An explosion of Spring!

A Ladybird enjoys a stroll across a Spiderwort plant

It’s been a long Winter in Wales – not rainy and mild like last year but a proper cold Winter with proper snow.

Our beehives in March

The trees and bees have been delayed, and, like us – particularly with Easter being so early at the beginning of April – have been desperate to move forward into more warmth and sunshine.

The daffodils struggled to appear for Saint David’s day this year. Last year I took a photo of them on Feb 26. This year it was over a month later nearer the beginning of April.

Late daffodils in Roath Park

The park’s tulip display was at its’ best on May 6th.

Glorious Roath tulips

Equally magnificent before Spring’s arrival was this highly ornamental shrub called Stachyurus praexox which was laden with blossom in March.

But then May’s first bank holiday brought hot weather records, flowers and pollen. Everyone and everything burst into bud with renewed energy and now we are enjoying a Spring where everything is playing catch up. This was last week’s beautiful horsechestnut bouquets

and here is a white rhododendron called the ‘Loderi King George’ which Terry Davies planted in Roath Botanic Gardens.

Terry with his rhododendron planting

Terry led the 2018 spring Walk in the Botanic Gardens along with Malcom who planted these two Callery Pear trees guarding the entrance to Cathays Library in Cardiff.

The Callery Pear tree in the Botanic Gardens is one of hundreds of Welsh champion trees in Cardiff. It usually blossoms in early spring but is running late. It is more of an ornamental tree as the fruit isn’t edible. Due to its’ beautiful vertical tallness it is perfect for street planting (although In N.E America is considered invasive)

Callery Pear champion

The Botanic Gardens have an interesting history and reading this website – Cardiff Parks – maintained and updated in great detail by Anne and Andy Bell, gives you a great insight into the parks of Cardiff..

One of the original trees planted by William Nelmes in the thirties is the Indian Bean tree on the bridge next to the conservatory in the Botanic Gardens.

The Oak (left of yellow Laburnum) planted in memory of William Nelmes

It has a beautiful canopy of foliage and in Summer there are tall white pannicles of flowers. This particular tree doesn’t flower as well now so the Friends of Roath Park who charge a mere £5 membership fee , have planted a young replacement on the river bank opposite. More info here –

https://en-gb.facebook.com/friendsofroathpark/

Our bees in the garden noisily made up for lost time and are now busy foraging and building up their honey stores.we have had to speedily add two honey supers on top of their brood box so they have room to expand and store their nectar. The hot sun directly on the hive means that we have had to increase the ventilation by placing four match sticks between the Queen excluder and first honey box. It will save the bees having to fan quite as much to keep the hive cool.

Not far out from Cardiff is Cosmeston Park.. in the Vale of Glamorgan.

History of Cosmeston

I didn’t spot an otter but they do live amongst the other wildlife on the West Island of the lake that was once a quarry.

Sunshine gleaming on Cosmeston lake

But what made my day was this little family gathering!

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