Remembering Romania…

Gunnera Manicata in the garden today is beginning to unfurl it’s leaves from under the cover of last year’s leaves which have protected the crown of the plant over the cold, winter months.

There is a complex eco-system at work here, under the decaying leaves of last summer

The eco-system is a complex web linking plants, animals humans and every other life form in what we call the “biosphere.”

Many aspects of this early Spring call to mind my trip to Romania in 2002.

I spent ten weeks in that beautiful country and it was there that I made up my mind to return to Ireland and a simpler life in the country!

Romania is a stunningly, beautiful country and it’s people are wonderful.

I stayed with the Pancs family in Arad and travelled to Borsa in the north of the country as well as many towns and villages in between.

At this time of the year in the west of Ireland, I recall the advent of Spring as I drove from the far north of Romania, near the Ukraine border, down into the south and Arad, near the border with Hungary…very fond memories indeed!

Daffodils continue to open at Bealtaine…

The daffodils have bloomed all over Bealtaine this year, starting way back in January!

The very mild winter has had a positive effect on all the plants and trees here, with many coming into bloom very early indeed!

As I type this there is a plethora of birdsong outside the cottage.

This is a variety of Willow that I am unsure of in terms of name…it has red stems as you can see. Any enlightenment would be good!

Sweet, little, wild Primroses, chancing their luck by growing in the centre of the driveway! Each Spring their number increases as Bealtaine Cottage remains chemical and pollutant free! 

Photinia, or Red Robin is at it’s best right now as the new leaves make a show of themselves!

And so the beginning of another week at Bealtaine Cottage…it promises dry weather and lots of tasks to be completed before the time passes on into summer…for that may be just around the corner!


  1. What’s the connection between being chemical-free and more primroses? Are they particularly sensitive to runoff from fertilizers or something? Or is it just a general statement?

    • Primrose, like any other wild flower is at risk from chemical sprays, such as herbicides, Roundup and the rest. Traditionally, Primroses grow on banks where they appreciate the dry conditions. The annual spraying with chemicals on roadside banks and verges in England decimated the Common Primrose and caused many people to campaign against this practice. The use of chemicals such as Roundup has pushed this once common flower to the edges of farmland and protective measures are now in force to keep it as a wild flower in the UK. I cite issues in the UK as many of these issues have not yet been addressed here in Ireland. Primroses have spread annually here at Bealtaine due to the protection afforded to them.

      • Interesting. I did not know that. I think of primroses as one of the first signs of spring. We’d always look for them in sheltered spots when we were kids. Glad they’ve found hospitality at Bealtaine.

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