A Walk through the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage on the Last Day of Bealtaine

Under the kitchen window

Mayflower and meadowsweet

Pond at bealtaine cottage

willow arches, dogwood and beech

Bog garden at Bealtaine cottage

willow and birch grow together

willow archway at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

Pond garden at bealtaine Cottage

crossing the pond

bog garden of bealtaine

Pond in May at Bealtaine Cottage

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottage

bird and bee house at bealtaine cottage

a Roscommon Garden at Bealtaine Cottage  Ireland

Sweet Cicely in bloom at Bealtaine Cottage

Poppy in flower at Bealtaine Cottage

Around the cottage of Bealtaine

hens at Bealtaine Cottage

Stop for a coffee at Bealtaine Cottage

I have grown all of my Blackcurrant bushes from seed or cuttings!
I have a surplus of Blackcurrant cuttings at the moment and these are offered for sale at this link…
https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/
 
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“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
Wendell Berry

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The Woman Who Planted Trees

Trees at Bealtaine Cottage

Many people ask if they can visit Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens and I always try to oblige if it’s at all possible!

Young Apple tree at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensSome advance notice is welcome, as life on 3 acres on one’s own can get pretty full on at times.

Front garden at Bealtaine CottageLast evening I was called by a friend, who wanted to know if she could bring a neighbour of hers to visit Bealtaine.

Deep in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageHer neighbour referred to me as “the woman who plants the trees!”

(By the way, it’s a beautiful morning as you can see from the pics!)

Trees in the pond garden at Bealtaine CottageIt’s an odd thing to do really, plant trees…so far over 900 planted!

Stream in the bog garden at Bealtaine CottageOdd, in so far as so few people get this obsessed! Trees change every aspect of one’s life.

Some of the trees planted at Bealtaine CottageAs I sit here typing this blog, the birdsong is magical and very loud!

A Cherry seed grows by an Oak tree at Bealtaine CottageMy childhood was impoverished as far as trees were concerned.

Cherry seedling and Oak sapling at Bealtaine CottageI grew up in a tiny terraced house with no garden, just row upon row of slate roofs and grey walls.

Young Chestnut tree at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensMy first encounter with trees was at school.

Bealtaine Cottage IrelandEntering the gates of the Convent school grounds, greenery enveloped me.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensMy childhood was transformed by the gardens of Loreto Convent.

Permaculture Paradise at Bealtaine CottageI recently returned and collected seed from the convent grounds in Omagh, to grow on here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Chestnut and Sycamore saplings at bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensVisitors bring me trees.

Willow arch into the Fairy woodland at Bealtaine CottageSubscribers to this blog send me tree seeds, from all over the world.

Blossom on a Rowan tree planted in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageI dream about trees.

A Copper Beech and wild rose at Bealtaine CottageI have left instructions to be buried in a woodland…let a tree rise from me!

In Search of Sanctuary

Barn at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

“Sanctuary” refers to a place set aside or designated as a protected spot.

Under EU Agricultural Policy there is a “Set Aside” plan for farmers to fence off small, protected areas for biodiversity.

However, this does not apply to Bealtaine Cottage, as the holding is too small to be significant!

Plant diversity at Bealtaine CottageI plant and protect for the love of Nature, not for the money from the EU!

Maybe that is why there is such diversity packed into these three acres!

Protected plants at Bealtaine CottageThe more well-known forms of sanctuary are areas set aside by humans for the protection of land wildlife, sea life, or ocean life.

Plant sanctuary at Bealtaine Cottage IrelandHere at Bealtaine there are areas of woodland, fresh water ponds and wetland, as well as other significant areas.

Plant Sanctuary, Bealtaine Cottage, IrelandBealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens is, in essence, a wildlife and unique sanctuary.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageWithin these three acres exist a flourishing ecosystem, as well as  areas set aside to maintain functioning natural habitats.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageThese ecosystems act as refuges for species, whilst maintaining ecological processes that cannot survive beyond Bealtaines’ boundaries in most intensely managed landscapes.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensProtected areas act as benchmarks against which we understand human interactions with the natural world.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageToday they are often the only hope we have of stopping many threatened or endemic species from becoming extinct.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

In the midst of EU sponsored monoculture, Bealtaine Cottage is an Ark for Nature.

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Permaculture Orchard and Spring Well

New mulched permaculture orchardAn update on the new orchard…the mulching continues as the blossom breaks on the little trees.

Permaculture Orchard at Bealtaine CottageLots of nettles have been chopped and layered on the mulch!

mulching the orchardThe path is being extended, as I find time to do a little more and a little more!

Look who has made a little bed for himself on the weed suppressing mat…

New apple trees in the permaculture orchardThis project will continue into the autumn as I have several other projects on the go, including the new kitchen floor.

Herbs in tyres at Bealtaine CottageHerbs are lovely flowers to grow and these are growing just outside the Lodge.

Chives, Feverfew, Comfrey, Clary Sage and Ox-Eye Daisies all happily growing together!

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe hen house this morning…I leave the girls in long enough for them to lay.

This is the entrance from the new orchard.

I have just returned from cleaning out the well up on the hill.

The water tank had stopped filling and had, in fact dried out.

A visit to the well confirmed my suspicion that the pipe had clogged up with plant life!

I can hear the water filling in the tank in the loft as I type.

The hens at Bealtaine CottageThe hens are all in good shape now and are the most passive and calm little creatures I have ever encountered.

Hens at Bealtaine CottageJust adorable!

Lime tree walk at Bealtaine CottageThe Lime trees are now in leaf.

I have discovered that these trees grow very well from cuttings!

Pollarded Willow at Bealtaine CottageWillow is growing thick and fast on the pollarded trees.

This will grow up to 15 feet high, making great fedging lengths this autumn.

Transition Town Sligo, Monsanto and No 2 GM

March against Monsanto, Sligo

On Saturday, as part of the “March Against Monsanto,” campaign held worldwide, I attended a public meeting to raise awareness about Monsanto,and the many issues surrounding GM foods.

march against Monsanto, IrelandJohn Brennan,a long time anti-GM campaigner,and a member of NO 2 GM,an anti GM organisation, http://www.no2gm.com, was the speaker at this event.

As Monsanto, the giant biotech U.S. company is becoming more and more determined to impose it’s GM foods on the populations of the world, people are equally becoming more and more determined to resist this pressure.

Sligo has just entered the Transition Towns Movement and has already established a Community Garden, where great, organic food is grown and people come together to make the transition from a world of peak oil to a more localized environment, where food and fuel do not have to be transported great distances.

It was a great day and an opportunity to power up with information, as well as meet new people involved in improving the world we live in!

Euphorbia in the front gardenBack home, in the gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage, the sun shines between heavy rain…ideal growing conditions!

Roses on the veranda at Bealtaine CottageThe roses on the veranda have opened their scented blooms, as the bees dart in and out to avoid the heavy rain.

Sweet Peas in a hanging basketSweet Peas have been planted in hanging baskets to avoid the slugs and…

Kanzan Cherry tree in flower at Bealtaine CottageThe blossom now covers the Kanzan Cherry Tree…a long wait, but worth it!

You can see the blue sky, but don’t be fooled as almost an inch of rain fell last night and continues, intermittently today!

Bird bath in tree at Bealtaine CottageThis is a brass dish I found at the second-hand market on Sunday.

It was 25cents!

Doesn’t it make a great bird bath set into the branches of this tree and filled with rainwater?

As the tree grows this summer, the branches will grow into the plate, holding it securely in place!

Courtyard garden at Bealtaine CottageEverything is making good progress as the weather improves.

permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe gardens are just drooping with abundance.

Celtic Cross at Bealtaine CottageBees and insects are in heaven!

And as you can see from today’s video…

“A Bee Healthy Permaculture Garden”

The Great Food Fraud

lettuce in the tunnelThere is a pleasure in making the connection between our food and where it comes from.

strawberries in the tunnel at Bealtaine CottageSo many children grow up not knowing where their food has come from, or the value of what they are eating.

hens in the permaculture gardenOn the day I brought the hens home, I stood and watched them for simply ages!

I watched them investigate their new home and make soft little shrilling sounds, as they approved of the fresh straw and new found space.

Bealtaine Cottage pearsWhat we plant and grow tastes so much better than food we buy.

Of course it does!

Food in supermarkets can be weeks old before it’s eaten!

Not only that but the irradiation can make the food eternal…well almost!

Tomatoes I bought several weeks ago, remain in the pantry, perfect…what on earth are these people doing to our food?

Tomatoes at Bealtaine CottageYes, it prolongs the shelf life of the food we buy, but it also destroys the enzymes in the food!

This procedure involves exposing food to gamma rays from a nuclear source and has wide-reaching implications for our health and the environment.

Bealtaine Cottage Blackcurrants in the Permaculture GardensIrradiation is a way of utilising nuclear waste materials to keep food fresh longer and reduce the risk of food poisoning by killing the bacteria.

The food is killed, as it damages it by breaking up molecules and creating free radicals.

The free radicals kill some bacteria, but they also move around in the food, damaging vitamins and enzymes.

The free radicals combine with existing chemicals (like pesticides) in the food to form new chemicals, called unique radiolytic products.

Bealtaine Cottage lettuce in the potager gardenI could go on…you begin to understand why fresh, home-grown food is best!

Purple Sprouting Broccoli grown at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensMost people are prepared to pay a little more for fresh food but are unaware of the real age of the food they call “fresh!”

A loaf of bread may be 10 days old!

apple jelly at Bealtaine CottageTesco was recently reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority on claiming that it sold “fresh bread baked from scratch!”

Naughty and not nice Tesco, caught with pants on fire!

Tesco and most other supermarkets, ship in part baked loaves and finish baking them in in-store ovens!

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageThere are really very few, if any, cakes, bread or buns actually made in the supermarkets!

Permaculture Cottage Sep 2011 013Many fresh vegetables are flown in from all over the world and the average age of fresh peas, broccoli etc is about 10 days old!

Compare that to the stir fry I made yesterday, with vegetables a few minutes old.

Apple harvest at Bealtaine CottageOr the juice made with “freshly picked from outside the back door herbs” and fruit.

The weekend is almost here!

Why not get some food growing for yourself, for, after all, fresh is best and you will be saving money too!

Against , gathering tomorrow 1pm at the corner of O’Connell & Grattan Street, Sligo.

Framed, Raw and Rather Juicy!

Upcycling Old Picture Frames

I was given this beautiful old frame by a guy in a second-hand market in the local town.

It is one of the most beautiful picture frames I have ever come across.

Look closely at it, for it is a colourful mosaic of sea washed glass and shells.

The new chalkboardFor several years now it has waited patiently in the shed for someone with a good idea…who just happened to come along this week.

Cara was helping me to find a hammer in the outside shed on Monday, when she spied this frame and suggested it be used as a chalk board for the garden…all it needed was some board cut to fit, which could then be painted with blackboard paint and fitted into the frame!

Cara turned up with the finished, magnificently up-cycled chalkboard today and promptly fitted it onto the wall of the lodge under the shelter of the veranda.

Lodge VerandaDoesn’t it look great?

organic herbs from the permaculture gardensMeanwhile…in the kitchen I prepared some wholesome juice, using organic produce from the gardens…

After juicing organic apples and carrots, I add Kale, Apple-mint, Lemon Balm, Fennel and Parsley.

Juicing is a great way of ensuring a steady supply of the finest and freshest nutrients, especially using what is so easily grown in the edible gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Preparing aVegan stir fry at Bealtaine CottageMuch of what I harvest is added to stir-fries too.

These are the ingredients for this evening’s meal.

Missy catMeanwhile, Missy Cat is enjoying the sunshine, while keeping an eye on me!

Resistance is Edible

Rhubarb at Bealtaine Cottage

The austerity that is being enforced upon us all makes me very angry indeed…for I know how manufactured it all is!

As an act of rebellion against the banks, government and rotten corporations I have turned to the land, one of the last vestiges of freedom that we, as a people, have.

Canned Rhubarb in the kitchen of Bealtaine CottageCreating food, from what is supplied in abundance from Nature, is as defined an act of rebellion, in these dark days, as can be found.

Food which will last long past the fruitfulness of summer and autumn…canning is a skill worth learning!

Stewed Rhubarb for crumbles, ice cream, yoghurt, pies and cakes!

Copper Beech, Euphorbia and Rosa Canina at Bealtaine CottageSpending a little time yesterday canning some of the Rhubarb harvest has given me the impetus to save and store as much as possible this year.

Pear blossom in the permaculture gardensForaging will play a role in this Resistance too, ensuring that all walks will allow a little something to be added to the store.

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageThe store includes all that will be of benefit, including fuel, as the hedgerows are littered with dead wood ideal for kindling.

seedlings in pots in the permaculture gardensSeeds will be sown late into the season and every patch of the tunnel will be utilised!

Permaculture Edible gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe more food that can be produced for ourselves, the less money flows to the corporations…is this why the EU tried to ban us saving and sharing Heritage Seeds?

Nothing like MacDonalds!Resist, eat well and be healthy!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 102 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

 

Over 535 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

 

 

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Defeating Monsanto…with the help of the Bees!

Part of the orchards and edible gardens

Part of the orchards and edible gardens

May 2013…This is an update on all that’s growing in the permaculture gardens today.

The season has been slow to get going, as the sunshine has been minimal, with rain and cold prevailing.

Apple blossom and blackcurrants at Bealtaine Cottage

Apple blossom and blackcurrants at Bealtaine Cottage

Despite the appalling weather here in the west of Ireland, Apple trees are laden with blossom and bees are buzzing around the gardens busily pollinating all the blossom.

Plenty of bees in the permaculture gardens ensure masses of fruit and vegetables

Plenty of bees in the permaculture gardens ensure masses of fruit and vegetables

The bees have been hard at work on the Blackcurrants, thus ensuring a good harvest to come.

Rhubarb in the permaculture gardens...pure abundance!

Rhubarb in the permaculture gardens…pure abundance!

Rhubarb is cropping well, due to the top-dressing of manure from the hen house it received last Autumn.

This was mixed well with compost and straw and was well rotted down.

Broccoli in flower in the tunnel...seed to come and share!

Broccoli in flower in the tunnel…seed to come and share!

Purple Broccoli is now flowering in the tunnel, so seeds will be available from Bealtaine Cottage later on in the season.

lots of seed to be harvested from the Lunaria later in the summer

lots of seed to be harvested from the Lunaria later in the summer

Valerian is coming into flower and the Lunaria is seeding well.

beautiful Columbine from seed scattered outside the door of Bealtaine Cottage

beautiful Columbine from seed scattered outside the door of Bealtaine Cottage

Aquilegia is about to make a show…lots of this beautiful flower this year, as I have been busily throwing seed all over the gravel.

More photographs of the gardens from today…

Kale in flower, ready for seed setting...always choose the strongest plant to save seed from...

Kale in flower, ready for seed setting…always choose the strongest plant to save seed from…

Thank you Eric from Oregon for sending me these Cedar seeds...and here they are, growing!

Thank you Eric from Oregon for sending me these Cedar seeds…and here they are, growing!

Roses,Willow and Jostaberry combine to make an edible archway in the edible gardens

Roses,Willow and Jostaberry combine to make an edible archway in the edible gardens

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…  https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 1,000 blogs in the archives on this site.

As an Ark for Nature, birds, bees, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no funding or support from the EU, Irish Government or any Environment agencies.

Your donation helps remedy that…