Rare Firs, champion maples and pines from far flung countries such as Japan, Tasmania, the Andes and China are just some of the species of trees in the small pretty park of Cefn On in Cardiff.
I just catch a glimpse of a late Spring bluebell.
Together with forest flame, azaleas and rhododendrons along the winding paths. As a child I used to thread the fallen pastel & vibrant coloured flowers onto a stick.
The stunning pond iris catch my eye. Bees love yellow – it’s one of their favourite colours (as well as blue, purple, violet and white)
and I have been enjoying the various bee yellow offerings in our gardens in Wales and Ireland …
The Welsh poppies….
And the centre of this apple blossom
We opened up the hive today and swapped three honey frames from the half brood box with some drawn out empty frames from the honey super above the queen excluder. The main and half brood box are packed so we hope by giving the queen a bit more room to lay she won’t consider swarming this year. So far, so good as for two consecutive years we have had swarms on the same day .May 14th!
Here are a couple of pictures of our hive taken today ..with arum lilies foreground and the bees shining brightly in the May sunshine.
It’s been a long Winter in Wales – not rainy and mild like last year but a proper cold Winter with proper snow.
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.
The park’s tulip display was at its’ best on May 6th.
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 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)
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.
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 –
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.