Heritage Seeds in a Cottage Garden

rocket stove in the permaculture gardenThe morning is dry and hot.

7am sees me boiling the kettle on the rocket stove, eager for fresh coffee.

The water is ready in under 10 minutes, from lighting the stove and inserting a handful of twigs.

As I walk back into the cottage a blackbird swoops noisily through the courtyard, followed by it’s assailant, another blackbird.

These birds are very territorial!

Ox-Eye Daisies in the permaculture gardensThe Dog Daisies are opening in the heat of the morning.

These magical flowers were used to treat madness and Smallpox during the middle ages!

Daisies in the gravel at Bealtaine CottageThese Ox-Eye Daisies were thrown onto this patch of gravel as seed two years ago and are ready to make a fine show this summer.

During the time of the early Christian church, this flower was dedicated to Mary Magdalen and became known as the Maudlin Daisy!

Ox-Eye daisies in the garden at Bealtaine CottageThey are lovely, wild flowers to grow in poor soil, but are not good for flower arrangements as they make a stink when cut and put into a vase.

I grow Shasta Daisies for that!

Using spent mushroom compost in the gardenMushrooms are growing up through the mushroom compost I spread a few weeks back…one of the benefits of collecting and spreading spent mushroom compost at this time of year!

Pea flowers at Bealtaine CottagePeas and Chard this morning in the Potager Beds.

The young peas are now in flower and looking strong and healthy!

Crimson flowered Broad beanThis is the beautiful crimson flowered Broad Bean, a heritage seed, vicia faba, this morning.

So delightful, it fits into the Potager gardens as a flower and a vegetable.

It’s wind tolerant as it only grows about a foot or so!

Red-flowered broad beans were described in seed lists in the late 18th century.

This variety was lost and appeared to have become extinct, until an elderly lady from Kent donated it to the Heritage Seed Library in 1978.

This red-flowered Broad Bean  had been grown by her  father, who was given the seeds during his childhood years a century earlier.

Monsanto eat your heart out, for this is what we gardeners do well…preserve the seed!

I shall be saving and posting this seed by the end of the summer!

ValerianValerian is now flowering around the cottage in wild abandon!

Wisteria in flower at Bealtaine CottageThe first ever flowers on the Wisteria…this was planted about 4 years ago.

Poppies in PermacultureThese Poppies have already seeded and are beginning to fall over, so need to be staked this morning.

More seeds to save…I shall be very busy from now through to the autumn, saving and cataloguing seed.

Thyme in flower at Bealtaine CottageThe hot, dry weather has encouraged the Thyme to flower outdoors.

Recent weeks have been so hot, that this potent, little herb thinks itself in the Mediterranean, where it once lived!


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  1. Colette, thank you once again for all you do! It’s 5:15 am in the desert and your words are the first words I chose to inspire my morning. We love saving seeds, letting the carrots and onions go, finding new (old) varieties of other plants. In fact a dish of Siberian pea shrub seeds sits drying on our wood stove. Mother plants set into the ground become the progenitors of offspring acclimated to this harsh environment. “Eat your heart out Monsanto” is right! Our tools of rebellion are beauty and practicality.

  2. Oh, the dog daisies are blooming. There’s a patch near my parent’s house that is just magical. I must write something about that and see if I have any good pictures.

  3. I love how you have your rocket stove. I have been looking for ways to get it off the ground. The information you gave about the daisies was so interesting. The wisteria must smell heavenly. The wool is finally dry so I will be sending a package out soon. More rain all week.

    • The rocket stove is brilliant for continuous tea in the garden…any excuse really!
      I am making wooden hearts with Bealtaine pressed flowers on them so I shall send you one in return…include your address!

  4. Hi thankyou somuch for your posts i really enjoy getting them! Bealtaine Cottage is amazing! I am part of a permaculture group in Birmingham. I also do an internet based radio show on the same subject http://www.darkcityradio.co.uk/ and would love to get you on as a guest as you have many interesting things to say! Its all done through skype and my show is on fridays 9pm till 10pm. Let me know what you thinkx

  5. Huzzah for the elderly ladies of Kent! A fine breeze this morning. I think our little heat wave may be over. Lovely while it lasted but everything could probably now use a good drink.

Your comments are welcome!