Last few days of autumn 2014 - photo essay

We're having a glorious week here in Mid Wales. Day after day of sunshine, it may be short lived at this time of year, the sun setting before 4pm, but the clear blue skies send my spirits soaring.
This old fatsia is there to welcome us in the front garden,
I love how it flowers in November
The first thing I always do when we get here is to walk around the garden, say hello to all my old friends and see how they're doing.
The grass was covered with a brilliant crop of crab apples
I always love how Cotinus 'Grace' lights up the garden
in her autumn mantle
Another favourite, the everlasting wallflower
brightens the barn garden
I'm a sucker for slate steps, even though they're a tad slippy in wet weather!

The ferns were looking gorgeous  and upstanding
just before they start to wither for the winter
And I love to see the grasses around the garden waving in the wind
Miscanthus against a massive ash
Can't remember the name of this grass,
but I call it the knitting needles
Miscanthus again
Looking out to the west down the valley
Dry stone wall covered in moss
 and lacecap hydrangeas
We have to keep all gates closed all of the time to keep out the very insistent sheep!
Little fuchsia in amongst the hydrangeas
Tis the season for holly and the trees are covered this year
Rose hips aren't so good though so maybe it balances out the holly.
Confuses the old saying that  lots of berries heralds a cold winter though
Couldn't resist snapping these on the road nearby, the whole tree was bare of branch
 but covered in lichen and  pinecones -  and a very pretty sight it was too
The sunbeams sent multiple rainbows shooting round the kitchen in the morning
On a shopping trip to Machynlleth, I stopped to
snap the  colours of the  Dovey estuary  

We collected sloes from the lane, then it was time to make sloe gin,
should be ready to warm us up in the dark days of February
Arlo snoozes in front of the stove while Django
is out terrorising anything that dares move
Over the weekend we paid a visit to our friends Toej and Wyck, who were until very recently, our neighbours in the valley. It was our first visit to their new home, which is an 80 minute drive south from here, so we were excited to see them and hoping they'd be settled in, as they moved about six weeks ago. Their new home is a lovely Edwardian cottage with beautifully proportioned rooms with large windows letting the light flood into each room. The garden is on a south-facing slope and has many mature trees and perennials and Wyck has his eye on a spot for a kitchen garden where they can grow lots of delicious vegetables. Wearing my garden designer's hat, I felt the locus genii was fabulous, a place that will bring our friends much happiness.

We got there the day before the extensive programme of renovations began and the builders were eagerly awaited. I found myself feeling very anxious for them, thinking if the work goes anything like it did in our living room then they'd be better moving out till it's finished. However they were confident and calm that all would be well, so I hope  that their positive attitude will prevail and that they'll soon be enjoying their newly restored home.
We'll miss you so much!
I love it so much here in Wales, especially in the autumn, although I know I say that about spring as well. Back to York soon  though - the peace and stillness of our Welsh garden will be replaced by the dark Dickensian nights and twinkly lights - the hustle and bustle of Xmas in the city.
Happy advent!
Come back soon x


  1. Jean, thank you for showing us around your colorful garden in Wales. It's easy to see why you do love the place!

    Of course, having been to York around this time of the year, I can also attest to its great charms. How grand to share your time between two splendid places.

    (I've recently returned from a brief UK visit and have done a meandering blog about where I went and what and whom I saw. Please do visit if you'd like.)


    1. I really enjoyed your trip to the UK, Frances, sounds like you had a wonderful time. I know Lewes well, and there's a lovely antique market down a side street where we spent a whole morning recently, buying several inexpensive but exquisite finds including a little guitar for one of our granddaughters. Also my publisher used to be GMC and they're based there. Also, in July, I was just up the road in Ditchling at a friend's DIY music festival - small world xox

  2. Thanks as always for sharing, Jean! I'm always amazed at how much color is still in the UK when everything in the NE US is long since dead and grey (and now iced over!). I remember stopping in a "touristy" group of shops at Machynlleth/Corris during my trip two summers ago...such a beautiful area. But yes - the excitement of a city such as York cannot be beaten at holiday time! Pam xx

    1. Always good to hear from you Pam, the weather here has suddenly turned cold, hard frost this morning and Sod's law, the heating won't come on. Time to stoke up the log stove and the Rayburn! xo

  3. i really like this News, looks great
    1 |2 |3


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