Colette O'Neill, creative force at Bealtaine Cottage… Ireland's Sustainable Living, Permaculture Lifestyle Practitioner, celebrating 12 yrs growing a sustainable sanctuary for Mother Earth, with magical gardens powered by Goddess-inspired Permaculture. Mother Earth can live without us. We cannot live apart from Her. It's time to nurture and care for our only home.
Juicing is a great way to ensure one has the maximum of vitamins and minerals and this is something I do every day. It’s also a reason to keep greens growing all the year around, as even small bits can be added to the juicer and vital vitamins extracted. I’ve used some small bits of Kale that have escaped the frost and storms.
There is no waste in Permaculture, just compost and more vegetables growing! Compost is the food needed to grow food!
Slowly, slowly the Willow is cut and stacked…time is running out as the buds thicken! Baskets, Fedges and Obelisks are standing here!
These beds are fairly sheltered and continue to produce Kale, which is processed in the juicer.
Fine Willow used in basket weaving waiting to be harvested. The gardens look colourful all the way through Winter, as the stems of Willow, Dogwood, Ash and Birch are revealed.
So much rain has fallen here in Ireland this Winter and now, in the early days of Spring, the flooding has begun to dominate the landscape. Here at Bealtaine cottage I spent much time in the early days digging out drains and water channels, as well as keeping them maintained over the past ten years…and it has paid off, as you can see from the lower pond. The water runs free, out into the streams and rivers that take it to the Atlantic Ocean.
In sheltered areas all over the gardens the ferns have remained green, though a little bit droopy. The winter was mild and warm, with plenty of rain!
This is the beginning of the wood pile for next winter. It comprises of coppiced logs of Birch, Ash and Hazel. The twiggy bits are thrown into the back of the pile as they make wonderful kindling! These logs may be small, but are perfect for a small wood-burning stove!
I’ve been stocking up on straw recently, as this makes great mulch around the garden helping to suppress weeds and line paths.
Green Beech hold their leaves right through Winter, adding even more colour and shelter to the gardens!
And look who’s keeping an eye on me as I type…my loyal Jack!