Archive for gardening

Trip to Cardiff (Caerdydd) Castle and town

Yesterday we went on the Buckland Bellringer’s coach trip to Cardiff. A 9.00am start saw us in Cardiff by 11.00am and we headed straight for the castle.

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Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. Located within beautiful parklands at the heart of the capital, Cardiff Castle’s walls and fairytale towers conceal 2,000 years of history.

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After the Norman conquest, the Castle’s keep was built, re-using the site of the Roman fort. The first keep on the motte, erected by Robert Fitzhamon, Norman Lord of Gloucester, was probably built of wood. Further medieval fortifications and dwellings followed over the years.

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The Castle passed through the hands of many noble families until in 1766, it passed by marriage to the Bute family. The 2nd Marquess of Bute was responsible for turning Cardiff into the world’s greatest coal exporting port. The Castle and Bute fortune passed to his son John, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, who by the 1860s was reputed to be the richest man in the world.

Following the death of the 4th Marquess of Bute, the family decided to give the Castle and much of its parkland to the city of Cardiff. For 25 years, the Castle was home to the National College of Music and Drama and since 1974 has become one of Wales’ most popular visitor attractions.

We climbed up the steep steps to the Keep.

We walked the Battlement walk, and across the lawn where Neil paused by an 8lb gun.

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The Castle Apartments were really splendid.  First we visited the Arab room which had an amazing ceiling.

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Beautiful wall paintings and murals decorated the Banqueting Hall.

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The Library was well stocked with ancient books.

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Outside was an ornate and detailed clock tower.

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We stopped by where the Falcons were kept and used to scare off pigeons.

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In Cardiff town along the main shopping street where we stopped for some lunch were really colourful hanging baskets displays.

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Our next stop on our tour was the Brecon Mountain Railway but that is a subject for a separate blog.

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Beautiful Bluebells

Today we visited Otterford Lakes to see the bluebells in full bloom.  As we walked through the woods, you could see the shades of blue on the ground below the dappled trees.

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As we walked further down hill we could see the swans on the lake.

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We walked past the bridge over the lake and up to the higher meadow where there was an absolute carpet of bluebells, really lovely.

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I took some views of the lake as we walked back down.

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Some white narcissus were still blooming.

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The pink Campion flowers were coming out too.

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If you want to visit yourselves, come and stay with us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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Summer flowers

I made all my hanging baskets up myself this year and I am very proud of them.  They are full of colour and just lovely at the moment.

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I particularly like the half moon baskets with their pink trailing geraniums and colourful lobelia.

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The hanging basket near our Lodge House sign is one of my favourites.

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I have several pots of plants around the front patio and many of them are full of colour too.

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I wish the vegetable garden was as well ordered, unfortunately the weeds are winning there at the moment so more work needed!!

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Making a floral basket

Yesterday I went to a flower arranging at a local village hall.  The idea was to make a country basket brimming with flowers.  Firstly we watched a demonstration, then we were able to have a go ourselves.

The first stage is to cut then soak the oasis.  To soak it you just pop it into cold water and without touching it, let it fill with water and change colour to dark green.  Then you take it out and place into the basket, but first chamfer the edges so you create a larger area into which to push the flowers.

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Next you gradually add the greenery all the way round and also in the middle.  You need lots of foliage to give a basis for the flowers to sit on.

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I then started added the delicate flowers such as Campion and Ox Eye Daises into the foliage.

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Next I added the peonies.

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And lastly, a rose, the gerberas and chrysanthemums to fill it with flowers.

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Here’s a view from on top.

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I have never done anything like this before so was quite pleased with the results and found it quite easy so will be able to do it again in the future.

Come and see, we have vacancies this weekend at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

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Beautiful Bluebells

One of our favourite walks is to go to Otterhead Lakes and walk by the lakes and through the woodland.  We went a couple of weeks ago when my brother was here but the bluebells were not quite out so we went again today to see the beautiful carpets of flowers.

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The sunlight was just shining through the emerging Beech trees with their light green leaves.

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Just off the path before the bluebells were beds of wild garlic.

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As we walked further down the blue of the bluebells got more intense.

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Neil took my picture sitting amongst the flowers.

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This is such a beautiful place, so peaceful and today there were no other people around, just the sound of the birds and the rustling leaves.

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We stopped by the first lake and could see the swan still sitting on her nest and also the Heron was in the same place as we had seen it a couple of weeks ago.  I took a picture of Neil by the lake.

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As we were driving from the car park up the lane we noticed that the Devon banks were also topped with bluebells.

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We are so lucky to live nearby.

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

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Abundant Almonds

Our Almond tree groaned with the weight of the nuts it had produced and then one heavy limb broke off.  We propped it up the best we could and hoped the nuts would still ripen.

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The branch that had snapped seem to have more nuts than any other.

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The outer casing was starting to crack open on a lot of the nuts, revealing the shell of the actual nut inside.

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This afternoon I have picked two big pots full and will dry them out and then crack off the outer casing.  We will have our own nuts for Xmas!!

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Starting the runner beans off indoors

Although we have a big garden we do not yet have a greenhouse or a polytunnel, they are on my wish list!! So when I  sow my runner beans I always have to do it indoors.  I save up all the cardboard inners from toilet and kitchen rolls, cut the kitchen roll inners into two to make the right size and fill them with grow bag compost.  I place two runner bean seeds into each tube, add a little more compost and water.  I then placed the tubes on our new kitchen window sills which place West so catch the afternoon/evening sun.DSC00159

This is what they look like after 11 days growing on the window sills.

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When the plants are about a foot tall I will put them outside into the ground.  I plant the whole tube by each bean pole thus not disturbing the roots and giving the plants a fighting chance against the slugs that would have the growing tips off in an instant.

We have found this method to be very successful over the past few years, hence repeating it this year.

look us up at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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