New Winter Visitor.


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Today’s snow brought a new visitor to the garden, for this winter, the Pied Wagtail.

From the RSPB website:

“The pied wagtail, Motacilla alba, is a delightful small, long-tailed and rather sprightly black and white bird. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food.”
You can read more at the RSPB Website.



Pied Wagtail.

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Pied Wagtail.

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Enjoying dried meal worms.



With a Black Bird friend eyeing up the pear on the feeder.


Has the snow brought you any new winter visitors?

The National Botanic Garden of Wales.


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The National Botanic Garden of Wales is one of our favourite places to visit in Wales.
“It is a charity dedicated to the research and conservation of biodiversity, to sustainability, lifelong learning and the enjoyment of the visitor.”


The Gate House.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales was opened to the public on the 24th May 2000.     We first visited in 2005.

The double walled vegetable garden was not open then, you could however view it from a platform. It has now been rebuilt from a ruin.


The double walled vegetable garden in 2005.

Our next visit was in 2013.


The Broad Walk

The Broad-Walk.

The 220m long avenue which divides the Garden is known as the Broad-walk.
One of the longest herbaceous borders in Britain, from spring to winter, this Garden provides a colourful welcome.
It begins at the Gatehouse, passing this water sculpture called Scaladaqua Tonda.


Scaladaqua Tonda 

The Rill.

I particularly love this rill, it runs the full length of the Broad Walk, vanishing into pools along the way, starting at this dragon topped mirror pool.

This feeds water down into The Rill,


a meandering stream that flows down the Broadwalk with a shape and course that is inspired by Carmarthenshire’s Towy Valley river.

It then disappears into the Circle of Decision, a fountain shaped like the cross section of an ammonite,


The great glasshouse.

Designed by Foster and Partners, is the largest structure of its kind in the world. The structure is (312 ft) long and (180 ft) wide, with a roof containing 785 panes of glass.


The great glasshouse.

The plants are divided into sections from Chile, Western Australia, South Africa, California, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean.

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The Japanese Garden.

Designed by professor Fukuhara for the 2001 Chelsea flower show, it won a gold medal and best in show, after which it was recreated here.
“It is named Sui Ou Tei, a reflection of the national flowers of Japan and Wales – the cherry tree and daffodil. It consists of three traditional Japanese gardens – the Stream and Lake Garden, the Gravel Garden and the Tea Garden. Filled with symbolism and guided by Zen philosophy, this is a lovely place to sit and contemplate.”



The Japanese Garden.


The Aqualab.

This is a place of learning, perched upon stilts this wooden building is full of microscopes and study aids, here schoolchildren can get the opportunity to explore the wonders of nature.


The Aqualab,


The Tropical House.

Situated in the Walled garden.


The Tropical House.

It was designed by the world-renowned Welsh architect John Belle, celebrated for his restoration of some of the most famous landmarks in the USA. It is home to tropical plants and a butterfly house.

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The Double Walled Garden.

When it was built 200 years ago, the Double Walled Garden, at over three acres, could provide enough fresh fruit and vegetables for a household of 30 people, and employed 12 full- time gardeners.


The double walled vegetable garden in 2013.

The two walls, one brick, one stone, provided shelter from animals and the harsher elements, and created important microclimates where tender plants could grow. It is divided into four quadrants, each with its own distinctive pathway. Part of the vegetable garden is given over to local School Allotments, where the schools have built a plastic bottle greenhouse.

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The Bee Garden.


You can end your exploration at the Stable Block, this houses the Seasons Restaurant, Gift Shop and Oriel Yr Ardd Gallery.


The Stable Block Restaurant.

If you are planning to visit Wales during the year, we would recommend a visit to the Botanic Garden of Wales, there is much more to see than I have shown.

It also ties in well with a visit to Aberglasney Gardens, another favourite with us.


Feed the Birds. March 2018.


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The snow has brought on extra demand around the bird feeding stations with the arrival of the Thrush family, most notably the Fieldfares and the Redwings. they come in search of any berries on the holly bushes and remaining crab apples. I usually add to this natural supply with cut up apples.



This is my apple.





Song Thrush.







Robin on the dried meal worm feeder.




Female Blackcap.


Female Blackcap enjoying dried mealworms.



Male Blackbird and the Lion guarding the entrance to the Oriental Garden.

Young female Blackbird.

Female Blackbird.



To see my previous post Feed the Birds visit:Here

Have you had some winter visitors?