Gardening with Jim Saul – Dyffryn Fernant Garden.

Dyffryn Fernant
Video inside

“Go and see it” – Monty Don

There can be few more decisive reviews of a garden than this one from the star of BBC Gardeners’ World, so Pembrokeshire Life Online’s gardening correspondent, Jim Saul did just that.

On a glorious sunny May afternoon we were fortunate to be welcomed and shown around this enchanting place just below Waun Fach, east of Fishguard, by the creator, Christina Shand and her husband David. When she moved into Dyffryn Fernant in 1996, there was a run-down farmhouse and overgrown garden so Christina set about transforming it all, bit by bit.

Dyffryn Fernant garden map

The six acres of many different, natural, stylised and exotic gardens include a quarry area as you enter, then the front garden and kitchen garden – which were the first areas to be tackled -A plant nursery, rickyard, orchard, fernery, bog and woodland areas. From the gloriously pink house there are far-reaching views across the gardens to fields and the Preselis. Within the garden, a Cwm, a pond and the area referred to as ‘Beyond’ – where visitors are welcome to picnic. From the magic garden the views are wonderful.

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Dockyard Guitars – George Parfitt

Dockyard Guitars - George Parfitt Cigar Box Guitar on display in an Art Gallery
VIDEO INSIDE – Click here to pause the music

A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust award is a boost for this young luthier from South West Wales.

Creating electric guitars from recycled or salvaged materials, George Parfitt is founder of Dockyard Guitars in Pembroke Dock.  The award will enable him to explore the cultural Cigar Box Guitar Movement in U.S.A.

I first met George Parfitt sitting cross-legged on the grass in front of his tent at the 2016, ‘Unearthed In A Field’ festival. He was surrounded by a range of his cigar box guitars.

I next saw George before he dashed of to Europe for a couple of months in autumn last year. Here, I catch up with him again with some of his backstory from that interview and exciting news of his forthcoming pilgrimmage to take in the Cigar Box Guitar revolution in America.

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St. Dwynwen’s Day.

St Dwynwen's Day

audio inside .

We celebrate the Welsh patron saint of lovers – St Dwynwen’s Day is on January 25th.

Are you fed up with the commercial aspects of St. Valentine’s Day and all the expectation and possible disappointment it can bring to some?

Then, join us as we remember the 5th century Welsh princess whose name means, ‘She who has a blessed life’.

An angel with St Dwynwen

Known to be the prettiest of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters, Dwynwen fell in love with Maeleon Dafodill, but was forbidden to marry him as she was intended for another. According to legend, she ran into the woods crying and an angel gave her a potion to forget Maeleon and turn him to ice.

Dwynwen appealed to God, who granted her three wishes – to thaw Maeleon, to help all true lovers and to ensure she never married.

She then set up a convent on Anglesey and is remembered for her blessings on those whose love is true.


25th January for Welsh lovers

During the rest of January, please send us your love poetry in Welsh or English for your chance to win a romantic prize and have your poem published as a feature on this site and in our Audiobooks section on the mobile App.

For inspiration, here is a love poem from Snorkelfish …

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Ageing Well in Pembrokeshire… USB-TV

Photograph of senior citizens Ageing Well in Pembrokeshire

Introducing PembsLifeOnline USB-TV.   

We time-travel back one year with regular contributor, Snorkelfish, who brought us this report on Ageing Well.

A year has passed and we’d like to share news of a contribution to the cause that we’d like your help with. Please read on at the end of the post – It may be something for you, or someone you know.

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Saint City Jazz Band.

Saint City Jazz Band from St.Davids, Pembrokeshire

audio inside .

Featured Song: Fats Waller’s ‘Black and Blue’ – more info’ about that – here.

New Orleans Trad Jazz…

“A blast from the past of music that refuses to lay down and die! Good time stomps and slow blues….”

Saint City Jazz Band.

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Princess Nest – Part 6.

Image depicting pregnant Princess Nest

The King began to prepare to leave as the spring burst upon us. Apart from visits to local landowners to assert his authority, and a skirmish that had to be attended to on the borders of his realm of Normandy, he had been at home for many months. Now preparations were being made to return to England and Henry would be going with him.

In the flurry of activity that attends everything that the court does, Nest made her announcement. It was early to be planning. We women know how delicate a time the early days of a pregnancy are but she wanted Henry to know that she carried his child before he left.

While my little dove began to encounter the realities her body must bear to accommodate this new life, he still called for her.

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