Country Living and Magic 002Red berries and silver light, weather changing frame by frame and night skies opening up to endless stars…country living, or maybe just observing. 003For as I type, a fierce storm moves across the tree tops, sweeping leaves before it like a Samhain broom!

Yet in the stillness of the sheltered gardens of Bealtaine, Perscaria blooms stand tall and erect, like soldiers guarding Summer…but not for long!

(Persicaria amplexicaulis is a species of flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae, native to the Himalayas.) 008Che-Mousey-Bear chases around the gardens, delighting in Autumn and curiously keeping watch as I take photographs this morning. 006Willow arches have thickened this year…something I will plant many more of, as the Autumn progresses and leaves fall away, to reveal the best stems to cut and plant. 017  The fallen Rowan tree continues to grow strong and multiply it’s stems, year after year.

This beautiful tree had fallen in a storm over nine years ago, but now grows in the more sheltered gardens. 020The Rowan tree has long been regarded to possess magical and protective qualities and often was planted near Irish cottages. 028This may have something to do with the fact that there is a small five-pointed star, or pentagram, opposite the stalk of each berry. 023Pentagrams have long been considered symbols of protection. 035The berries’ red colour is also regarded to be the best protective colour against enchantment. 013The covering on the tunnel is in need of washing, for the algae has settled on the outside…a task to add to my weekly list! 031 The berries on the Ivy are ripening fast.

These are a welcome source of food for blackbirds and if not eaten, remain on the plant until spring, providing an important food-source for young birds.

Ivy makes a magical decoration for the home towards midwinter… I always look forward to gathering and decorating the mantelpiece with this wonderful greenery, leaving plenty for the birds!


  1. Hi Colette,

    Sorry to hear you’re selling, and shocked too, but delighted you’re going to spread the news and the trees elsewhere.

    Good luck and God bless you.

    Robert Jordan, Dublin

    • Thanks for your good wishes!
      It may be some time before the right buyer comes along, Robert…and the blog continues for all the time at Bealtaine Cottage…a part of my life!

  2. Hi Colette, I just tried to access your Facebook page and it said, “content not found”. How peculiar. But I have heard that Facebook is doing weird things lately. Some anti Monsanto pages were closed I think. I will check again later….Patti

    • Thanks so much, Patti! I have tried all day, only to read that my account was barred from use…I have always been very vocal about Monsanto, war, corporate criminality etc and am beginning to think similar!
      On the positive side, I have been busy outdoors saving seed!
      Colette X

      • You must be very sad to be leaving Bealtaine Cottage. It looks so magical. I was in Galway recently visiting relatives and was so sorry not to be able to visit. “Next time” I thought but now you may not be there.
        Colette (in Toronto)

        • Hi Colette…Bealtaine Cottage is my spiritual and physical home for sure, but Ireland needs trees and our government here has no integrity in planting them…just selling off our forests instead. It will fall to ordinary people like myself to plant the future, for without trees we are in desperate straits. I could begin to relax and enjoy what I have created here with Mother Nature, or, continue to help her…I choose the latter. However, Bealtaine Cottage may never sell…who knows? I am busy this Autumn collecting tree seeds and sowing in pots in readiness to plant 9,000!

  3. I am reading blogs before I start my day in the garden— then off for a bike ride on the Mississippi River…love to read your blog post and lovely pictures with my morning Holy Basil Tea……I believe I could get lost for hours in your garden(s) you have many…but the one picture above with your bistro table would be a place I pick today to have a cup of tea…..and sit for hours:-)

Your comments are welcome!