Tuesday 30 March 2021
Thursday 25 March 2021
We have a cock Pheasant regularly visiting our garden with his various wives (8 at most so he's nicknamed Henry the VIII of course). Most seem to be off sat on eggs now but one or two accompany him daily to scrabble about under the bird feeders for what they can find. As they peck the foliage of anything looking edible we will have to remove the feeders and chase them off before we plant vegetables this year! He announces the day at 6 a.m. daily, with a raucous call and a whirring of his wings. It never fails to wake me.
I had my 2nd vaccination yesterday, at the Showground hub, where they are VERY efficient, and I am glad to report that so far I just have a little soreness at the jab site, and had a very slight headache this morning. Phew. I was worried sick I was going to get the pain of the side-effects last time (very painful bad back) with knobs on. Now the only worry is when Keith will get his as he had his AZ one in mid-January, several weeks before me.
Stunning clouds when I stopped to take photos along a "short cut" - think Scenic route - between Boughrood and Glasbury.
Tuesday 23 March 2021
There's nothing better than a fingerpost giving you freedom to walk and explore. This one is on the Wye Valley Walk, which Tam and I enjoyed a short stretch of on Sunday. We planned just to walk from The Groe (our daily walk) to Pwll Ddu, just 3 fields upstream. Pwll Ddu translates to Dark Pool. The new header photo is taken from just that place.
This was a bit more like our River Cothi in Carmarthenshire - big rocks and boulders mid-stream (although the Cothi ran through a complete rocky gorge, especially where we used to live). We finally saw a Water Wagtail (the Grey Wagtail by its common name) on the field nearby on our way back. We had them in our garden and on the rooves of the house and outbuildings in our old home. Here they are conspicuous by their absence.
To begin with we could hear the road, as it runs quite close to the river on the way to Rhayader. That's an area we shall be walking (and puffing!) in the summer. The Elan valley beckons!
Saturday 20 March 2021
As you can see, we have odd ground levels here, due to the old mansion house here being modified and dropped where it stood and then a lawn of sorts grown on top of the rubble at the back. The rubble extends around the house (more than 3 feet deep at the sides and back) with retaining walls, apart from at the very back where it abuts the house (all tanked). It makes for a gardening challenge as there are lengths of drainage pipe and the power to the Summerhouse all crossing it too - discovered when we tried to plant things!Yesterday was the first day of Spring. It was a bit grey but it was dry and reasonably warm and after Keith and I had had our walk along by the River Wye and got the Telegraph, we came home and I was out in the garden. When we did our banking visit to Brecon last Monday I had nipped into Morrisons (just that one gardening corner! which was sadly half-empty, but there was still a good number of Clematis and soft fruit packs. I bought 3 more clematis, and a Thornless Blackberry and an Erisimum (Bowles Mauve). I planted the Blackberry by the wooden fence across from the Summerhouse, to the right of the gate through into the top triangle of land. The Erisimum went in a gravel border just where the right of the vase of daffodils is on my windowsill. I have had to protect it with an Abergwili plastic tray to keep the perishing Pheasants off it - they are inclined to peck at anything growing and have done for a few Daffodils out there too.
This is the main garden area here, planted up for low maintenance gardening with shrubs. Except it isn't really that low maintenance. LOOK at those two huge hedges - those will be a lot of work to keep in trim. Tam's best friend E popped in as she was passing on her way past recently (a journey for her job) and, as a professional Horticulturalist with an MA under her belt, gave us her advice - get 'em out! So we shall, although it will mean a big tidy up in the little paddock behind, which is about to become the Orchard. There are some hillocky bits just behind the hedge which - on closer inspection - appear to be chunks of masonry, so those will need shifting - rolling across to the quarried hillside on the far side I suspect.
This is the area I was working on yesterday, as although the previous owner put membrane down everywhere, with some compost on top, this had moved down the slope and left bare areas, and there were a lot of weeds - grass, tiny wild strawberries which had to come out as they were thoroughly mixed in with the layers of moss and Liverworts, esp. the Common sort, which had also colonized it. When Liverwort "leaves" go over, they are not a good look!
As the racing was on, every now and then I dashed in to watch a race, and then went out and gardened some more. Tea was an easy affair as it was the 2nd half of a Chicken curry from Gousto. Keith, not being a curry person, had two roast chicken portions from the butchers, peas and a jacket spud. He likes plain cooking.
Here you can see much of the side garden, with the differing ground levels. The roses in green planters are yellow Patio roses left here by the previous owner. The blue Abergwili fruit box covers David Austin rose The Lark Ascending, and out of sight opposite it is the deep purple Indigo rose. The seed trays were planted with various heritage tomatoes, chillis and peppers and are growing well on the windowsill in the Hot Pink Bedroom. The brown planter has Tess of the D'Urbervilles in it, the bright blue planter is one of four left here full of Sage. I don't need 4 planters of Sage so I have cut them right back and am planning to replant them all elsewhere in the garden (done one so far). Then I can repurpose those planters. The same will probably happen to that planter of leggy Lavender and I have a whole BED of Lavender at the back which, unless I am able to establish another border, will have to be dug up and replanted over beyond the pond where there is a blank area (as it is again close-to-the-surface rubble!)
The pond area of the garden, taken in January and this was wet snow falling. Lots of leaves still to sweep up although I have cleared 2/3 of this now. The Rhododendrons (probably the common or garden lilac sort) will be cut lower once they have flowered as they are blocking a lovely view. I am going to grow a clematis each side up over the Summerhouse (in planters again - Multi Blue and Rooguchi, 2 from Morrisons). The garden edging and half of the crazy paving around the pond is made up from the former flagstones in the house. A shame, but the quarry tile floor in the kitchen is so much easier to mop ( a five minute job) and at the table end of the kitchen, there is a set-in carpet.
I'll take some more photos as I progress, and plant more things. I have two different packs of Cosmos to start off for putting in planters in the yard and will get more annuals to add colour. I got the two big Clematis from the Nursery in planters this week - one by the French doors end of the stable yard, and the other in a planter against the end of the Stables. Another (Lady Diana, a hot pink one) from Morrisons, is in a planter in the middle of the stable walls.
I am full of plans, and about to order my heritage apples for the orchard, so there will be a post about that. I will buy more roses too and may plant a couple of ramblers out the front - nothing too rampant as we need to get behind them to keep the holly hedge trimmed.
Well, it is the middle of the night again, but I have had a 5 day run of steroids now and am pretty well back to normal (thank Heavens - I felt like death from lack of sleep by Thursday night, with just 4 hours each night). I shall read a bit of my book and then hopefully be able to nod off again.
Wednesday 17 March 2021
Today Tam and I had a good walk - not too long (being on steroids and not 100% yet. We drove up to the x-roads about 4 miles from home and did a circular route we'd picked out on the map, not too challenging as it was mostly contouring. This is the view looking across towards Garth from where we were parked. It was just under 3 miles though it felt further because of my still being on Steroids.Looking back towards the sunshine!! Thought we did catch a little of it later on.
Finally, we have started a subscription to Gousto, just for a month or so. Tam wanted some more challenging recipes and a bit of excitement, and we got a special offer, so . . . Last night we had a really tasty Fragrant Coconutty Haddock Curry with Lemongrass and fresh ginger. Tonight it is Hearty Meatballs and Farfalle Soup, which is in the middle of cooking at the moment (I made the meatballs which are cooking in the oven, and Tam is doing the rest.) We ordered portions for 4 and so have two meals of everything, some of which can be frozen of course. Then there is Chicken and Butternut Squash Korma with Coriander Naan to look forward to. Tam has some recipe cards from when she had a subscription back in Yorkshire, and they are all such tasty recipes and fresh produce. With the reduction, only slightly an indulgence!
Tuesday 16 March 2021
Here are my Mother's Day flowers from the kids, which were accompanied by a bottle of white wine and two lovely bars of Italian soap.
What this signage doesn't say can be found on the Coflein site, which puts the site of the actual battle actually IN Builth, and just across the River Irfon from the Groe, where we walk each day. In fact, the Golf Course may actually be a huge burial site - if only Time Team were still around! With the conjunctures of the rivers Irfon and Wye, this would make sense as to the English army being shown a ford and crossing to the flank of the Welsh army. If this was the site, then it is possible that Llewellyn HAD been shriven at Llanynis Church, which is just a few fields from Cilmeri, and was making his way towards the battle. Cilmeri is 3 miles from Builth. Was he lured there? Was he betrayed? We'll never know for sure.
Here's another take on it.
Right, lesson over for today, here are some views from the churchyard.