Rained off again!

Yet another wet day here, the hedges have sprung waterfalls, the roads are either ponds or rivers depending on gradient and the garden is a collection of areas of standing water.  So after a health and safety check and trimming back the bamboo that had collapsed over the slide it was seed shopping time.  Just topping up the vegetable seeds we were short of and buying a few new things, trying a new orange double Calendula (English Marigold) called ‘Neon’ hopefully see how bright it looks on the terrace.  We needed more Antirrhinum (Snapdragon) seeds and I found a lovely striped one by Suttons called ‘Picasso Splash. ‘ The Victorians were fond of their oddities and it will be fun to have this one in our Potager garden next year accompanied by a nice seed mix of all different colours of Cosmos including yellow / orange also by Suttons called ‘Feng Shui.’ When the weather is like this you need some colour to look forward too!

If you happen to be local to the garden and would be able to spare us some space in your greenhouse and some time to help us grow some annual flowers / vegetables for the garden please get in touch. We have no glasshouse at the garden and it is a yearly battle to fit the garden’s plants in both my own and the volunteer’s greenhouses along with the million must-have seeds we grow for our own gardens. Especially as we tend to plant out at plug size due to the mice / voles /ants eating anything we direct sow.

Fortunately something smiled upon on us on Valentines Day and we were blessed with some precious sunshine and a dry day for our National Garden Scheme open day. It is the first time we have opened at this time of year and we had a fantastic turnout of over 80 visitors. Probably the most repeated comment was how nice it is to be able to see the ‘bones’ of the garden and then how much they were looking forward to being able to compare the garden in winter with the summer abundance of planting filling the borders.

Photo3280Plant Sales on the NGS Day and a display of rare and unusual varieties of Snowdrop under the shelter.

The double snowdrops were putting on a good show, the single were stubbornly still in bud, I imagine by next week they will be starting to put on a display.

Photo3270Double snowdrops on the stream bank

We have planted several named varieties inside the Walled Garden, most of which due to the mild weather had finished by the time we opened, but they should be looking even better next year. We look forward to seeing Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ with it’s scented flowers, ‘Magnet’ with the delicate looking swaying flowers, double ‘Hippolyta’ with her full multi-petalled skirts should be forming a nice clump too. In flower for the open day were the large growing Galanthus ‘Lerinda’ and the equally showy ‘Atkinsii.’

Photo3272G. ‘Atkinsii’

Out in the woodland garden we have stuck to species Snowdrop varieties such as G. woronowii with it’s broad, shiny green leaves and G. elwesii often called the giant snowdrop with it’s broad grey-green leaves and variably marked flowers.  It’s been such a topsy-turvy season that there is even the odd Anemone nemerosa (Wood Anemone) flowering out there and the green leaves of the bluebells are already through.

Having our holiday centre open for tea, refreshments and a warm up also helped and we raised just over £100 for the garden.  Some of which has now been spent on the aforementioned seeds!

As soon as the garden dries out again we will be clearing our bonfire pile and cutting the last prunings to burn.

One of the things I have managed to spend time doing inbetween the stormy weather conditions is attending to the needs of our wall-trained plants. We have roses, climbers and fruit trees against many of the walls and these do need pruning and tying in properly to the walls so that they can stand up to the wind. The glorious Rosa ‘Alister Stella Gray’ right at the top of the central steps on the terraces had to be propped on a weekly basis last year as it had grown very top -heavy. Meaning the bulk of the flowers were above head height.  I’ve not quite finished them, but we are definately getting somewhere with this project. It always surprises me how long it takes to train in a rose. First I tend to remove anything I can see that is dead/ diseased/ damaged. Then I undo the rose from whatever is holding it up and untangle it.

Photo3276

After a bit of thinking an idea for how the rose should be shaped begins to come through and then it is a case of finding somewhere in the walls I can hammer a 4-5″ inch nail in as a tying in point. In some places I have been able to use the original Victorian iron nails as they are still tough enough to be used. Then the rose has to be carefully bent into the new position and tied in. I am trying the plastic coated wire garden ties this year to see how they last.

Photo3277Red flowered Rose re-trained at the top of the terrace.

Finally there are the armfuls of pruning to add to the bonfire pile away from the path as we don’t want our wheelbarrows having punctures from the thorns. I am hoping they will flower better this year after I have added a bit of compost to them to encourage them.  That and removing the self-layered Vinca or Periwinkle plants that were beginning to smother them should give them a chance to grow. You may see a lot of Periwinkle in the garden walls. This we believe was original Victorian underplanting in the ‘Wilderness Garden’ or Woodland walk as we call it now. Once the trees grew up and took the light the Vinca escaped through the walls to the light, which is where we see it now.

We are looking at applying for lottery funding to develop / restore the gardens further here at The Ty Glyn Davis Trust and we would love to hear from you any suggestions you have or improvements you would like to see. Also if you are interested in being a part of a ‘Friends of the Garden’ group we would love to hear from you.   Happy gardening!

 

New Year – New Garden

Well it’s been a while since I have blogged, the reason being that we have been mighty busy at The Ty Glyn Davis Trust’s Walled Garden.

Winter is our time to try and get some more Maintenance works completed, but also to try and change parts of the garden when we aren’t making a mess and getting in the way of our visitors. Sadly this winter has been an extremely soggy one yet again – no news there!

We have so far had two occasions where the River Aeron, was within an inch or two of coming into the walled garden.

Photo3085The River Camel in full spate, complete with new waterfall formed by the run off from the bridge.

This has led to higher than even our usual high winter water table in the garden. The path network within the walled garden is designed to act as drains to help alleviate this problem, but even that didn’t stop the water bubbling up through the path nearest the river on the wettest days.

Photo3087A rising water table put paths under water.

We have struggled on despite wondering if we would now grow webbed feet and have accomplished a lot of improvements to the garden.  The Crab apples under the Walnut tree have been removed as they were not growing well under the influence of the toxins the root system of the Walnut tree produces to reduce competition with other plants. More Buddleja or butterfly bush seedlings were removed in the border adjacent the decking. These were just seedlings which had been left in when the original plants died. In the same border the thicket of self-set Tree peonies have been thinned so you can now see there is a Mock Orange in there which we hope will regenerate. It has also revealed the attractive and very long lasting fruit on the Siberian Crabapple at the back of the bed.

The last of the fruit bushes are now gone from the terrace making room for more decorative planting up there.

We also waved goodbye to our diseased Quince trees, thinned the willow coppices, chainsaw pruned overgrown apple trees on the terrace and a whole host of other more minor bits of pruning.

It has not all been removals though, the benefit of the extremely mild weather has been that we have been able to replant things now so that they can get settled in before the main season begins. We have been concentrating on planting a lot of spring colour, including scented Hamamelis or witch hazel.

Photo3134Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ whose orange – red flowers are made to glow when backlit by the winter sun.

We have planted a whole host of different taller perennials which we hope will need the minimum of staking including Bidens, Coreopsis, Rudbeckia and Veronicastrum. We have also planted some more tropical looking planting including Phormium (New Zealand Flax), coloured leaf forms of Libertia and Eryngium agavifolium a Sea Holly with very exotic looking foliage.

Ready for our first winter opening for the National Garden Scheme on Valentine’s Day we have been madly planting Snowdrops too. Sticking to the plan of named varieties within the garden and different species outside. We already have good plantings of the common single and double snowdrops and we wanted to develop this feature to encourage more winter visitors to the garden. Sadly the weather is throwing a slight spanner in the works by being so mild that they are flowering the best part of 3 weeks early. However, we have also been adding to our plantings of Hellebores, Pulmonaria and Cyclamen to add other interest.

Photo3099Helleborus x hybridus ‘White Spotted’ giving a great show near the sleeping Gunnera.

Entrance on the NGS day is £3.50 for adults and children are free, refreshments will be served in the Holiday Centre. Plants will be for sale too. Come along for a romantic stroll with your loved ones, followed by tea and cake. Bring the sun if you can too!

We had a successful in-store collection in our local Sainsbury’s store raising just over £75 for the garden and holiday centre. Our half of the money went on winter planting, buying winter flowering and evergreen plants for the garden.  We were questioned as to how the Trust is organised, perhaps due to some newspaper headlines on ‘fatcat charity bosses’ on the day we were collecting. If you too are curious then to fill you in; the Trust employs two part – time staff, myself and Kelly the Holiday Centre Manager. We both have line managers who are trustees. We have approximately a dozen trustees, all of which work voluntarily to keep our Charity running.  Our Holiday Centre is designed to be non-profit making as it is a main aim of the Trust not just to provide holiday accommodation for Disabled and Special Needs people and their families or carers, but to be an affordable holiday venue. The Trust’s founders appreciated the demands of specialist equipment and treatments that can stretch a family’s finances beyond the point where a holiday is affordable.

We look forward to a New Year of new plantings, new visitors, new friends and supporters of our work and almost above all a new sort of weather, preferably involving some sunshine!

 

Storm season is here

November gave us a very gentle start to Autumn, it was in the 20′s temperature wise on our first Grand Plant Sale on the 1st of the month. We had a lovely day in the garden making people happy with plants to take home and we raised £182 in total, which has been spent on putting in new plants in the areas cleared. We still have plenty of plants that like damp conditions, pond edges, bog garden etc if anyone is creating a pond or damp border please get in touch for plants at good prices.

We have had more tree works done in our Gentleman’s Arboretum, which you walk through to get to the Walled Garden.  Two trees that were definately on the move have gone, the thoroughly rotten willow behind the donations cairn and a mature self-set ash tree which was growing in the stone wall and had a very poor anchorage. Given the 70mph winds we have experienced with this latest storm I’m so glad  we managed to get the work done or we may have had some holes created in the walls in the Walled Garden!

Continuing with our winter tree works I was fortunate to be donated a days labour with a chainsaw and made the most of it in the Walled Garden this time.  It is with regret that we have had to say goodbye to our two Quince trees. They had a fungal disease which even DEFRA were unable to identify for us and despite undertaking the works to the trees that DEFRA recommended there was no improvement in their health and it appears to be spreading to the weaker apple trees.  Not wishing to lose the heritage apple tree orchard they had to go.

The two crab apples under the Betty Davis’s memorial walnut tree were also in poor shape, primarily due to their location. Walnut trees protect themselves from competition by secreting toxins in their root systems to damage the plants around them. Crab apples are particularly susceptible to these toxins and the difference between this pair and the pair of identical trees the opposite side of the rose arch was very noticeable. We are redeveloping this bed and will replant with an ornamental tree which will tolerate the Walnut better.  The Walnut itself also had a couple of lower branches removed which continually overhang the path.

Lastly the Golden Delicious? apple in the bed on the terrace had a trim, again to make the paths passable and to increase air flow and stop it creating quite so much shade in that bed. With a bit more sunlight in their we will have a much larger choice of planting for that bed.

We really need our weather to improve for a few days now so we can clear our mammoth bonfire pile!

Oct 2015 025Precious last roses R. ‘Graham Thomas’ with Nicotiana sylvestris and Anthemis.

Usually by now the putting to bed of our borders is well underway, but due to the mild weather many things have not yet died back, even the Dahlias are still flowering. This weekends projected cold spell should provide us with plenty to cut back on Monday though. I’m sure we will fill our newly emptied compost heap in a jiffy! So in preparation for this we are clearing space to mulch in the long bed running down the right hand side of the garden opposite the adventure playground. The two remaining self-set Buddleias have gone to be replaced by something that doesn’t overhang the path as much. The butterfly bushes had grown so big they had swamped all the planting that once surrounded them and left the weeds to thrive. This area should look much, better next year after a good mulching and replanting against the backdrop of our lovely stone walls.

Oct 2015 026Passiflora Lavender Lady newly planted and already flowering, here’s hoping for a good display next summer.

We have added a new volunteer to our merry little band to help us keep on top of the garden better, but there is still plenty of room for more if you would like to come down and help out!

So come down and have a good old crunch through the leaves before we manage to get them swept up!

 

GRAND PLANT SALE!

Just to let all you plantaholics know we are having a GRAND PLANT SALE Sunday 1st November from 1-3pm in the garden. We will be dividing our borders and selling clumps of plants at low prices all monies to the garden.  Come along and re-stock your garden with interesting plants at low cost all while supporting a charity. Hope to see you there.

Oct 2015 023

A very mellow Autumn

What a lovely October we are having, makes up for the wet weather in August. Unfortunately due to a dislocated shoulder I haven’t quite managed to take advantage of the unseasonally good weather! I have had to restrict myself to continuing to paint the metalwork, some of which is in poor condition, I hope I am catching it in time to preserve it. It being Autumn I have had one obligatory enormous bonfire, as our waiting for the bonfire pile was too tall to stack anything else on! That and trimming back finishing flowers and giving the mediterranean shrubs on the terrace a much needed trim back to stop them completely taking over the pathways.

Oct 2015 033Apologies to the bird whose nest in the purple sage I inadvertantly exposed during my pruning.

The advantage of having to work at a somewhat gentler pace has been the rare opportunity to enjoy the things that are going on in the garden at the minute.  I spotted the Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ which I planted last month are now flowering up on the terrace.

Oct 2015 031Far more beautiful in real life than in any catalogue.

October seems to be a bit of a season of pink up on the terrace with Salvia and Guernsey lily (Nerine bowdenii) flowering up there now.

Oct 2015 028Unknown tender Salvia

Oct 2015 022Lovely Nerines!

I still have plenty more bulbs to put in ready for our NGS day in February next year. If you are interested in volunteering on the day in the garden or helping to organise this event please get in touch as we would like to re-form our Friends of the Garden group next year and start to plan more events in the garden.

There is some nice autumn colour in the garden along with the late flowers too, something we are looking to develop in the future too.

Oct 2015 020Morning mists with the Koelreuteria tree.

We have had our first mild frosts in the garden now, but not yet enough to finish off even the courgette plants. Nasturtiums are still flowering and the leaf vegetable like the Kales and Chard are still looking good.

Oct 2015 023Scarlet Kale plant with climbing Nasturtium pyramid in the vegetable gardens.

Our winter tree works are beginning again to remove some more dangerous trees in the woodland walk again on Wednesday weather permitting so the garden will be closed on that day.

Do come down and enjoy the weather on our new benches too! With a combination of funds from our Santander grant, NGS Day donations and a both a donation of free benches and a generous discount on those purchased from Robert Dyas we have now received 8 new recycled plastic benches for the gardens. We have installed 6 so far and hope to put in the remaining two soon.

Benches ty glyn 010Benches ty glyn 015Benches ty glyn 011Benches ty glyn 017

Soggy September

Well it has been a bit of a soggy September so far, with the odd glorious day just to remind us how it can be! Not too wet to work though so we have been kept busy as ever in the garden.

We have lots of veg still coming along and I am trying to pick some cut flowers for sale by the Gardeners cottage when I can too.

Lauras birthday party 015Posies for £1!

We have been trying to keep on top of the deadheading to extend the flowering season further at this time of year.  In our frosty walled garden we don’t tend to be earlier than most gardens so we try and hang on and be later than everyone else here. The season has been a bit short with a combination of heat and rain shortening flowering / cropping times.

The Dahlia’s we are bulking up are looking good at the minute (between rain showers).

pitcairn and work 003Dahlia ‘Blue Bayou’

We have made an effort to plant more late flowering plants and some of the plants have reached a size to put on a nice display, such  as the dark leafed, yellow flowered Ligularia with the Crocosmiia ‘Solfatare’ by the pond.

pitcairn and work 002Ligularia and Crocosmiia by pond

We also have groups using the garden this month, including users of our Holiday Centre for Disabled and Special Needs people who came in for a bulb planting session.

Lauras birthday party 007Celebrating a job well done!

We have been busy bulb planting ready for our winter gardening and snowdrop open day for the NGS next Valentines day. So a big thankyou to our visitors for their donations which have paid for the bulbs.

We have been struggling to keep on top of the maintenance of the wooden features in the garden due to the fact it is such a damp site. I am pleased to report that through our Santander grant and both a generous discount and donation of 3 benches from Robert Dyas we will be replacing some of our benches in the garden with recycled plastic benches from the Winawood range in the following weeks.

The Garden is still looking for more volunteers to help us keep the garden looking tidy, doing everything from harvesting produce, deadheading, weeding to painting metalwork. The volunteers come in on either a Monday or a Wednesday and generally do a 2-3 hours each. Please contact us if you are interested.

While every effort is made to keep up with our maintenance it is difficult to be on top of everything so apologies that one set of small steps on the terrace is closed while we repair the woodwork.

Ty glyn sept 003The right hand middle set of steps on the terrace are closed for repairs.

I did however manage to take advantage of a good weather day to repaint the peeling handrails up the terrace steps and the musical instruments to keep these going for hopefully many more years.

Lauras birthday party 010Nice to see the newly planted tree lupin by the freshly painted railings coming into flower too.

Cornwall hols 158The ‘sub-tropical’ border by the shelter in the garden is still looking good. The Californian Tree Poppies are still flowering and the ornamental grapevine on the back wall has gone a rich purple, which the newly planted Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ complements. The Paulownia or ‘Foxglove Tree’ in this bed is coming on and we have just added Phormium ‘Platts Black’ to break up the solid green of the massed Romneya planting in this bed.

Lauras birthday party 012The Paulownia will be coppiced to restrict it’s size and make the most of the dramatic large leaves in this border.

Cornwall hols 163Japanese Anemones under the apple tree on the terrace are complemented by self sown Feverfews. Sometime the best plant combinations in a garden are those that make themselves, keeping a garden fresh and interesting from year to year.

Lauras birthday party 014Self set lime green Nicotiana in with the Kale ‘Nero di Toscana’ are a case in point!

We are planning on kicking off October with a grand plant sale! Our herbaceous borders are in need of division so the idea is to split the beds and then offer generous bare root clumps of perennial for £2-£3 / clump. A great and economical way to fill the beds in your garden. Date and times will follow, keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details!

I hope we have once more tantalised you with a glimpse of the garden this month, do make time to come and visit us again or even volunteer in the garden!

 

Awesome or Awful August?

Can’t quite decide about August, some glorious days, but quite a lot of the wet stuff too! Still at least it meant less watering and the ability to work the ground up on the terrace beds occasionally as they weren’t like concrete all summer.

We have been busy having groups visit the garden this summer including the NGS Day, Aberaeron WI and two visits from different age groups at local charity DASH’s summer holiday programme.

ngs ty glyn 016Teddy Bear’s Picnic

ngs ty glyn 010NGS Day

If you would like to hold an event in our garden or use it for your group please contact us either by phone or email tyglyngardener@yahoo.co.uk.

Really pleased with the terrace beds this year which are starting to reflect the amount of work we have been putting in and the replanting made possible by your donations.

summer hols 059Donated Crocosmiia possibly ‘Severn Sunrise.’ We have been broadening the planting up here to include more unusual and tender plants in this more sheltered part of the garden.  The hot colour scheme is also working well and looking up at the terrace, particularly at this time of year the vibrant colours are very enticing.

summer hols 079Of course once you are up on the terraces don’t forget to look down!

We have been battling through the problems caused by theft whether it be theft of newly planted stock, or theft of crops while they are still in the ground. This year we again lost half of our onion crop and half of one variety of potato, the mess left behind is as annoying as the thefts;

summer hols 057Potato Ulster Sceptre uprooted with unwanted tubers scattered around.

We do our best to keep on top of harvesting our produce for sale to visitors, but this is balanced with providing a display for visitors and the simple demands on the time of our small, but hardy, team. Ironically if the people who take the time to come down and steal, became volunteers instead we would be on top of these jobs! We do have lots of produce for sale now by the Gardeners cottage, money into the stone cairn please, which goes straight back into the garden.

summer hols 070L-R top to bottom Runner Bean Streamline, French Beans Cobra, Selma Zebra and Purple Teepee and Courgettes.

 

We have now lifted first and second early Potatoes Ulster Sceptre, Lady Christl and the blue fleshed Salad Blue. The remaining Maincrop potato is still in and looking attractive as this year we have not been bothered by blight as yet.

The Productive Gardens have come in for some much needed tidying this week as Borage has finally gone over after a bumper season and English Marigolds were looking tired too. The Dahlias now have space to come out and dazzle us into Autumn.

summer hols 063 I think I removed 4 barrows just of Borage from the veg garden.

summer hols 067We will definately be growing more Kale ‘Nero di Toscana’ next year which has done very well for us this year adjacent the Rainbow Chard.

A new plant we trialled in one of the wettest beds in the garden, (previously infested with Garden Mint) is the large leaved Telekia speciosa with it’s lovely yellow daisy flowers.

summer hols 055

Regular visitors to the garden will note some changes to the Woodland Walk that runs around the outside of the Walled Garden. Due to a dispute over the garden’s boundaries with our neighbours the section of the Woodland walk encompassing the Lime Walk is now closed to visitors. We are currently in negotiations and I will keep you posted as to how these go and the changes which will be made to the garden.

We are now beginning to look at purchasing spring bulbs ready for our Valentines Day NGS Open Day where we will be showcasing the garden’s collections of snowdrops, spring bulbs and other winter interest plants. I have a personal collection of Snowdrops (or Galanthus) and will be bringing some into the garden to display for visitors, hopefully including some yellow and heavily green marked flowers depending on what is looking best that weekend.

I am not sure where this summer has gone, it doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since we were wondering if we would have any Nasturtiums in the Veg garden as late frosts had wiped out the first round of self set seedlings now we are constantly trimming them back to keep the paths open. We are still well worth a visit though as the Phlox plants we spent much of last Autumn putting in are now starting to bloom extending our interest period further.

Joyous July

Certainly a wetter month than July last year we have even had enough rain to allow us to work on the beds on the sunny terrace which normally resemble concrete at this time of year.  Inspired by Gwynfor Growers plant stall at St. Dogmaels Market I have now cleared a corner of the top right hand bed of the Phlomis russeliana to make way for an apricot and blue theme.  Gorgeous long flowering Kniphofia ‘Tawny King’ with Potentilla x tonguei and Hemerocallis ‘Pretty Maid in shades of apricot to orange. With an unusual blue Salvia (lets hope for another mildish winter) and Campanula ‘Pritchards Variety.’  More planting to follow as funds allow so please keep donating to the garden! The workable soil has also allowed us to stop the perennial sweet peas on the terrace from rambling everywhere and train them up bamboo wigwams where they will make more impact.

Jul 2015 033The new Daylilies and (apricot) hot pokers!

Sadly we have had a bit of vandalism, the lovely stone man in the round pond has been decapitated. We are working to get him fixed and returned to his rightful place guarding the entrance to the garden.

The veg garden is coming on with a bit of watering, we now have some fine cabbage, rainbow chard and distinctive nero di toscano kale. The nasturtiums and marigolds have returned from the early season losses to the frosts and the dahlias and sweet peas are coming.

Jul 2015 036

We also have some gorgeous paeony flowered lilac opium poppies springing up around the garden and looking particularly good with the bright blue Borage in the veg garden.

Jul 2015 017

The bed on the right hand side of the terrace which was kindly replanted by staff from HSBC this time last year is coming on in leaps and bounds with some judicious thinning of self-set plants. We have a haze of Verbena bonariensis softening bright red Crocosmiia ‘Lucifer’ and large flowered Penstemon ‘Charlotte Louise’ with white, pink spotted Campanula takesimana ‘ Alba’ in full flower now.

Jul 2015 023The cottage peeps through a cloud of Verbena bonariensis.

The roses are in full bloom and scent of course joined by the honeysuckles. We are hoping to plant for more scent throughout the year in the future which could be enjoyed by groups such as Aber Actif who came to see us last week. Many of their members are visually impaired, but the visitor which seemed to most enjoy the scented planting has to be the lovely guide dog with a particular interest in scented flowers.

Jul 2015 028Sniff sniff!

If you would like to bring a group to the garden please get in touch, we are getting to be more popular and given our limited parking we are keen to avoid a clash of dates!

The rain has certainly kept us busy with a weekend of rain generating growth that feels like it should have taken a fortnight to produce. We have been trimming back flopping growth, staking perennials and hacking back the brambles to keep the woodland walk passable. We have also been giving perennials which have finished flowering a haircut in the hope of generating a second flush of growth ready for our National Gardens Scheme open day on the 2nd of August. The Chelsea chop we trialled on some geraniums appears to have worked for us too.

It is difficult to get any garden to look great every month of the year, but the heat generated in a smallish walled garden like ours can significantly shorten the flowering periods of our planting and bring them forwards. Because of this we have been trying to replant those beds towards the bottom of the walled garden (which have gaps from the removed Buddleja) with plants which flower in late summer – autumn too. A recent visit to Penlan Perennials brought us amongst other things  4 more varieties of hardy geranium in softer colours for the lower garden and a vibrant pink for the terrace beds. I always feel that if your garden lacks interest at as particular time of year that is the time to drag yourself out to your nearby nurseries and open gardens for inspiration. Too many of us fall into the trap of buying in spring only and then ending up with a garden largely interesting in April and May – though after a gloomy wet Welsh winter our desperation for colour could be forgiven!

Finally with the summer holidays looming we are trying to finish some more of the much needed maintenance work on the garden, we have now patched our disabled entrance ramp and we hope depending on donations to keep chipping away at our maintenance list. We also hope to have installed more much needed benches in time for the holiday season.

For anyone wishing to enquire about our holiday centre for people with special needs or disabilities please note that our telephone number has now changed.

Flaming June

What a strange old month June is freezing winds and baking hot days in the garden.  Those walls sure can reflect the heat when they want to!

We did have a flurry of excitement with the discovery that our visiting ducks had made a home on the pond and raised 9 ducklings.

June2016 056 A few days later we had a reminder of the cruelty of nature when I returned to work to find Mother duck trying to get her remaining 4 ducklings to climb through the grill in the wall to move to safer accommodation. The tiny ducklings couldn’t leap high enough to follow her so I spent a busy half hour trying to catch them to reunite them with their mother.

June2016 062It’s amazing how quick they can move even at this size.

Sadly I was unable to find where the last duckling had hidden himself and by this point mother duck had moved on. So ‘Bill’ remained on the pond and we fed him part of our lunches.

A few days later and mother duck was back calling loudly with no sign of the rest of the ducklings and Bill, cheeping back was still on the pond. Bill is no longer there, we can but hope the Mother duck returned for him.  Nesting close to nests of Red Kite and Buzzards did not prove to be a good idea.

On a more positive note our replanting of the garden continues with a bed which was previously full of invasive garden mint being mulched and replanted. The theme of this bed is large leaves with unusual Telekia speciosa  at the back with it’s yellow daisy flowers in late summer and Astilboides tabularis whose round leaves are supposed to grow to the size of a dustbin lid.

June2016 092Variegated Hosta ‘Twilight’ brighten up this shady spot too.

Other beds have had pockets of replanting to replace lost plants and are looking much brighter now.

June2016 088Siberian Iris and Dicentra Valentine with perennial honesty in the background.

June2016 089New pink persicarias join the foxgloves and masses of Allium christophii.

We have been working on the bed next to the shelter this week, clearing the mass of willowherb and mulching our clay soil for moisture retention. We already have Tetrapanax and a mass of Romneya coulteri or Californian Tree Poppy in here and we are building on this tropical theme by adding ginger lilies or Hedychium. We also planted the large leafed foxglove tree, Paulownia tomentosa, New Zealand Flax and the honey spurge, Euphorbia mellifera. Most of these plants came from our plant swap with Stackpole Walled Gardens.

The veg garden is now pretty much planted up and will be a more floriferous potager garden this year with Zinnias and a new orange Cosmos ‘Bright Lights.’ We just need the cold winds to ease and then the soft leafed plants like our poor runner beans would be able to get going.

Your donations mean that we will shortly be doing some more maintenance works to the garden. We hope to be able to re-open the doorway (which was closed due to the doorframe being completely rotten) by the summer holidays.

I also did a presentation to Sainsburys Lampeter last week in the hope that The Ty Glyn Davis Trust could be their partner charity for the next year, we haven’t heard back yet, but fingers crossed.

We will also be hosting two events in the garden for local charity DASH in the summer holidays. If your charity would like to visit the garden or have an event here in conjunction with us please get in touch.

 

 

 

 

Whitsuntide Wonderful

The garden is changing so rapidly at the minute with some plants growing 4 inches a week.  Even a weekly visit would show you the difference in the garden.

dyffryn fernant 010New planting by the pond boardwalk is  coming into flower now.

We are preparing several beds ready for a mass replanting soon. Your donations from the stone cairn in the garden and the plant sales as well as contributing to the maintenance of the garden (works to the wheelchair ramp in the garden and sections of stone wall to begin soon) have purchased a few shrubs to fill the gaps of the buddlejas, reverted roses etc we took out over the winter and some trailing plants for the terrace beds.  The lovely Cotinus dummeri ‘Grace’ is now planted at the bottom of the garden near Merlin. This dark leafed shrub has clouds of white flowers in summer, earning it the common name of Smoke Bush and gorgeous fiery red autumn colour.

dyffryn fernant 040Spectacular lilac in full bloom and scent at the top of the terrace.

The veg garden is coming along, the unseasonable cold has delayed plantings of things like courgettes, pumpkins and Dahlias, but we will get them in soon. Just hoping we don’t get too much rabbit damage.

dyffryn fernant 041Dramatic dwarf bearded iris from our plant exchange with Stackpole Walled Garden, nr. Pembroke are in flower at the minute.

dyffryn fernant 043Euphorbia polychroma (yellow flowers), black Tulip Queen of the Night and stunning silver Cardoons looking lovely together in the formal vegetable garden.

dyffryn fernant 047Don’t forget our gentleman’s arboretum, the snowdrops have gone, the wood anemones too and the bluebells are starting to go over, but the trees themselves are still great to look at. Here we have (l-r) Cedrus deodara (The Deodar Cedar), self set ash tree, Fagus sylvatica Purpurea (Copper Beech) and original cherry laurel bushes about to flower.  A soothing place to stroll with the sounds of the burbling stream in the background as you walk. We even spotted a Kingfisher in the garden this week.

You can see us this Bank Holiday Monday at the Aberaeron Garden Festival promoting the garden and holiday centre and collecting donations to continue our work.

Ty Glyn Davis Trust Walled Garden, Ciliau Aeron, Wales