Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Black Mountains

The Black Mountains weren't today, they were white. Beautifully white, encrusted in a layer of snow that gradually receded as your eye followed the ground from the ridge down into the valley. It was a perfect day for a walk.

We did 8 miles in a fairly swift 4 hours. starting from Llanbedr, we climbed to table mountain, then along the ridge to Pen Cerrig Calch, Pen Allt Mawr, then looped around the small spur at Pen Twyn Mawr in the centre of the valley. The views were immense, but my photographic skills weren't. I'm trying to learn how to use my camera correctly, and that means learning from my mistakes, of which there are currently zillions! Still, here's a few to give a taste of the conditions today.

I love the remote feeling you get in the black mountains. We saw three other people all day, one from a distance of about half a mile.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Cutting back.

In gardening terms, this UK winter in my little corner of Wales, has been severe. Many of the 'exotic' plants I grow have been killed or sustained a lot of damage from frost, snow and sub zero temps. I'm not bothered. In a strange way, I'm glad. I've grown pretty tired of the hobby in general - it seems pointless at times, but I guess that's the way with many hobbies that are essentially 'collections'. I would visit nurseries and buy plants, because they caught my eye, without any thought of where to plant them or whether they would look right.

So, I'm culling a lot of what I grow and I'm going to reclaim a lot of garden space for a bigger lawn where I can play with my young son and my wife can enjoy the sunshine. I'll post some photos when the weather improves. I will still retain a number of the larger evergreen stuff I grow in a border around the edge, and I still have a fondness for ferns, especially treeferns. But anything that just isn't suited to my garden/climate/family will be going. There will be a few things I can sell to recoup a bit of money, but most things will be given away or composted.