This particular Day 5 was a very cold Wednesday. We decided to forego the option of staying indoors and, instead, visited the re-discovered gardens at Aberglasney. Driving northwards from the Gower, we reached the valley of the River Tywi and were soon stood in the freezing cold listening to the spiel from the lady in the ticket office (who must have had neat anti-freeze coursing through her veins, poor lamb). It was a very nice introduction, but as I'd immediately been handed a map of the gardens, I wasn't listening. I was frantically searching the legend for the numbered circle that coincided with the word 'Cafe'. Priorities!
Bypassing the house, art exhibition and gardens, we settled down with a pot of tea and a slice of cake, and took the opportunity to read the guide book. Having been neglected for many years, by the mid 1990s the house was in a state of collapse and the garden was overgrown. A charitable trust was set up and, with the help of donations, restoration has been possible. The central section of the house was too far gone to save, but an imaginatively-designed atrium was built to house warm temperate and sub-tropical plants in a Ninfarium. It's funny how some words leap from the page... warm... sub-tropical.
Suitably refreshed, we explored the garden, despite a bitter wind and the occasional shower of rain. In the Stream Garden, there were the most extraordinary daffodils I have ever seen. As it turns out they were a species of Narcissus, (bulbocodium obesus) or Hoop-petticoat daffodil (sadly, I failed to take a photo, but try this link to a picture on the Alpine Garden Society's webpage). They were spread over a grassy bank in the company of some fritillaries and looked amazing.
|View of the house from the Upper Walled Garden|
|See that bloke with the camera? He knows jack about horticulture.|
|A great place to grow fruit where birds can't get in. Genius!|
That evening, we made our one and only trip of the week to the city of Swansea and enjoyed a meal at a Turkish restaurant in Mumbles, where we met up with an acquaintance from the University. The talk was mainly natural history, heavy on dragons, with a side order of botany. A flower was mentioned that I'd not heard of before. In fact, I even thought I'd mis-heard the colloquial name, Town Hall Clock, though later, after failing to find it in my ID book, I had to resort to the internet to solve the mystery. Live and learn.