The First Ramble of 2020 Through The Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage

ENWinEYWwAA0d8oHere we are at the start of another year, relishing the thought of Spring and the return of the light as we rise towards Imbolc, the first of the seasonal celebrations in the the Celtic calendar.


Walking up the driveway with Jack this morning I noticed the tips of the Daffodils pushing through the soft, wet earth, though it will be another six or seven weeks before the show of yellow trumpets that will stand to attention on either side of the lane, a sure sign that Spring really is here, despite the occasional slide back into the frosty arms of Winter!


The love affair with white mornings, clear skies and bejewelled skeletons of last Summer’s foliage will be at an end. Mornings will be filled with birdsong and the young golden light of the sun as it rises ever steadily into the midday sky.


I have been very busy, hard at work with multiple chores across the woodland gardens and in the cottage. Part of this work involved cleaning out a small area of the shed opposite the veranda. To my surprise and delight I came across some of my artwork from some years back.


I love to work in watercolour…this was an old cat of mine named Irusan, after the Son of the King of the Cats from Celtic folklore.

Irusan went to stay with my eldest daughter for a while when I was moving to Ireland and she subsequently refused to give him back!

He lived for over seventeen years, passing into the Otherworld last Summer and returning to the ancestral home of Bealtaine Cottage.

Irusan was the most Otherworldly, magical and enchanting cat I have ever known! ENgW86hXUAArN-k

Clearing weeds and grass from the gravel has been an ongoing arduous task throughout the winter…it continues with good results! DSC03104

As does my growing fascination with naturally bonsai trees I rescue from roadside edges and woodland walks. It’s funny how new interests develop as restrictions are imposed, such as the lack of space for planting trees.DSC03102



Since my family treated me to this beautiful pot, along with bare root trees and bulbs, I have been eyeing up other garden items at Ardcarne, my local garden centre…watch this space!DSC03101


Viburnum tinus in flower…I have been informed by my eldest daughter Cara, who is something of a horticultural expert, that this makes a wonderful informal hedge. The remains of the Yule tree now supports it from falling out over the path.DSC03096




It will be interesting to see the results of my heavy pruning in the Apple orchard…more to do!



Rhubarb pushing up in sheltered areas of the gardens.DSC03089

A tangle of branches in part of the Apple Orchard, waiting to be pruned!DSC03088

The tunnel still standing in this it’s sixteenth year! Same plastic!




Just look at that depth of leaf fall covering and fertilising the earth as it makes new soil!


Looking North East, towards Slieve Anierin.



The re-birthed Rowan tree through the great Ash overlooking the Fairy Wood.



Giant moss covered stones on the bank above the Fairy Wood.



I have purchased and planted seven Mahonia now in an effort to feed any early-waking bees…there are always a few!


My comPOOst

bins…the best food for plants that was never invented, but part of an incredible design by Mother Earth to enable us to feed Her plants, which, in turn give us life!



What to do with a three-legged chair?

Plonk it into the shrubbery where  it won’t be sat upon and makes an interesting garden ornament!


Some of my baby trees…beloved babies!


New additions…I shall die in debt! My final ambition!


Jack sees much more than any of us ever will…


Goddess Blessings to you all XXX Colette and Jack