Saturday, 5 September 2015

Bio-diverse Canton

This morning we visited The Apothecary shop at the bottom of Llandaff as Clare was in search of a particular herb tea. The owners have turned their , back room into a congenial little tea room, where you can try out many of the brews on sale in the shop and sample some fine looking vegetarian and vegan cakes made by small local providors. What an interesting idea. Clare picked up a leaflet about the open day being held at the nearby Chapter Arts Centre Community Garden, so we went over there to have a look around.
Chapter Arts centre, once a secondary school has a large open forecourt in front of the main building once a playground. Two thirds of it have been re-assigned from parking to an area with a series of raised flower beds with bushes, trees and an enormous variety of vegetable and flower plants. There are beehives out the back of the building and a greenhouse in one corner. It's worked by enthusiastic volunteers, and interestingly isn't managed in a regimented way. All kinds of plants grow together side by side, higgledy-piggledy rather than in neat rows. I guess the accent is on bio-diversity, and showing how what are thought of as weeds co-exist, as in the wild, with flowers and edible things. 

We paid to get it, as the Open Day is a charity fund raising event, and were treated to a free drink and a piece of home made cake. An accordeonist and a recorder player were duetting outside, playing folk dance tunes and promoting Pentreffest the annual folk music and dance festival to be held next month in the village of Rudry, the other side of Caerphilly Mountain from Cardiff. We brought home a pot of Chapter honey, utterly delicious. Urban honey benefits from an environment with cultivated gardens and parks presenting much greater floral diversity to bees than rural areas dominated by agrarian mono-culture. Nature's own subtle commentary on what we've done to the land.

Owain arrived in time for supper and a good chat before heading out for a late gig at Gwdihw in town. Before bed we watched the last episode of 'The Young Montalbano' for the second time around. Next Saturday I believe a new series of  Danish crimmie 'The Bridge' is set to begin, but we'll be up in the Llyn Peninsula with Mark and Saralee, over from Seattle from a European holiday, starting in Belguim, then going to Spain, and finally, with us to North Wales. If we have tell in the place we've hired, I doubt if it will get switched on, as there'll be so much to talk about. It's the best part of five years since we last saw Saralee.

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