Permaculture Brings Hope…before and after images!

21 Feb

It’s been almost nine years since I began planting this smallholding in the west of Ireland. Before permaculture. Bealtaine CottageMany of you are familiar with the landscape as it looked then.

The picture above shows Bealtaine Cottage after a lot of cutting and clearing, around the time that the planting began. June 2011 permaculture cottage 021

This picture shows the same view today.

As you can see, the cottage is obscured…melting into the gardens of intense production.

Bealtaine Cottage before and after

The lonely, abandoned cottage on the first day I saw it.

Bealtaine Cottage driveway

Disappeared into the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage…nine years of planting by one woman and a spade!

Installin permaculture pond at Bealtaine CottageThis picture shows the Bog Garden after the first pond was created and the surrounding land cleaned up for planting.

Photographs taken at the time depict a barren looking, rushy, wet landscape that offered little hope or sanctuary for gardeners, growers, wildlife or Nature.

Permaculture Cottage July 2011 016The same view down to the pond is obscured with dense and abundant planting.

This nine year journey has opened my eyes and my mind to the problems facing the entire planet in terms of food production, sustainable living and facilitating Nature.

The answer is simple.

June 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 023Plant!

As the planting develops, so fertility returns to the land.

Tree planting at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture 015Birds choose to set up home nearby.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March 2011 016Frogs, Toads and Newts find their way to your pond and start to breed.

wild orchids at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture 019Wild flowers make a show…like these wild Orchids.

apple trees at Bealtaine Permaculture Cottage July 2011 011Fruit trees and bushes grow and give you fruit…more than what can be harvested!

tunnel at Bealtaine cottage005Micro-climates evolve as everything grows.

June 2011 Permaculture 002Fuel is harvested.

Small mammals settle into chosen areas…there is a Badger set at Bealtaine Cottage now.

veranda at Bealtaine CottageYour body becomes attuned to the seasons and good health follows.

The best part of all this, is that although permaculture requires  labour to set up, it is maintained with minimal work and attention.

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22 Responses to “Permaculture Brings Hope…before and after images!”

  1. Sue Dreamwalker January 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    Wonderful, and shows how hard work, foresight and love once poured into the Earth can reap rich rewards for both sustainable living and for natures habits to thrive…
    Many thanks for sharing..
    I came via Wendy’s reblog of this post..
    Blessings to you


  2. mikestasse January 8, 2015 at 3:48 am #

    Reblogged this on Damn the Matrix and commented:
    The power of Permaculture…


  3. emilycrofton January 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    Inspiring stuff, such a wonderful achievement!


  4. offkilteracres June 4, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    What a fantastic space you and mother nature have made! Beautiful Collett, simply beautiful.


  5. Margy Cummings February 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    hi colette, thank you so much for such an inspiring blog- the transformation is inspirational. we have not long lived in our cottage in north east england and your before picture of bealtaine cottage is very similar to ours! mainly boundary planting! I am very keen to adopt the principles of permaculture but just don’t know where to start! We have a 1 acre plot that has a small veg plot but apart from that only boundary trees. could you recommend a good book/website to get me started or indeed suggest what i should plant first and foremost. the land does not need clearing its just one vast lawn!
    best wishes and blessings margy x
    Lovely to hear from you Margery and great news that you are inspired by permaculture.
    My advice is easy to follow.
    Plant a really wide and varied mix of food for you, food for bees and insects and food for birds and small mammals…and everything in-between. Trees…lots of trees with groups of shrubs underplanted, then perennials underplanting that.
    Emulate nature wherever you can and allow her in to have her benevolence re-instated.
    A pond is always great, especially if it’s in a catchment area naturally.
    Listen to your inner voice, follow your intuition, lose your control…Nature knows best, so help her in whatever way you can…is this making sense to you?
    Most of all, have fun, be joyful and love the day that’s in it! (Permaculture Magazine is great…subscribe.)
    Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage


    • Margy Cummings February 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      oh thank you so much for your lovely reply – lots of ideas and i will take a look at the magazine. if i could create a place half as amazing as bealtaine cottage i would feel as though i’d benefitted nature. we are hopefully here at our cottage for the long haul so lots of time to make a transformation. there is so much inspiration in your blogs – thank you so much from a snowy afternoon in ne england ..much love x


  6. sunnyromy February 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Reblogged this on SunnyRomy.


  7. solsticemonk February 23, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    Colette, It may take awhile to reach you, but I posted a tube of seeds to you today. I won’t spoil the surprise, but the many packages of seeds inside will certainly keep you busy for a day or so. The gal at the post office said “three-weeks to nine weeks” for the 1st-class package to get to you. Eric
    Thank you so very much Eric!
    It will be like a birthday…I love surprises!
    I shall let you know as soon as it arrives!
    Bless you for your kindness X


  8. Matt Care February 22, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Down here in Roscommon we are about 9 years behind you, but delighted to use your blog as part of our inspiration and mentoring. Thank you very much. Keep it coming. We love your ‘9 years ago and same view today’ pictures, which we are also taking.
    Great to hear of others on the same road…more power to you!
    Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage


  9. sophiecussen February 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    A good garden should never be rushed :-) Your pictures are very inspiring.


  10. Monika Wiedmann February 21, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Having moved into our new house a year ago, it is encouraging to see what can happen in nine years! I love the before and after pictures too! Thanks!


  11. wspines February 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Hello Colette,
    I just loved the Missy in the sink blog and the video, which I will watch again. And Your blog today. The changes are remarkable. Its such a warm and inviting space now for animal kind and humans. Permaculture is the answer for everyone. I can’t wait to dig in the soil again. My best to you and your, thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas.
    I have been reading your wonderful blogs in my email box and will visit to leave some comments soon. Rugs, sheep, the barn in the snow… I’m looking forward to see your planting and pick up some great advice.
    Bright Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage


  12. andreamynard February 21, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Wow, what an amazingly lush, attractive and fertile smallholding you’ve created! Just about to get plan a new bit of veggies, flowers and herbs in an area cleared by Berkshire piggies for us last year. It’s currently just a big area of mud – but you’ve inspired me!
    You will have a very fertile plot. It’s always a great idea to clear ground using pigs. Good luck with your planting!
    Bright Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage


  13. airmid3 February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Hi Colette, it is very inspirational to see the before and after pictures. Now I feel that our job is not so much an up hill struggle. Slightly different climate but we are gong to swamp the garden with love to make up for the salt air and strong winds.
    That made me laugh…I like the concept though: swamping the garden with love!
    Bright Blessings from Bealtaine


  14. Kristina Mazeikiene February 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Your gardens sing with life… You can feel the energy flowing. It’s so peaceful and romantic.


  15. ccm989 February 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Cheery pictures to see on such a grey, ice cold day. Spring is only one month away but you’ve made it seem a little closer! Thanks!


  16. Scott McNeil February 21, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Fantastic transformation of landscape and connection with nature, inspiring, well done !


  17. eremophila February 21, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Reblogged this on Eremophila's Musings and commented:
    Great before and after images of what can be achieved in making a true garden.


  18. wessexgirl February 21, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Wow – an inspiration.



  1. D'n Hof van de Toekomst » Blog Archive » Permacultuur geeft hoop! - March 6, 2013

    […] te kijken naar die voorbeelden, die ik soms “per toeval” tegenkom. Zoals het artikel Permaculture Brings Hope!… wat een prachtig kort fotoverslag van negen jaar ontwikkeling op Bealtaine Cottage in West […]
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    […] It's been almost nine years since I began planting this smallholding in the west of Ireland. Before permaculture. Bealtaine Cottage Many of you are familiar with the landscape as it looked then. The picture above shows …  […]


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