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Bute Park, Cardiff, Temporary Willow soaker, Springtime nature watching! Wonderful Weekend!

A view of Cardiff Castle from Bute Park

My friend Lizzeeee and I went to the RHS show in Bute Park, Cardiff.  The show was very modest but packed with lovely things.  The best bit for me, aside from spending a beautiful day with my pal, was meeting a lady with a hypo-awareness Border Collie dog.  

I tried not to stop and ask her about it but couldn't help myself!  She was more than happy to tell us all about the dog and it's amazing powers of scent.  This lady had Type 1 diabetes and for the past 40 yrs she had been too scared to leave the house.  She is unable to tell when her blood sugar levels drop seriously low and so could quite easily end up having a serious diabetic seizure without knowing it was going to happen.   Frightening stuff.

Her lovely dog can smell changes in her body odour 45mins before a seizure!  It's described as a peardrop smell but she admitted to not knowing exactly what it is the dogs sense entirely.  Now she can go and enjoy a RHS show or go shopping by herself, well, with her little collie dog!  Not only that, after being housebound for 40yrs, she is entering trials for skulling in the London Olympics!!!!  We asked what would happen if, doing all that exercise, she was racing and her blood sugar levels dropped.  Ah! she said, her dog would be in the safety boat following them during the races and would warn the safety people!!!  What does this collie ask for in return?  A jelly baby.

There's a lesson there somewhere. 

Flowering Acer

Lizzee and I spent a gloriously languid few hours under this tree chatting about our lives and the wonders of the world.

Lizzeeee, she's a beautiful bean.

I've known Lizzeeee for such a long time.  I'm really excited that she is starting a little garden for her brain injury patients.  I've never known someone with such a passion for people and life.  She's an inspiration to me and I know she is an inspiration to many, many others.  ...  It's just the smell...  
; )

Finally!!!!  I've got somewhere decent to soak my willow!!!!!!!  There really is no stopping me now!!!!  For the past month I've only been able to soak little withies in the bin.  Now I can actually soak the full lengths that I need to and get on with making me baskets.  

The wooden construction on the right of the trailer is just to split the trailer in two.  The next time I get to the land I'm going to collect my recycled butyl pond liner and some wood to make a dedicated soaking trough!

THANK YOU to everyone who is waiting for a basket for your patience during this pain in the bum time.  THANK YOU!!!!!  :)

Ash tree seedling

Keep your eye out for tree seedlings at the moment they're really easy to see.

This hazel, in a hedgerow, was packed full of seeds.

Below is the magnificent Lord and Ladies in flower!  In the evening the shards of low sunlight hit these flowers making the floor of the forest light up with spikes of soft green lights.

The Horsechestnut below is the biggest tree in our local woods.  I always fail miserably to get a good photo of it.  I decided to post this pic because I love the green!!!  Greeeeeen!!!!

The end of my day yesterday was spent enjoying the hot air balloons taking off from a field the other side of the valley.

How I love Spring.


  1. Your magnificent lord looks like the skunk cabbage we have that is popping up in our marshy areas. You are having some fine spring weather, and so awesome to share it all with a great friend.

    Your new willow soaking set up is awesome Hen. You are in full gear now with basket design.

  2. What a wonderful story about the collie that senses a diabetic seizure coming on, it must have given this lady a complete new lease of life. Glad you have somewhere to soak your willow withies now, doing them in a wheelie bin must have been hard going.

  3. Hey hen, nice set up for dunking the willows. How come it's in a trailer, is it handy to have them mobile?

    Interesting story about the collie. I heard about a cat in a nursing home that could sense when someone was going to die, sounds a bit morbid doesn't it. Here's a link I found.

  4. Love the photo of the balloons, and oh the joys of spring, what a glorious time!

    Rima and Tui are with me, what a special couple they are. They are looking forward to winding their way to you in the summer...the joys of the internet!

  5. Wow, what a beautiful post in so many ways. It sounds like you are experiencing so many magical things this spring. How lovely to spend a great day with your beloved friend.

    It looks like you are getting everything you need for your basket business, thats wonderful!

    And all those magical plants. All the different shades of green are so spectacular!


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