Trees down, Daffs and Dunes

Well when you are celebrating spring and visiting gardens in Wales around St Davids day you have to have some Daffs.

After the storms we had in February our local wood sadly looks like a tree graveyard. With the wind loosening the roots in the sodden soil the trees would have found it hard to keep anchored. Whilst returning to our car from one soggy blustery dog walk there was an ominous very loud crack and two silver birch trees came crashing across the road about 10m away from where we were sat in the car. The first tree was bought down by the wind but the second clearly fell because its roots were pulled up as it was growing so closely to the falling tree. Hopefully there will be some new saplings starting to grow to take their places eventually but with the amount of trees down in one little wood that is a big loss for our carbon emissions as well as the woodland wildlife.

Dunraven bay, or Bad Wolf Bay, if you were a Billie Piper David Tennant Dr Who fan. Happened to be where I spent February half term hols. A rocky little bay just down the road from some amazing sand dunes. Which are in themselves horticulturally fascinating, with the grass helping to fix the sand dune in place which then leads to other vegetative life taking hold and eventually to leaf mould and compost for further plant species to get established and then the sand dune is well protected by roots and plants to prevent erosion. Providing vital habitat for wildlife along the way.

Intriguing in a different way was these doors I came across, walking up from Dunraven bay, in a dip created between the cliff edge and the hill behind.Evidently there had been a castle on this site since the Norman times. it was so sheltered from the winds of storm Dennis it was amazing so close to the beach. Anyway a castle on that site had gone through many transformations with the first walled paddocks being built in the 1500’s by the time the Victorians took over the site they extended the gardens to include a heated Vinery, orchard and trained fruit trees as well as numerous cold frames it must have been quite an impressive site and produced quite a significant amount of produce. Sadly with the decline of Victorian grandeur the gardens were left unattended but today they are being restored and you can see the remains of the glasshouse and the cold frames along with some of the fruit trees and some bits of castle too. I’m not sure how much of the castle is in its existing place or it has been rebuilt as Victorian folly but it was a lovely place for a wander out of the wind.

The stems of this Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’ caught my eye during a spring tidy up this week. They are very striking, amazingly almost spotty.

Its stopped raining!!!!! Spring has sprung. At last, we have seen some sunshine. It has been a very long soggy winter but finally we can see buds bursting forth and shoots emerging. Now we just wait with baited breathe to hope we avoid snow at Easter so starts the frantic time of seed sowing and temperature watching that make up the spring dance of the gardener.

Fortnum and Mason cake. It is a truth , almost universally acknowledged,that the way to most tradespeoples heart is by a simple offer of tea or coffee. To be working somewhere all day with no offer of a drink or the use of the facilities, both of which would be unthinkable to most of the employed workforce, can be tough.

I have mainly been very lucky over the years and have very generous clients offering regular coffees and even sometimes a biscuit or two. So this week deserved a special mention, as clients just returning from a trip to London, offered me a beautiful little cake from Fortnum and Mason. It was a little, sublime to the ridiculous though, me head to foot in mud, big boots on and mucky hands, with a white china plate and a cake fork. It was very much appreciated nonetheless and made the afternoon proceed in a much more satisfactory manner for all concerned.

And on that note, along with the uncertain times ahead, which may lead tio plenty more time for writing but maybe less options for garden visiting I shall leave you to take time to enjoy your garden as we all head towards self isolation. Let’s use it as a positive to take more interest in our own little plot and be creative. Happy Days in the Garden x