Spring Wells and Straw Paths

Up early this morning and climbed the hill at the back of Bealtaine Cottage to visit the well.
It’s a spring well and feeds water to the cottage via simple gravity…the well being further up the hill than the cottage!
Over the past week or so the water in the pipe has occasionally stopped flowing and this usually means an airlock…so I brought a water can with me to force water down the pipe and release the airlock…it worked!

The morning was sunny and windy, so I made the most of the day that was in it and hung the clothes out to dry…hand-washed in the rain barrel!

The water is flowing in a trickle and building up enough pressure in the pipe to get it flowing into the tank in the loft…I can now light the stove!

Another task completed in the vegetable garden…spreading straw on the path around the tunnel…this proves to be very effective at stopping the rampant growth of weeds over the course of the summer.

As this decays, it will be spread on the vegetable beds at the beginning of autumn, making a good top dressing for insulation over the winter months.

One of the Pear trees in the orchard…covered in blossom that promises a good harvest and a possible vintage Pear Wine.
The bees are out in full around the Ribes and are moving onto the fruit blossom, with the Pear and Cherry trees all showing off! These are the first fruit trees to come into bloom here each year.

More blossom on the Amelanchier trees…I planted all the trees over the past 7 years or so and am always amazed at the vigour each spring…they seem to suddenly shoot up and start to tower overhead. Some of the trees in this picture are Lime trees.

One of these days Bealtaine Cottage will disappear…


  1. It’s a million miles from where I live but I do enjoy checking out your blog & vids from time to time. I’m sure one day in the next few years that we’ll turn up on your doorstep .

  2. Hi Colette,

    I am so pleased Ihave found this blog. Can you tell me again what the other name for Ribens is as I have tried to order it but the company doesn’t know it. Can you also direct me to a date when you were putting in your ponds so that we can get some extra info. Do you find there are any problems such as extra midges? Many thanks
    Best wishes

    • Hi Terri,
      Ribes is known as Flowering Currant. You may notice lots of it growing just now and in gorgeous pink bloom!
      The ponds were dug out before I started this blog. I have written about this process on many dates, so may not be of much help on that score. However, as for midges, there is no problem at all in my gardens here or around the pond. nature has balanced perfectly.
      Much of the problem with midge in Ireland is to do with monoculture. One species forest planting encourages the proliferation of one species pest! Dragonflies are in profusion around both ponds, along with an absolute plethora of species…

Your comments are welcome!