You know how it is – you go to so many places in September that you suddenly find it’s January and there are autumn visits you haven’t had time to blog about yet. So I apologise that this post isn’t topical – although it is at least colourful during these dark, wet days of midwinter.

Tredegar House in Newport, south-east Wales, was taken over by the National Trust in March, 2012. Most of the red-brick house dates from the late 17th century but I will write a separate post about the house itself. This time I want to feature the plants in bloom in the gardens in September. (more…)

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The Newport Wetlands on Boxing Day

Very heavy rain throughout December and over Christmas and the New Year here in South Wales means the weather hasn’t really been good for anything. We have been lucky to miss the flooding that has hit the North of the UK, but it has still been so miserable that it has put a damper (or dampener) on our seasonal gallivanting.

Usually we make it to West Wales, but this time the highlight was just the Newport Wetlands nature reserve on Boxing Day. (more…)

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A tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) at the Ebbw Vale bird of prey sanctuary

Whenever we go to the Festival Park shopping centre in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent, we like to visit the owl sanctuary, which has now been there for 14 years. Although it’s called an “owl” sanctuary, it is home to about 60 different birds of prey, not just owls. Most of these poor creatures were bought as pets or gifts and then the owners decided they didn’t want them or couldn’t look after them properly.

The majority of the birds cannot be released into the wild as they were either bred in captivity or are native to far-off lands. (more…)

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