National Garden Scheme & Timber Operations at Gliffaes

There has been a fair bit going on in the garden this week. Last Sunday we opened the gardens as part of the National Garden Scheme which helps raise money for various charities but in particular the Macmillian Cancer Care Trust. This meant a flurry of activities; straitening the edges of the lawns and paths, strimming, mowing and sweeping and brushing around the buildings.

We opened for three hours on Sunday afternoon and collected just under £350 for the charity from about 100 visitors.  Spring in the gardens at Gliffaes is wonderful;  cherries , magnolias, berberis, bluebells under the trees, lilacs and rhododendrons are all out at the moment.This picture of cherry trees in blossom was kindly sent to me by Ray Grenfell of Crickhowell.


Having two fire places and a wood burning stove in the hotel we certainly get through a lot of timber, this past winter especially, we are still having the odd fire in the evening and it’s May! We need to have the space to season timber for at least 8-12 months before we can burn it, which means we need to have at 12 months supply at any one time, more if possible, There is nothing worse trying to burn wet wood which just sizziles and hisses. As we burn about 15 tons a year we need a lot of dry storage space and this week we have extended our wood shed and we can now store about 85 cubic meters of wood. Nick and I did the work ourselves and used a smallish oak tree from the grounds to make the two uprights needed. We now have to fill all that space with split timber. Anyone keen for a bit of axe work?


I have had my eye on a large oak tree that fell down during a storm about 12 months ago but on a very steep bank, with no chance of us getting any of the timber out. I had a word with the forester on the Glanusk Estate who said it wouldn’t be a problem for him with his large winch on his tractor. He was here at 8.30 this morning and its now midday and the job is done. Just look at all that timber that has to be cut up then split. I feel weak just looking at it. I am thinking of running a work / stay swop in February next year for anyone keen on working in the woods doing some thining, burning and wood splitting etc. Your food and accommodation would be free in exchange for your labour and for every two days you work the third day you could have off and would be free as well. Any takers please get in touch?