Early December in a Permaculture Garden

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The shelled seed-heads of Lunaria… beautiful, ethereal, delicate additions to winter foliage arrangements.

The seeds are now packed and ready to post out all over the world.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Lunaria, commonly known as Honesty, is an early flowering annual flower, but, once seeded into your garden, spreads and re-seeds itself with wild abandon!

www.bealtainecottage.com 005This simple arrangement stands in a recycled, lace covered, jam jar!

www.bealtainecottage.com 011I went shopping yesterday, to the second-hand market and bought this fruit bowl for 4 euros.

I love the simple sponged design, beautiful in its simplicity.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014The veranda has been swept this morning…but don’t look too closely, as I didn’t move the clothes drier!

www.bealtainecottage.com 028The wheelbarrow holds ashes from the stoves and waste from the barn floor, ready to be spread over compost heaps, flower beds and around fruit trees.

Winter is a time of spreading and stacking, as tidy-ups take place and waste accumulates.

www.bealtainecottage.com 016The weather has been so very mild, that some flowers in the gardens continue to bloom, like this Fuchsia, with the Lemon Balm looking ready for harvest just behind it!

www.bealtainecottage.com 021And this Borage, growing, this morning, in the north garden of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017It’s amazing to be able to venture into the gardens in early December and pick Lemon Balm for tea!

www.bealtainecottage.com 019Even the boys are enjoying the balmy winter weather, as Che-Mousey rolls on the gravel by my feet!

www.bealtainecottage.com 023Blackbirds have been feasting on Pyracantha berries…

www.bealtainecottage.com 027New growth breaks through on the old Buddleia…

www.bealtainecottage.com 022And Slieve Aneirin sits washed in the cool blue of a winter’s morning.

Blessings X

Seeds for growing Lunaria are available on this website…just click on the link…


If you wish me to post seeds, from you, to a friend or loved one, cards are available on this link…



  1. Good morning.. never knew the name of Lunaria…. or Honesty. I always learn something and enjoy the beautiful pictures on your site. A question… could the lunaria grow in a container? I live in a apartment but have a balcony and a roof where I can grow some things. Thanks again.

    • Good morning from a dark and very still Winter morning in the west of Ireland.
      Lunaria/Honesty has a very long root, a bit like a parsnip, so is unsuited to shallow containers, but it’s worth trying in a deep one. However, year one is disappointing in that it only produces foliage and not very striking at that…but, from year 2 onward the rewards are magnificent as it flowers, seeds and spreads, giving flowers every year! In this respect, a container would rather cramp its style. What about a community garden, allotment, wasteland or shared garden? Maybe even a friend’s garden? It’s such a lovely flower that it really deserves to be free to spread its wings!
      Blessings X

  2. Thank you for the snow, Colette. It has such a calming effect.
    I remember the winter of 1982/3. Even London had a heavy fall of snow. Everything was silenced and nature put a sock in it. Marvellous!

    • My daughter was born in December 1981 and we were snowed in…the traffic in London came to a standstill and the Great North road out from North London had miles of abandoned vehicles on it. Many happy memories of a lovely silence that hung over North London. Magical!

      • Yes, I stand corrected, it was indeed 1981/2. The snow started in October. We actually emigrated to New Zealand in the January, and left Britain in freezing conditions. We stood in Auckland airport in our coats and boots and received many strange stares from the kiwis in shorts, jandals, (flip flops to us) and heavy tans. I was there for five years, and met many lovely people, but was horribly depressed as I missed my native land so very much. My dream was to come back and just sit on the grass, and heaven help anybody who tried to remove me from it. When that plane touched down at Heathrow, I leapt up and hugged the woman next to me, I don’t think she minded.

        • What splendid memories of longing…I too longed to be in Ireland. I have never visited New Zealand, or indeed, many countries at all, so can only imagine the sense of bereavement at being so far from home.
          A wonderful story!
          Blessings X

Your comments are welcome!