It Looks Like Spring!

Toad in Bealtaine permaculture garden

The sun shone all morning and there was a hint of Spring in the air.

Mr Toad…not a real toad, you understand…caught the rays of the late winter sun and looked quite animated.

Spring is officially welcomed into the west of Ireland on February the 1st, Imbolc, Brigid’s day.

I would not be surprised to see it arrive early!

Certainly here at Bealtaine Cottage, the Daffodils are ready to open flower and Primroses are out.

permaculture tunnel at Bealtaine CottageClearing the polytunnel formed part of this morning’s work, one of the first dry, sunny  mornings in some time.

This involved scraping the weeds off the paths and composting them.

Then the top layer of last year’s straw was cleared from the topsoil and spread on the beds. it doesn’t take long and the result is worth the small effort.

I use an Oscillating Hoe, which although expensive to buy is a great investment, as it saves a lot of hard work.

The winter has been mild and most of the herbs in the tunnel have kept their leaves, with Fennel beginning to grow already and broccoli making a good show.

January in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageThe garden took on a mantle of life in the sunshine and the birds all appeared to be very lively.

A beautiful fox has made an appearance over recent nights and even sauntered along the front of the cottage in broad daylight yesterday morning.

I think it’s a vixen as I hear her calling at night from the hill of Ballyfermoyle behind the cottage.

sam playing in bealtaine cottageMeanwhile, indoors, Sam continues to eat, drink, play and sleep.

I make sure that little Flo stays in the lodge with Sam and Che, as being white furred and young, could fall prey to a very beautiful but hungry fox.

I lost a beautiful marmalade mouser called Ossian to the fox some years ago and it was a dreadful experience.

Bealtaine Cottage 001Flo is very territorial and chases all comers!

Jack, as you can see, is very hen-pecked by Flo…he always gives in!


  1. Mr Toad is certainly very life like, I hope he is better behaved than that other Mr Toad 😉

    How lovely to see Sam looking so handsome and healthy 🙂

    I am sorry to hear of Ossian’s fate. My mother once had to rescue one of her cats from the jaws of a fox, it survived but would never leave the house again. She was lucky, I’ve heard a number of sad tales of cat’s being lost to foxes. We do have to be cautious when living alongside them. I heard of a local cat being taken by an owl!.

    Wishing you a lovely spring and a beautiful Imbolc xx
    And a blessed Imbolc for you and those you love. Spring is coming fast and there’s a fine stretch in the days!
    Bealtaine Blessings

  2. Sam is such a treasure. White cats are suppose to bring you luck. Your poly tunnel looks great. Spring looks wonderful, I love your willow, wish I lived closer.
    My best to you
    The WWW is a wonderful medium, Carole, as it brings so many like-minded people close and allows sharing.
    I love to visit your blog and always feel energized afterwards.
    Life is good!
    Blessings from all at Bealtaine Cottage

  3. Speaking of spring and Imbolc, I just received my St.Brigid’s Cross. It is so beautifully green! Perhaps it will hurry spring along here as well! And the little lavender heart is very sweet and smells wonderful! Thank you very much Colette. I LOVE them! Patti

  4. I do love the toad. He’s very realistic. We have a garden ornament in the form of a piglet known as the petrifying pig. So called because its so realistic that it upsets the chickens who feel its staring at them. Even the cats avoid it. Still, it keeps unwanted farm yard fauna off my garden!
    Garden ornamentation can be great fun, I agree! If I was rich I would patronize the arts in the form of garden sculpture…it can be vivid and inspirational in the right setting!

  5. I am so jealous of your talk of spring! We are having very cold weather here and everything is frozen! Please post some pictures of the daffodils when they open. It will be such a welcome sight to us here in frozen New England. Patti
    Our early Spring is compensation for the rain!
    I certainly will post the yellow beauties…the first ones are almost ready in the shelter of the Beech trees.
    Stay warm!
    Bealtaine Blessings

Your comments are welcome!