Today at Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding…Start the Week!

Nasturtiums are now in bloom outside, despite the rain. This one is pot planted outside the veranda and is slowly winding its’ way over pieces of driftwood, stone and Herb Robert.

Our lives are full of clutter. A garden is a retreat and a permaculture garden is a perfect, food-bearing retreat, created for almost no money investment…just time and an opening of the senses. Plants like London Pride, featured here, are so very easy to transplant from snippets and cuttings.

Chives this morning in the vegetable garden, but these have been planted all over the gardens and are great visuals.

The long-flowering Columbine growing in the vegetable garden…a good Bee and pollinator insect attractant.

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Density of planting…the essence of permaculture.

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Flowers…just flowers and endless beauty!

Blackcurrants ripening in the sun this morning. Writing this a short time later, the sun has gone back into hiding!

Plums on one of the many fruit trees at Bealtaine this morning…a good harvest is promised!

The many Apple trees are growing heavy with fruit.

Gunnera Manicata, Valerian, Arabica and Sedums at Bealtaine Permaculture Cottage.


Rain has helped the Gunnera on the north bank really grow tall this year. The weather is usually quite dry around this growing time and this particular Gunnera Manicata tends to remain quite small in comparison to the mother plant near the lower pond.

These Sedums were planted into this old fountain last year and have spread to fill out the space. Sedums are ideal for planting into living or green roofs.

Valerian and Arabica are beginning to make a splash of colour by the veranda. The Roses just keep on giving…growing in 2 tyres, no less! I feed them with a chicken manure tea every week.

Valerian and Arabica make a good contrast when grown together and as they are perennials, are well able to take care of themselves!

Valerian growing along the west gable wall of the cottage today.

Notes from a Cottage…West of Ireland Permaculture.


The land across the smallholding that is Bealtaine Cottage, is very wet indeed. Too wet to do much, except admire the tremendous growth that has taken place recently! The paths are closing in and so I spent about two hours this morning out with my shears, clipping frantically between showers…about a third done, not bad!

Despite the rain the redcurrants are on course for ripening at their usual pace and time…around the first week in June or thereabouts. Although Bealtaine has become something of a wildlife sanctuary over the seven years of its’ existence, most of the fruits are left on the bushes and trees and have never required netting…that’s what abundance does, provides plenty for all!

Bealtaine has hundreds of metres of paths…one day I will measure them all!

Part of the front gardens on the north side of the smallholding, today.

The cottage sits snugly in the permaculture gardens, zones 1-5.

Dog Daisies on the driveway, with lots of insects on and around them. I shake seed from the flowers onto the gravel, so each year they spread a little further…and they’re wild flowers!

Brilliant colour on the Valerian, another seeded flower on the driveway. Each year I shake more seed further down the driveway and these beautiful flowers just appear!

The delicate blooms of LondonPride line the steps at the back of the cottage. These are perennials and spread every year, now lining the steps and spilling out over them.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.


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There is a sacred space here at Bealtaine Cottage, an ancient place that evolved at such a speed, that I quickly realised there was magic in this little corner of the land.

Above is one of the six entrances to what became known as the Fairy Wood…not my name for it, but bestowed upon it by visiting children.

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Children are more in tune with the land than we, for they see and hear on a more profound level.

Sedge in the Fairy Wood

Sedge in the Fairy Wood

As I planted and observed the land, I could see the influence this little place had on the bare land around it.

Slowly, over one thousand trees filled the space, with plants like the Sedge, above, planted alongside paths I created to wind in and out of trees.

Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

As I planted, so the Fairy wood evolved and her life energy seemed to emanate from deep within the earth itself.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

This was co-creation at it’s most magical and inspiring.

The Fairy Tree at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

Primroses and Celandines have emerged.

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The land is packed with magic indeed.

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The Sidhe are watchful as I work here.

One of the entrances overlooks the polytunnel.

Primroses at Bealtaine Cottage

Some pruning and cutting back has taken place here recently to allow more light onto the woodland floor, where rewards are plentiful.

There is an atmosphere and intrigue experienced as one walks through this lovely sacred space.

An entire bank of Herb Robert in flower.

Entrance to the Fairy Wood

Another entrance to the Fairy Wood…the essence of permaculture is being able to let go.

In the Fairy Wood below Bealtaine Cottage

The secret is to allow Mother Nature free reign over all of her subjects…she really does know best.

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I simply tidy up around her, paying attention to her promptings to do this and that…

Young Beech, planted a couple of years ago, droops low over Ferns and more Herb Robert.

And the exit from this womb-like place takes one straight out into sunshine…a beautiful birthing!

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Blessings

Raspberry Coulis Cake, Friends and Friday…Notes from a Cottage


I love the idea of the weekend. It evokes images of lolling around and being part of a TimeDrift…just going with the flow.

And yes Jack, you should be embarrassed…ripping up the porch just because I shut the door when my dinner guest came! The protest doesn’t cut it with me…I was a Greenham Common Woman don’t ya know! Now tidy up!

What can I say? I shouldn’t have? Oh, the hell with waistlines…tea and Raspberry Coulis Cake is the best way to begin life on a Friday…leftovers always taste sinful! (But, it was delicious with Vanilla Ice Cream)!

I removed the cloth from the Elderflower Cordial and the smell was intoxicating…it’s so easy to make and will happily post the recipe…Summer in a bottle, it keeps for a year, easily!

Roses just keep coming, despite the wind and rain over the past week. The little Wren continues to sit on her clutch of eggs nesting in the hanging basket…

Here she is, peeping at me through the window…the back door is out of bounds now until herself and her family have flown!

Have a great weekend end everyone…plant a tree this one!

This Morning in the Permaculture Garden and Tunnel at Bealtaine

The storms continue and at times the wind abates for just long enough to get outdoors without being battered by the gusts!

The Sedums planted in and around the old fireplace are now thriving since the rain came…these are ideal for planting on green roofs and will tolerate drought and flood equally well.

Peachy Poppies are peeping through in all corners of the tunnel…abundant in its permaculture state!

The Nectarine tree is loaded down…some of these may have to be removed!

Self-seeded Valerian is blooming in the gravel around the cottage, despite the storms and rain!

The Wren at Bealtaine…Biodiversity in Permaculture, Naturally!

Can you see the little bird nesting in the corner of the hanging basket? I think it’s a Wren and it has made a nest here in the shelter of the veranda.

I waited util it had flown and quickly snapped some pics…and was really surprised to see these tiny eggs in the nest!

Looks like there’s five eggs…I didn’t want to hang about snapping pics as I guessed Mother Wren was eyeing me up from nearby!

She’s in the fifth basket along from the left, on the inward side of the basket, so very sheltered and safe!

Wednesday 25th May @ Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

The Nursery

Where would any permaculture garden be without a plant nursery on site? The heart of the plan and always ready to be dipped into…and give away from!

Weather

The weather has been wet and windy over recent weeks, so much of the blossom that would be harvested, such as the Elderflower, is looking a bit raggy. However, there is an Elderflower cordial on the go at the moment, but I will have to get out today and top up with some more blooms. This cordial is made over the course of several days…

Back Online…

New technology has enabled this blog to get back online, but it continues to be applied and has some teething troubles, so please bear with it…oh, and many, many thanks to everyone who texted, emailed and called me over the past week of blackout…the concern you have shown has overwhelmed me, really!

Wine

This is a good time to make wine and if you look into any of the old books on wine-making there are a heap of lovely recipes to make wine from dandelions, flowers, even leaves…I once made an Oak Leaf Wine. Rose Petal Wine is on the plan for the next week or so…

Days of Wine and Roses…West of Ireland Permaculture.

Continuing to empty the freezer of last summer’s huge harvest of black and red currants…so, it’s more wine on the make!

Colours in the gardens continue to develop with very little need for flowers…and those that are in bloom are strong perennials that are here to stay!

Roses hang heavy around the veranda. Valerian comes up through the gravel, astounding me year after year…where does it get its food from?

The colours and shadows of summer begin to play with the light on the window ledges.

I now add the yeast to the must and it makes a real difference in the fermentation process of the wine…speed it ip considerably!