As early Lughnasa transforms the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage into a colourful abundance and the harvest continues, the early days of an Irish autumn unfold.
These mushrooms are growing today near a clump of Birch trees in the woodland gardens further down from the front of the cottage.
The willow archway here has closed in on either side as the summer growth has cast even more shade in the new woodland. Bamboo and Dogwood have almost merged to close this path. As you can see, the leaves are beginning to drop.
The entrance to the Fairy Wood is closing too…there is a lot of work ahead this Autumn as the cutback begins!
Here are the new beds by the front door of the cottage. They are filled with home-made compost and planted with Birch and Cotoneaster, both grown from seed.
One of the evergreen trees originally by the front door has been planted in the corner. It had grown far too big for the terracotta pot.
I love the way the silvery autumn light changes the way the sitting room of the cottage looks. This is my best-loved season!
I have just returned from the wedding of my son, held over three days at Markree Castle in Sligo. My beautiful grandsons are here with me in the picture. The flowers were grown here at Bealtaine Cottage and all the guests were gifted with bags of seeds.
It was a lovely, lovely wedding!
Here are some of the combinations that have worked really well for me this summer here at Bealtaine Cottage. Pumpkins, Kale and Nasturtium…the bees love the flowers on the Nasturtium, bringing them in towards the Pumpkin flowers.
Rudbeckia is late flowering and especially useful in a potager bed, making lots of babies that can be potted on and sold at the market next Spring.
Parsley and Sedum…Sedum is the last meal of the year for the bees and will ensure adequate nutrition for their long hibernation. This is the Sedum, Autumn Spectabalis, which makes lots of babies for potting up!
Tomatoes, Feverfew, Borage and flat leaf Parsley…all very happy and thriving together in this potager bed. This is the way I grow all my fruit and vegetables…to the point where no soil is exposed. It works great every year!
Young Kale with Sedum and Nasturtium. The plants are continually surrounded with shredding. I make shredding from what I cut at Bealtaine Cottage and put it back onto the earth to build up soil. I use an electric garden shredder.
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It seems as though governments all over the western world are colluding with big corporations and the energy companies to deliberately destroy our environments, and, in the face of much opposition from those who elected them into power…the people.
war, fracking, privatisation of utilities, or GMOs.
Yet, politicians have, and are, engaged in the pursuit of all of these.
As we approach a global food crisis- and all the warning signs are there, such as rising food prices, oil and the effects of extreme weather- we are in desperate need of leadership.
We are being force-fed a diet of ‘GMOs are all that can save us,’ publicity, when patently this is not true!
I know that as a grower, working 3 acres of poor land…that it is diversity that builds fertility and food security!
I refuse to allow the insanity of empire to bellow it’s anarchic way into my home…I have no television.
I live frugally.
Be defiant: buy less; plant more; save seeds and share! It’s your future…don’t let the politicians mess it up!
This is a video I watched earlier and a fantastic template for those without gardens or allotments…or even with!
Here in Ireland, what happened in the sell-out was very dramatic and actually happened in ONE night, in November 2008, when our elected government signed over the sovereignty of the Irish people in a meeting that took place in the middle of the night with NO minutes recorded!
If you would like to support the work of the Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture website, Youtube (ad-free) videos and Open Gardens project, then I thank you…
Our potential to change the environment we inhabit is boundless.
If we started today and worked hard for all the changes we want to see, the possible transformation is beyond our wildest dreams.
Whether we have land or not, what we are capable of implementing, in terms of creating Eden, is only limited by two things…our imagination and our ability to use our energy. “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
― Arundhati Roy
I have mentioned it before, but, personally, never tire of contemplating her wise words…
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.
The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.
Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.
We create Heaven, or allow others to create Hell, whether that be through destruction of our environment, as they are doing with fracking, for example, or allowing governments to collude with corporate monsters without challenge…they are, after all, our elected trustees.
We must demand accountability at every level!
If you would like to support the work of the Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture website, Youtube (ad-free) videos and Open Gardens project, please feel free to…
or visit the Etsy shop and purchase a hand-made or vintage product.
Willow, pollarded and coppiced has made good growth too!
Crocosmia Montbretia is struggling to climb out from underneath the lush leaf growth. Both Che Mousey-Bear and Sammy-Bear have walked the gardens with me, despite the rain and the wet conditions.
Strange little fellows!
The branches I chopped earlier in the summer are almost ready to be stacked in wig-wam shape to dry out.
You can see from this photograph just how near the bedrock is to the surface of the land…I garden on very thin, poor soil on a north-facing slope!
Everything is grown from seed, so has a fighting chance of making it, despite the far from perfect conditions.
The new orchard is making good progress. I am keeping the ground well mulched as the trees, bushes and flowers find their feet!
Now working towards installing solar and wind power, your donation is much appreciated.
Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage
The air is cool and the sun is hidden behind low cloud and even a little mist.
I must admit to loving this time of year!
This is all about living as sustainably as possible.
As more and more visitors make their way to Bealtaine Cottage, for workshops on sustainable living and all aspects of permaculture, a space that would define this was needed!
In order to live even more sustainably, I am aiming to install solar and wind power…upgrading the shop and workshop space will help me achieve this goal!
Moving furniture around is hard going, so I’ve stopped for a cup of tea, as the kettle has been boiling on the stove for some time now.
Tomorrow I meet with an advisor from Roscommon Enterprise…wish me luck!