Dried Herbs and Some Uses…

 Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is also known as Common and Wild Marjoram, Greek Oregano and Winter Oregano.

Oregano in flower at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensOregano is a warm and aromatic yet slightly bitter herb in the mint family.

The name is derived from the Greek, meaning “mountain of joy.”

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureOregano can be made into a tea, tincture, and has powerful anti-bacterial properties.

The Oregano I harvest comes complete with flowers, so is especially potent for tea!

Oregano before harvesting at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensSome interesting folklore concerning oregano…

The Greeks and Romans used it for a variety of benefits.

~Among the Greeks, if Marjoram grew on a grave, it augured the happiness of the departed, and among both the Greeks and Romans, it was the custom to crown young couples with Marjoram.

~Oregano corresponds to Venus and air.

~It is an herb of happiness, tranquillity, good luck, well-being, and protection.

Dried oregano from Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens Ireland~Promotes joy, strength, vitality, and added energy.

~Make a Tea or burn as an incense.

~Plant Oregano around your house for protection, and scatter it inside the house to protect it.

~Carry it in a sachet or charm to bring good luck and vitality.

~It is also said to protect and promote psychic dreams when worn on the head during sleep.

~A protective herb with the power to ward off troublesome and meddling individuals, especially those who may wish to interfere with one’s personal financial dealings.

Lavender drying on the back door of my cottage

Dried Lavender is also available.

The use of Lavender goes back into the mists of time…

~Both the Greeks and the Romans had many uses for it, the most popular being for bathing, cooking, as an ingredient in perfume, for well-being, and as an insect repellent.

~English folklore advises a mixture of lavender, mugwort, chamomile, and rose petals to attract sprites, fairies, brownies, and elves.

~Lavender is used in teas, tinctures, and added to baked goods.

~Lavender is an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world.

~Put two handfuls of Lavender Flowers into a square of cheesecloth and tie with a white ribbon.

Use this aromatic “wash-cloth” in place of your usual one.

Dried Rosemary at bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

Rosemary, or Rosmarinus Officinalis, is also known as Romero, and Dew of the Sea.

Dried Rosemary is also available in 1/2 ounce bags from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Rosemary is most famous for its use in cooking.

Bees love Rosemary!

Burn Rosemary  for a restorative incense.

In place of more costly incense, the ancients used Rosemary in their religious ceremonies.

An old French name for it was Incensier.

I use dried Rosemary in my Wheaten Soda Bread!

It is delicious!

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Perennial Vegetables in a Permaculture Garden

Bealtaine Cottage summer in the permaculture tunnelOne of the interesting aspects of growing food is the continual study of plants and what grows where, how and why. 

Bealtaine Cottage potager beds in permaculture gardenI keep records of all I grow as the seasons progress and notice how the environment changes as trees and shrubs grow taller and more dense each year, creating micro-climates, where it is possible to grow all manner of fruit and vegetables that before seemed almost impossible!

Bealtaine Cottage wheelbarrow to compost heapAlso, the manner in which things grow.

I made a short video today on Purple Sprouting Broccoli, originally planted as an annual vegetable but since has developed into a perennial vegetable…fascinating to record!

Missy and the potager garden Bealtaine Cottage Over recent days I have been cutting back and shredding, spreading the chips on the soil around trees, fruit and vegetables.

I noticed how warm the soil was in certain areas of the garden compared to others.

Missy and the potager garden Bealtaine Cottage I then looked at what was growing, as well as other factors affecting the conditions, including aspect.

Some of the conclusions I reached include facts like, stones create heat.

Dry soil heats faster than wet soil.

Hedgerows are such efficient windbreaks that the air on the shelter side is always a few degrees higher than on the wind side.

The area around a wood pile is always warmer and more fertile.

The list goes on…

Bealtaine Cottage veranda and courtyardAnd as for the perennial vegetables, most have the ability to become perennial, if given the right growing conditions.

Bealtaine Cottage plants and logsSo, the more micro climates you create in your garden, the more possible perennials you will have.

Bealtaine cottage Permaculture GardensAlso, many annuals take on an aspect of perennial if allowed to self-seed, so stop being so tidy!

Bealtaine Cottage verandas and plantsI scattered the seed of Aquilegia once only, some nine years ago, and now have Aquilegia all over the upper gardens.

The same goes for Lunaria, Feverfew and Nasturtium.

bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardens IrelandIf you want a garden of abundance and perennial growth, lay off the Roundup and watch how Nature does it!

Mother always knows best!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

The archives at Bealtaine Cottage blog contain over 500 entries.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

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Permaculture Seeds and Herbs from Bealtaine Cottage

Bealtaine Cottage Seeds

Seeds continue to be available from the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

These have been grown and saved each year from plants that have no contact whatsoever with chemicals and are watered with spring water or Atlantic rain.

If you would like to have seeds saved here at Bealtaine Cottage, for your own garden or allotment, you can choose from any of the following:

Purple Sprouting Broccoli grown at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

This wonderful vegetable is packed with vitamin C and iron.

I use the leaves in smoothies and eat the tender purple sprouts raw in salads or in stir fries!

Green fennel at Bealtaine Cottage

Green fennel

…with beautiful yellow flowers

Fennel and daisy flower arrangement at Bealtaine Cottage

Beautiful to look at, make tea with, add to salads, cook and bake with!

This beautiful plant looks fantastic as a centrepiece for a sunny herb garden, or among tall perennials and grasses.

The foliage acts as a delicate veil through which the flower heads of herbaceous plants and bulbs can be seen.

Fennel grows erect with a thick root and stout stems.

The leaves grow to 40 cm long and are finely dissected into fronds. The bright golden flowers are in bloom in July and August.

Both seeds and leaves can be eaten. I love to add fennel leaves to a summer salad and also to flavour smoothies!

Aquilegia, Colunbine, at Bealtaine CottageAquilegia

Or know as, Columbine growing among the Blackcurrants in the permaculture gardens.

It is hardy to minus 30°C (-20°F) and self sown seedlings left to grow where they germinate are extremely drought-resistant.

It can be grown in harsh climates and further north, where its blooming period might be more restricted to May and June.



Grows tall and strong and comes back each year, tastes like celery and is wonderful in soups!

Lovage is a perennial herb that has been long cultivated in Europe, the leaves being used as an herb, the roots as a vegetable, and the seeds as a spice, especially in southern European cuisine.

It brings fresh taste to soups, beans, fish, tomato sauces, pickles, etc.

Bealtaine Cottage evening primroseEvening Primrose

The sweetly scented flowers of this herb open towards evening, hence the name…

Evening Primrose was once called the “King’s cure-all” by herbalists, as it was considered a panacea for treating most ailments

The whole plant is edible: the leaves can be cooked as greens, and the nutty-flavoured roots can be boiled and eaten like potatoes, parsnips, or salsify.

The flowers make an especially lovely salad garnish.

The seeds are used to produce evening primrose oil.


To order, simply click on the donate button.

For each pack  a suggested donation of only 1 euro and 1 euro postage and packing. 

Leave your name and address together with names of seeds you want.

I will post them to you within 1 day.



Dried herbs from Bealtaine Cottage Sage

Sage is traditionally used in cooking and adds a unique taste to food, however, Sage is also a very important ceremonial herb.

Sage is used to clear negative energy and as a natural incense or smudge.

Sage can be used as a blessing, disinfectant and to purify a space.

Dried oregano from Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens IrelandOregano Used to bring happiness, strength, vitality, and additional energy.

Oregano is best known for its culinary uses.

However, like all herbs, it has magical properties as well.

Greeks crowned newly-wed couples with boughs of oregano to wish them joy in their marriage.

 Oregano has a lot of medicinal use – oregano poultices can be applied to insect bites and aching joints.

This magical herb is used to brew an oregano tea which is said to protect  against negative energy.

Plant oregano in front of your home to ward against negative energy.

Herbs drying at Bealtaine Cottage Catnip

There is a video on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel that shows MissyCat getting very high on this incredible herb…watch it and order some for your cat.

This dried herb is very potent and your cat will only need a small amount…it’s amazing!

Watch the video…

Green fennel at Bealtaine CottageFennel

Fennel is rich in minerals like copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium as well as vitamins A, C, E and many of the B complex group

Use the seeds to cook with.

Many people claim that fennel can help calm bloating and indigestion, improve eyesight and milk production in nursing mothers as well as helping to  fight halitosis and mouth inflammations.

It is also widely held that steam from boiling fennel  can be inhaled for relief in respiratory infections like asthma and bronchitis.

All the above listed Dried herbs  come in 1/2 ounce bags.

A suggested donation of 3 euros plus 1euro postage and packing

 Thank you!

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If you are unable to donate, leave your name and address and I shall pop some seeds or herbs in the post for you.


Video…Seeds of Destruction…

As the Storm Rages…

Shed at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardensAs I write this the video is uploading…slowly and tentatively, as we are enduring power-outs with the storm raging and the day that’s in it!

Missy Cat asleep at Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureI’ve had a quick look at the video before loading and it’s hard to tell there is any storm here at Bealtaine Cottage…testament to the abundant permaculture planting.

Porch and sitting room at Bealtaine CottageThis ensures that the wind is well filtered and damage caused by storms is negligible.

Bealtaine Cottage stoveI have lit the stove, but the cottage is struggling to heat up, so I have donned my extra warm hand knitted woollen sweater! 

This is a day for endless pots of tea and toast, crumpets, cake…comfort food, just lashings of tea and cake!

stormy weather permaculture cottage Despite the cold and rain and wind, the blossom is on the Nectarine tree in the tunnel and the buds are thickening and colouring on the Apple Trees throughout the gardens.

apple jelly at Bealtaine CottageI have planted a total of 40 fruit trees all over the 3 acres of permaculture gardens…with plans for more.

Each year that passes sees the gardens grow more abundant and protective.


Today’s video from Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens


Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 500 blogs in the archive on this site.

Donations are always welcome.

 Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Towards Collapse…

Bee friendly hedge at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture 003Sitting here on this very cold and stormy day, writing as the day that is fast descending into a windy evening. 

Old church pew at Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureMuch of what I have written about over the past two years has come to pass.

The banks are in their death throes and are now preparing to take money out of people’s private accounts.

I refer, of course, to Cyprus and what is unfolding there.

Cyprus is a test zone…it will be a template for what these despicable bankers want to do everywhere!

winter sunrise at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens Our governments, who we relied upon, to pass legislation, that would protect the bees and stop their decline through the use of certain pesticides, have ignored the will of the people and bowed to the demands of the corporations.

stained glass wheel of life at bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThe decline of the bees will continue, except in the pockets of protection we afford them.

I count the three acres of biodiversity, created here at Bealtaine Cottage, as one of them.

bee on Pumpkin flower at Bealtaine Cottage It is up to us now to boycott Garden centres that sell this putrid poison!

Old Irish dresser at Bealtaine Cottage The price of food is soaring.

Bealtaine Cottage kitchenThe commodities brokers, who have serious gambling addictions, are now gambling on the very food that people are relying upon to stay healthy and in some cases, alive!

clock on the mantlepiece at Bealtaine CottageShort term governance, based on an economic model, which is itself based on infinite economic growth, continues to create mayhem.

Old Rowan tree at Bealtaine CottageDid no-one in government, with all their overpaid consultants, ever cotton onto the fact that resources are dwindling and the planet is the same size as it ever was and will not be expanding any time soon?

Daffodils at Bealtaine CottageIf ever, in the course of a life, there was a time to plant food and learn a craft, build a pantry and invest one’s money in one’s life, it is now.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture wood burning stoveThe night is drawing in…a metaphor perhaps for what is happening around us…but as with the dark, comes the light and I look forward to a brilliant dawn tomorrow and a dishevelled, but calm garden.

I shake my fist at the lot of them and continue to plant!


Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 500 blog archives on this site.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

March Progress in the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

Arabica and angel in permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

Arabica in flower today around the raised stone bed.

This beautiful, perennial flower was originally planted as a little cutting in the raised bed, underneath the Cotoneaster, but escaped and is on the run…long may it remain free!

new compost heap bordered with willow at Bealtaine Cottage

I constructed another compost heap over the weekend and here it is!

Easy enough to make as I used materials that were either lying around…the broken plastic sheeting, tucked into hoops of willow…masses of willow cut back and lots more to come!

I was donated two huge sacks of shredded paper from a local company, so that went into layers in the heap!

Visiting males get the compost activated…ssh! don’t tell…they pee on it!

A really super compost activator!

applemint in pots ready for planting out at Bealtaine Cottage

The little pots of mint are now near the open door of the tunnel, growing sturdier in the cool breeze every day.

I placed the pots into this wooden box, I made from driftwood years ago.

The piece of wood on the front was attached with a screw…it seemed too lovely not to include!

I transferred the fennel into bigger pots as they need lots of root space to stretch out…this is bronze fennel!

home made polytunnel at Bealtaine Cottage

The home made poly tunnel green house is now eight years old.

Nothing has been changed on it and the plastic has held in well as it is washed twice a year and has remained as tight as a drum!

I love days like this as it seems almost necessary to simply walk the land and enjoy the Spring.

Potatoes Chitting at Bealtaine Cottage

Happy Equinox…Happy Ostara to all!


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Katharine Gun and Tony Blair…a Tale of Two Englands

April 2011 Bealtaine 028Ten years ago Tony Blair stood up in the Mother of all Parliaments and told a yarn  about Iraq.

April 2011 permaculturecottage 047It was a story about weapons of mass destruction and the need for people, other than himself, to take to the gun and the tank, the bomber jet and the bomb and go invade another country.

One that had not threatened the security of the state.

One that would pay a terrible price for the fact it had a wealth of oil.

April Bealtaine Cottage 2011 013Meanwhile, Katharine Gun was a young woman working at GCHQ, specializing in speaking Mandarin.

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 027Katharine became aware, through her work at GCHQ, that there was an official drive for the invasion of Iraq, that included spying on the UN and working to ensure a UN mandate for a war based on lies.

April 2011 Bealtaine Smallholding 004To her everlasting credit, Katharine decided to go public with the information, in a bid to stop what was to become one of the most horrific slaughters of human beings not recorded! (It was decided in both London and Washington that a body count of civilian death was not needed!)

Bealtaine Permaculture march 2011 013

“On a per-day basis, the highest intensity of civilian killings over a sustained period occurred during the first three “Shock and Awe” weeks of the 2003 invasion, when civilian deaths averaged 317 per day and totalled over 6,640 by April 9th, nearly all attributable to US-led coalition-forces, reaching 7,286 by the time of President GW Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech of 1st May 2003″ ~The Guardian

May 2011 Bealtaine 007

Katharine Gun lost her job.

Tony Blair went on to become one of Britain’s wealthiest ex-prime ministers.

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Replenishing the Earth

Sammy Cat on the roof of the porch at Bealtaine Cottage Ireland

Sammy Cat is exploring his environment as he grows up.

He managed to find his way onto the roof of the porch at Bealtaine Cottage.

And the best way to get him down?

Rattle the cat biscuits bag at him!

Missy Cat sitting on a log at Bealtaine CottageThe days are longer and brighter and all the animals at Bealtaine are in playful mode.

Missy, being older and wiser, enjoys basking in the sun on a warm log.

The logs, placed here and there all over the permaculture gardens, are essential to the health and fertility of the gardens.

Much life depends on these and much life is nurtured under and around these big old chunks of wood.

Bealtaine Cottage spring well in Fairy WoodSpring has sprung!

The Spring Well is flowing clear and cold, feeding the ponds where the frogs have spawned.

sowing seeds in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageSeeds are spouting and growing.

Broad Beans, Peas, Wild Rocket and Salad Leaves are all outdoors, on the veranda, at the back of the cottage, warm in the south-facing shelter.

I cover them over at night with plastic sheeting and cardboard.

They are warm and snug in an old polystyrene fish box!

growing onions in potager beds at Bealtaine CottageBottomless pots of onions are planted into the Potager Beds.

Using pots with the bottoms cut away is a good way of making full use of all the space in the growing beds that have been heavily laid with manure and seaweed over the winter months.

The roots of all planted into pots like this will spread out and find abundant nourishment.

Bealtaine Cottage potager gardenThis worked very well indeed last year with everything I planted!

Welcome to the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

Today, Monday, is sunny and warm…a chance to continue sowing seeds in as many pots as I can fill.

There is no such thing as too many plants!

Just lots and lots to give away!


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