Sammy-Bear CatThis is about one woman deciding to do something very dramatic and revolutionary in Ireland…taking three acres of wet, rushy, north-facing land and planting trees like her life depended on it…it does!


www.bealtainecottage.com 011Bealtaine Cottage smallholding is in the west of Ireland.
In May 2004, this was a derelict cottage on a north facing slope of three acres of wet, rushy land.

My aim, living alone and without any workforce or helpers, was to create a self-sustaining smallholding designed and constructed on Permaculture Principles.
dsc04531This has included planting over 1,000 deciduous trees including two large orchards, as well as many perennials and bushes.
This all supports the developing biodiversity here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Ark for NatureBealtaine Cottage has evolved into an Ark for Nature, with continuous planting and expanding biodiversity.
dsc04691Transforming the cottage interior has meant, wherever possible, the use of re-cycled materials.
There is the recent installation of a compost toilet, put in place to ensure waste products are managed on site.

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageGrowing organically produced food includes a continual, all-year round supply from a purpose-built polytunnel.

Potager beds of abundancePotager beds are now in their second year and producing abundantly!
The land has transformed from monoculture to Eden.

There is a continual, substantial food surplus and this is channelled into the making of wines, jams, pickles, chutney, dried foods and plants.

This approach to living on the Earth, forms the basis of an integrated approach to living with the planet, rather than on the planet.

My Spinning WheelSpinning is one of my favourite crafts, spinning wool and using the surplus ‘shoddy,’ as a fertiliser and mulch for the land.

dsc05250Crafting is an ongoing learning curve, necessity being the mother of invention, as proved here with the recycled floor.
Cold composting ensures a continual development of seed production!

dsc05043Bealtaine Cottage and smallholding continues to be developed in keeping with Permaculture ethics.
The addition of a wood burning stove in the sitting room and a multi fuel stove in the kitchen, has given free hot water, cooking, baking and central heating from a fire fuelled mostly with wood harvested here.

Bealtaine Cottage driveway


Bealtaine Cottage this morning


Now have a peek at the “before” pics…


Over the past 14 years of the Bealtaine Project, Colette has sought to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world, photographing and writing several thousand blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as almost 500 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

In 2017 Colette O’Neill became a published author and was granted ‘Artist’ status by the Irish government.

Link to Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/BealtaineCottage


  1. Dear Colette,,
    I very much enjoy spending time with you at the cottage. I love how Jack’s tail wags him, and when he runs with the squeak toys. Your calming voice and beautiful scenery are soothing. It is a dream of mine to visit Ireland. i like it when you take day trips to the castles and fairy woods. Beautiful. I am catching up daily on the videos I have not seen yet, and am reading Walking between two worlds now. Can you recommend a local store/shop in your area with which I would be able to purchase a Rose Quartz Stone I would like one specifically from Ireland, as I feel it would have a special meaning to me, as much as I would love to visit and gather a stone for myself, at age almost 64, it is highly unlikely I will be visiting on this side of the veil. But to be sure I will be on the other side of the veil. In the meantime, I would like a wee souvenoir. When can I purchase a 2022 calender?

    • The stones I have are dug out from the soil around the cottage. I don’t know of any shops selling stones, though there would be many…an online search may bring this up. The 2022 calendar will not be ready until at least October.

  2. Hi Colette and blessings, I have read your first book now 3 times. I will purchase your new book soon. I have just finished a book called Priteni by Ly de Angeles and wondered if you’d heard of it? It’s about the decimation of the indigenous celts written in first hand account. Also, I have my piece of land and am starting a project similar to yours in mid 2021 xxxx thank you for the inspiration and joy xxxx

  3. Hi Colette, I have been laughing here after watching one of your videos from 3 years ago when you were painting your bedroom. I paint round everything too !
    I love the videos, I think everything you have achieved is amazing.
    I love gardening even though I live in a Victorian terraced house with a very small garden, I also have 2 large wooden troughs, bought when I had a larger dog who just didn’t respect my plants !
    I now have a small dog , who by the way lives to watch Jack in the videos.
    I have a large honeysuckle hedge in my garden, which I sometimes regret planting. I think every garden in our street has some of it now. I hope you are having a good day there, I don’t think I’m going to be going anywhere today, it’s pouring with rain here !
    making bread today.

  4. […] gift of a beautiful new rabbit hole down which to venture.  The evocative nearly 3 acre world of Bealtaine Cottage, a permaculture life and project of one Colette O’Neill of Co. Roscommon … (I know, I […]

  5. I found you while searching on YouTube for videos on permaculture. From the very first video, I became calmer and had hope. In addition, seeing Jack makes my heart sing (unless he gets too close to the road). I love Sammy Bear too of course and I think of Beauty often . I cannot express with words what you and your videos, website, and story have done for me. I was suicidal and now I have hope. Blessings and Peace, Colette.

  6. I don’t remember how I came across your site on Youtube but I am absolutely in love with your place and hope to do some planning & perming 😉 on my small city plot this spring. Can’t wait to get the book. Thx for the inspiration!

  7. Thank you Colette as always for sharing; as others have said your posts are not only informative and beautifully photographed but are also a tonic for the soul. X

  8. Dear Colette
    Suddenly, after a long time of uncertainty and aimlessness, your website finds me, as I was looking on youtube for songs about circle of the year ceremonies. I was instantly hooked and am nearly crying now… it feels like coming home. Now I know, I have to return to the wheel of nature and start celebrating the cornerstones of the year again and life in all it’s specialties. Because it nurtures us on such a deep level. Thank you very much for your dedication towards life and nature. With love from Switzerland.

  9. Hi Colette….I cannot find any other way to contact you. I went to your Patreon page and had it connect to my subscriptions. You did not show up ! Maybe thats why no patrons. Also on your youtube page on the ” down below ” …try to make the links for all the ways to connect and buy your book a blue link so that people with only phones can get there easily. I dont have a copy and paste option. Love your vids. Looking forward to the book. Live in Hawaii and love your paradise better !!! ❤ Jennifer

    • My name on Paypal is :
      Anyone wishing to donate or buy the book only has to leave a message with the donation and I will respond asap.
      Thanks for the explanation ref Patreon. I don’t have a clue as to what I should do. As for the donate button on the website, I have tried fixing it by replacing, but to no avail. I will employ someone to try to remedy that at some point in the near future, as and when funds surface.
      Blessings X Colette

      • I am now one of your patrons at the $5 tier. Just getting back on my feet after pneumonia….and please dont fret about the human race because we didnt hit like on all your videos. Basically if we subscribed in the first place it means we like ALL your videos ! Not everyone of course. But you get it… You are a magnificent Earth Mother. ( Mother also meaning martyr)…. That was a hard lesson for me too. Happy Independence Day from here in the states….but really…this time of year we are all released of something to make us more independent. Pointing the angels in your direction ! Much ❤.

      • Hello Colette! Just finished listening and following you in your today’s video on you tube…I was wondering…why can’t we leave comments on your You tube videos? I would so much love to thank you for all these divine moments you are giving us! Thank you! They are moments of bliss in my days!

  10. Dear Colette, I am deeply touched by what you have created. I am curious if you offer
    anything like an apprenticeship as it would be a blessing to learn with/from you.
    I for one would consider it a tremendous gift and would love nothing more than that opportunity.
    With deepest admiration

  11. Good evening Collette!

    I do enjoy your blogs, but I would love a way to start at the beginning and read straight through both blogs over time. So far I have not been able to figure out how to do so. Is this possible? If it isn’t currently possible, could you consider doing so?

  12. Thank you so much for the information. I have a hobby of genealogy , but it does not go back as far as you are relating. Beale is also part of a clan in Scotland so has multiple Celtic origins.

  13. I grew up at the foot of Beltany Hill, Co. Donegal and although we don’t live there anymore we have called our house Bealtaine/Beltany. The stone circle at Beltany dates from 1400BC and the carved stone head found there dates from somewhere between 400BC and 400AD. Beal is the Celtic equivalent of Apollo the sun god and Bealtine comes for the fire of Beal/Baal which was lit on May 1st at the start of summer in honour of the Celtic sun god. The latter may be related to Baal (meaning “master”), the forbiddden name of God in the book of Hosea (2:16).

  14. I am fascinated by your cottage. Do you know where the name of it came from? My husband’s family was in Ireland for hundreds of years and founded a village named Mountmellick near Dublin with two other Quaker families.
    Laurel Beale

  15. Hi Just stumbled onto this site and I am truly in awe of what you are doing. You are living the life that I want, I don’t get jealous but I think I’m close.

  16. I’ve jsut found this site randomly, and been amazed the first sight. I am sure will be back daily to keep reading and just look at the amazing pictures.

    May I ask a bit personal question? After retiring from London, do you have a “normal job”, or you can just get by by the fruits/jams/etc you are producing yourself and selling?

    I am curious because one day I just want to do the same-get away from city life, and be back to Nature. But nowadays, nothing works without money and a salary..:(

  17. We are travelling through Ireland at the end of April and was wondering if you allow visitors to the cottage?

  18. Hi, I just found your site and I’m overjoyed!! You are living my dream!! I am so very inspired and can’t wait to read all of your blog. What you have done is truly amazing and the pictures you post are breathtaking. I am so very happy to have found you!

  19. This page is the find of my life. Although we are in Aus in a region with hot dry climate but wet and boggy in winter and many frosts, I am so inspired by your hard work. I can now stop looking for my dream property and be inspired by what you have done and try to do implement the same energy with our current property. Thank you Thank you..

      • I have already started nurturing but after 5 years I became uninspired as things seem to take so long and we started looking for an established property but after seeing Bealtaine, if my property (of 18 acres) looks anything like yours in 10 years I will be ready to just sit and enjoy and soak up mother nature and thank her. Cheers Jill.. p.s Thank you for inspiration and knowledge and sharing 🙂

  20. Truly inspiring, and so useful for those of us who live in Ireland and enjoy a similar climate, soil, and plants. Thank you very much and blessings from us here in West Cork.

  21. I plan to visit Ireland in September 2015 and would like to visit! Where, how, etc????

    • Hi Anna! 🙂 Visitors are welcome to Bealtaine Cottage and are able to book a visit through the new website, Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, where detailed maps, phone number etc are to be found. Blessings X Colette

  22. lovely to know another Goddess soul, I sometimes feel we are few, if ever you are in Clare, I would love to have you for tea and cake)0(

  23. I found your blog a few months ago and read it from start to finish.. and fell totally in love with Bealtaine Cottage and your posts. This is my first comment and I just wanted to say you are truly inspirational.. We grow our own fruit and veg as much as possible, keep chickens and bees and are in the process of turning our garden into a wildlife haven. I’m so glad I found your little piece of heaven.. thank you :o) xx

      • Hello, I am truly moved and inspired by your wonderful life, it’s amazing. I would love to spend a night at Bealtaine Cottage and submerge myself in permaculture, which is completely new to me as of today! I have my friend Liz to thank for pointing me in your direction. What you’ve done is incredible, I absolutely salute you. Is it possible to contact you to arrange a visit?

  24. incredible, amazing, absolutely amazing all that you have managed to achieve!! in such a short space of time; I am gobsmacked, inspired and remain hopeful one day I will be able to accomplish something similar in our garden; thank you for showing me it’s possible

  25. Inspirational. I am really looking forward to foraging in your treasure trove of a site and following you and Bealtaine cottage on this ever changing journey.

Your comments are welcome!