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


  1. Greetings Colette! I am so thrilled by what you have created! You deeply inspire me and I feel drawn to the beauty you have made, what a powerful example of regeneration and healing from the conditions you began with. Wow and to do all on your own! Huge respect for you and the land your working with. I’ll be traveling in western Ireland this June/July, I would love to offer my hands to your project any way I can. I wonder if your open to receive some help, I really feel called to learn from you. Love to speak more about it and my intentions while I am traveling. With praise and blessings for your wellness and flourishing abundance.
    Lily Bauer

  2. Colette- I am deeply inspired and delighted to find you and what you have done and the vision behind your work and all the beautiful things you share online. I feel very called to offer to lend my hands to aid your project if possible with my daughter while we are in the west of Ireland in June/July. Well be traveling with the intention of exploring our ancestral land and learn about the old ways of living in service to The Mother and praising the Sacred. I’ve been calling forth strong empower teachers and elders, as well as embodied prayer for regenerative beauty making. I bring exprerience in the garden and very open heart to learn and honor your wisdom. If there is a better way to communicate with you, please let me know how to connect if your willing. With respect and full support for you and your soulful creation,
    Lily and Blue
    Blessings on your path

  3. Hello Collette, it’s always good to discover a kindred spirit! I’m new to your blog and YouTube channel so I’m luxuriating in catching up. I live in a small cottage in Mid Wales and, whilst not having as much space as yourself, we’re enjoying inviting nature back into a fairly blank canvas of grass. Your videos and pictures are great inspiration thank you! My ancestral roots are also in Tyrone so I feel a particular connection! Look forward to continuing to follow your journey.

  4. Colette, I just purchased your book and would like you to sign it to our daughter and her husband but I don’t have your correct email. Could you give me your email please?

  5. Your gardens are so beautiful!, Makes me wish I had a garden or yard again. I used to and I decorated it so pretty, and I planted flowers everywhere, I love flowers. And your pictures of your cottage and your Garden are so magical. Thank you so much for letting me share in this magical place. And Jack is a Darling!!!

  6. Thank you for such a lovely visit to your gardens, I have been working in my own and planning what to put in for Spring, I moved in June so getting to know the sun coverage is important ere in Florida to keep the plants from getting baked in the sun.

  7. This warms my heart as we are still under a blanket of white here in New England…so nice to see the green and hear of the early whispers of Spring across the pond. Blessings to you and Jack!!

  8. Hi Colleen –

    I have been trying to order your book and calendar through your website but am having difficulty. Is there another option for ordering these items? I live in Washington state, USA

    Thank you …. Your YouTube videos are mesmerizing.

    Debbie Williams

    Sent from my iPad

  9. Gorgeous Colette. Bealtaine is really starting to look like how one imagines the forests of old with the trees ,moss and that beautiful gentle light. I can see the ancient humans living and traveling on horses through it with birds and wildlife abundant. Irusan sounds like he is quite at home here, regardless of which world we see him in.

  10. As always, dear Colette and Jack, your luminous and inspiring words and images lift us all while yet long shadows hold sway. And…Yes! the young sun beckons the upward turn of greening sprouting faces. Mysterious forces rise within all forms; plant, human, animal alike. Life, held gently within the Mother’s deep loamy womb, quickens. And we thank you for giving Her/our hearts a voice!

  11. Happy 2020 dear Collette and Jack. I envy your mild weather. Here in New Hampshire, our snow has come late this year, but we have many months of winter to come. Our last frost is at the end of May. Our average snowfall is 9 feet, last year we topped out at 13 feet. In winter we spend time perusing seed catalogs and plan and dream of spring.

  12. Dear Colette.
    What a lovely blog and photo journey through Bealtaine today. Thank you.
    You have given me a healthy push to get started on my Winter pruning and cleanup.
    Good wishes for the New Year.
    Michael O’Brien
    Alabama, USA

  13. Irusan , what a lovely name . You painting is adorable . I love cats and dogs in fact I love all animals . Your blue pot is beautiful it adds a lovely splash of colour to the garden . Blessings to you and darling Jack xxxx

  14. Wonderful work, Colette. Cats can be so special, for sure. Envying you the rainfall right now, over here in the Southern Hemisphere!

Your comments are welcome!