I grow lots of herbs in the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage, picking freely wherever I walk along the paths.
Herbs grow very easily in the Irish climate, as the fairly constant temperature agrees with the plants.
Herbs have a variety of uses that include culinary and medicinal.
The crossover line is blurred, as much of what we cook with does so much good and is easily integrated with everyday food.
Think of Garlic for example, or Parsley, both great for the blood!
Herbs can also be used in spiritual practice too, usually through the method of burning to release scent and as a cleansing or purification ritual.
Many herbs release anti-bacterial oils into the air, thus cleansing, so again, the crossover line is easily blurred, as herbal oils released into the air can have a tremendously uplifted effect upon the senses.
This can also be in the form of strewing underfoot, as was the practice during medieval times, to combat pungent smells and general sickness.
Here at Bealtaine Cottage I grow over fifty different herbs, including perennials such as Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, Fennel, Lemon Balm and Mint.
The list goes on to include: Chervil; Angelica; Borage; Catnip and Chives.
Include in this list, Dill, Elderflower and Garlic. Lavender, Lovage and Salad Burnet.
Parsley is a good permaculture herb, coming up each year and growing steadily for two years as a biennial plant.
Most herbs self-seed easily.
Feverfew and Borage, once introduced to your garden will grow always.
Some perennial herbs are shrubs, such as Rosemary, Sage and Lemon Verbena, or trees, such as Bay laurel, all growing healthily here.
Oregano grows virtually wild here as does the strongest mint you will ever smell or taste, which grows in the Bog Garden as Water Mint.
Willow Herb is another wild addition and even the Valerian around the cottage looks after itself.
Inserting willow to make arches that will support the developing crop of Pumpkins and Butternut squash.
Many herbs are enjoying the space left in between the squash, such as Nasturtium and Thyme.
The production in these newly established raised beds has been phenomenal!
Growing herbs will give an easy and beneficial garden anywhere.
April weather is always unpredictable. Snow fell this morning…in between rain and brilliant sunshine! It was like a convergence of all the seasons in one morning! This time last year we were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean down by Mullaghmore Pier. Legs and arms, uncovered for the first time in months, looked a sickly white […]
The rain has fallen for 48 hours. Heavy, relentless rain, that has washed down the hill behind the cottage and into the ditches, I constructed for such a deluge. The water is carried around the ditches and into the stream bed that flows down through the Fairy Wood and on, into the ponds. This is […]
The Ivy hangs in 3-4 metre tendrils on a tree in the Fairy Dell…Quite Magical!Euphorbia…this wonderful perennial comes up more lush every year and transplants easily…I started with a stolen cutting and now it dominates the April/May/June garden and beyond!Angelica, now at least 7 feet tall and with a massive spread. Medieval herbalists called it […]
Working in the tunnel this morning I heard the first Cuckoo of the year calling from the hill behind Bealtaine. This is extraordinarily early to hear the Cuckoo…usually in May, or at the earliest, very late April…the seasons are coming earlier here in Ireland. The flowers on the first Wild Orchid of the year are […]
From monoculture grass and cows to Pear blossom on an April evening…Permaculture. Where once was a field covered in grass and rushes, there is now an orchard and…permaculture. Blackthorn blossom through the arch… The barbed wire that once bordered this area by the cottage is gone, replaced with a new border…of plants and trees…permaculture! And […]