Welcome to Bealtaine Cottage and Permaculture Smallholding, Ireland

Sammy-Bear CatThis is about one woman deciding to do something very dramatic and revolutionary in Ireland…taking three acres of wet, rushy, north-facing land and planting trees like her life depended on it…it does!


First of all, if this is your first visit to Bealtaine Cottage, then you are very welcome indeed!


(Have a look at what Bealtaine Cottage looked like before permaculture magic was worked…bottom of this page…)


Here at Bealtaine Cottage it’s all about Permaculture, sharing a love for Mother Earth and a passion for growing gardens, plants and hearts!

www.bealtainecottage.com 011Bealtaine Cottage smallholding is in the west of Ireland.

Driftwood mirror at Bealtaine CottageIn May 2004, this was a derelict cottage on a north facing slope of three acres of wet, rushy land.

Lavender drying on the back door of my cottageMy aim, living alone and without any workforce or helpers, was to create a self-sustaining smallholding designed and constructed on Permaculture Principles.

Veranda at Bealtaine Cottage, midwinter 2012This has included planting over 1,000 deciduous trees including two large orchards, as well as many perennials and bushes.

Lunaria in early June 2013 at Bealtaine CottageThis all supports the developing biodiversity here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Ark for NatureBealtaine Cottage has evolved into an Ark for Nature, with continuous planting and expanding biodiversity.

Transforming the cottage interior has meant, wherever possible, the use of re-cycled materials.

Evening at BealtaineThere is the recent installation of a compost toilet, put in place to ensure waste products are managed on site.

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageGrowing organically produced food includes a continual, all-year round supply from a purpose-built polytunnel.

Potager beds of abundancePotager beds are now in their second year and producing abundantly!

Pieris, Forest Flame at Bealtaine CottageThe land has transformed from monoculture to Eden.

Canned Rhubarb in the kitchen of Bealtaine CottageThere is a continual, substantial food surplus and this is channelled into the making of wines, jams, pickles, chutney, dried foods and plants.

This approach to living on the Earth, forms the basis of an integrated approach to living with the planet, rather than on the planet.

My Spinning WheelSpinning is one of my favourite crafts, spinning wool and using the surplus ‘shoddy,’ as a fertilizer and mulch for the land.

Recycled floor

Recycled floor

Crafting is an ongoing learning curve, necessity being the mother of invention, as proved here with the recycled floor.

Irish dresser in the cottage kitchen at Bealtaine CottageMany people are interested in Permaculture.

It is a more sustainable way to live!

Barn at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThis simple little barn was constructed in wood and open to the south to keep it warm and filled with light.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have visited Bealtaine Cottage on-line.

Euphorbia in the front gardenBuddha in  the gardens.

Bealtaine Cottage this morning.

Plants and trees are mostly grown from seed and, are therefore healthy and acclimatized specimens.

Polytunnel this morning at Bealtaine Cottage with Che Mousy Bear strolling through!Cold composting ensures a continual development of seed production!

bealtaine cottage windowFor those wishing to know more about Bealtaine Cottage and the Permaculture Gardens, there is a YouTube channel, as well as over 600 archived blogs on this site.

veranda at Bealtaine CottageA veranda was added at the back of the cottage to provide more shelter as well as outdoor work space.

Pond in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage 015Bealtaine Cottage and smallholding continues to be developed in keeping with Permaculture ethics.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture wood burning stoveThe addition of a wood burning stove in the sitting room and a multi fuel stove in the kitchen, has given free hot water, cooking, baking and central heating from a fire fuelled mostly with wood harvested here.

Bealtaine Cottage 004

The cottage did not have a kitchen sink, so one was fitted under this window…why not have a good view when washing up?

Bealtaine Cottage now sits snugly amidst the hundreds of trees planted during the past nine years.

All construction carried out at Bealtaine is worked in wood, a sustainable building material, such as the addition of the porch, above.

To encourage maximum biodiversity, vegetables, fruit, flowers, trees and shrubs are grown together, such as here in the home-made tunnel.

Abundance grows year on year at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture, Ireland.

As the fertility in the soil re-builds itself, crops become more abundant.

Pond in May at Bealtaine CottageBealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube, with over 100 video uploads to date.

As a way of draining the land, but harvesting the water, two ponds were dug in the Bog Garden, below the cottage.

Bealtaine Cottage willow archThese now form the central area of the Bog Garden, where an abundance of willow is grown, used in basketry and garden projects, as well as burning in the stoves that heat the water and radiators in the cottage.

Everything grown at Bealtaine forms the basis of a quality of living, that includes visual appreciation of the gardens, shown here in an indoor arrangement.

You can see and read about everything that has happened here at Bealtaine Cottage by visiting the archives and Bealtaine Cottage on YouTube.

wild honeysuckle on the table at bealtaine cottage

Bealtaine kitchen

Below are some before and after images of Bealtaine Cottage in 2004…before the permaculture design was applied…yes, it was rather stark and forbidding!


Bealtaine Cottage drivewayAnd how it looks today, thriving with wildlife and maximum biodiversity!

Before the planting began…This is where the orchard and vegetable garden are now.

apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine CottageApple trees and Blackcurrants abound…

Bealtaine Cottage this morningNo chemicals of any kind have been used.

All weeds were controlled with mulching.


Writing for the past five years to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 870 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

119 Responses to “Welcome to Bealtaine Cottage and Permaculture Smallholding, Ireland”

  1. Anonymous December 5, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    Love your writings. Tapadh Leit. William Shaw of Easter Lair


  2. Valerie Thorp November 26, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Wonderful! Exactly what I would like to do.
    Do you still have paying guests?


    • Bealtaine Cottage November 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      Hi Valerie. Bealtaine Cottage is now closed to visitors and guests for the winter.
      Blessings X


  3. Ann November 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    What you’ve created is truly wonderful. Thank you for sharing your life work. ♥ Ann


  4. Peter Hussey October 28, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Happy Birthday Colette, may you continue to be an example to us all. I am sure that the new garden memorial to your parents will be yet another success!


  5. Anonymous October 23, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    lovely to know another Goddess soul, I sometimes feel we are few, if ever you are in Clare, I would love to have you for tea and cake)0(


  6. frugalhen October 23, 2014 at 1:09 am #

    Your place is absolutely beautiful!



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