Mind, Body and Spirit Wellness

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Yesterday I spent much of the day in a workshop group learning all about needle felting. It was a day well spent, for I was with others and being creative.

I made this…

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We often forget how it feels to simply be.

IMG_6885To be oneself.

IMG_6900To be with others.

IMG_6893To be happy.

IMG_6904To be quiet and still.

IMG_6910To simply be!

IMG_6891We have forgotten…be kind, be kinder.

IMG_6911We are oft times unkind to ourselves.

IMG_6912We can never fully know or understand what others are struggling with, yet we all know the value of a kind word, a caring call or a shared coffee.

IMG_6914Being kind opens the door to personal happiness.

IMG_6918Body wellness is centred around being kind to oneself…something many of us never really think about…especially if we have others to care for.

IMG_6922In the past I have often posed the question, “who cares for the carers?”

IMG_6923Kindness changes everything.

IMG_6924This was the abiding message in the famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and yes, Rime is the correct spelling!

IMG_6925Being kind and casting a blessing on ‘slimy’ creatures, allowed the mariner to be freed from the corpse of the Albatross.

IMG_6930It is an epic poem and one worth reading, for it is a marvellous story and lesson.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.
Blessings to you all XXX Colette

Mother

“I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.”

~ Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland

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Walking through the upper gardens this morning and snapping photographs as I went…

DSC06686As I walked I thought about my Mother, my Grandmother and some of the women who have influenced my life, as Mother’s Day approaches…

DSC06687Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland was certainly one of those women!

DSC06694“The Irish presidential election of 1990 was the tenth held in Ireland and the first to include a female candidate. Independent politician Mary Robinson would go on to hold office for the next seven years. In the 1990 election, the Labour Party let it be known that it would run a candidate for the first time and nominated Robinson, a former Labour Party senator, and liberal campaigner. The renegade had been involved in the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform and is widely regarded and respected as atransformative figure in Ireland for liberalizing and revitalizing what was a conservative and low-profile political office. She was a remarkably popular president.” ~ http://www.irishcentral.com

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And so the transformation of Ireland and Irish politics began.

The patriarchal system of state and church had been given a bit of a shake down, but the real change began as we all began to feel more confident about questioning the world in which we lived.

DSC06672My own questions formed around the environment in which I lived, most importantly the Earth and our relationship with her.

I dreamed about returning to Ireland and challenging the status quo of land stewardship. Was it possible to do the seemingly impossible and recreate the Ireland of my deepest dreams?

A land of trees and woodlands, abundant wildlife, flowers and rich, seasonal colour?

A land of abundant food and shelter?

A land dedicated to the Great Mother…Earth?

Moreover, to even attempt to do this on some of the poorest land in Ireland?

DSC06682I felt empowered by Mary Robinson, as many women at home and abroad felt and continue to feel empowered.

DSC06683The opportunity to fulfil my dream came over a decade later, when, throwing all caution to the wind, I embarked on what was to become known as the Bealtaine Project.

DSC06685The book, “A Cottage and Three Acres,” picks up the story…

As I worked, sometimes into the night, planting and tending a hopeless looking land, I felt continual waves of compassion for Mother Earth.

I coaxed her, talked to her and sometimes even sang to her, the way one does with a seriously ill patient whose doctors have all but given up hope.

DSC06695I was not the only one though, for many, many others were embarking on a similar path all across Earth.

DSC06698I spoke with all who visited Bealtaine Cottage about Mother Earth, when few people seemed to recognise her plight.

But, something very incredible was happening…

DSC06699There was a distinct sense of energy rising from the very Earth herself…a form of communication at the most deeply intuitive level.

DSC06708 After years of feeling outcast because of what I sensed and felt, there happened a mighty shift in perception.

DSC06714As I began to write and photograph what was happening at Bealtaine, so many of you tuned in…often in the most serendipitous of ways!

DSC06715But, it was not accidental, for all is connected and often in ways we do not understand.

DSC06717And so the website began reaching  people all over the world.

DSC06718What began as an impossible dream, became a reality of hope for many…that nothing is impossible!

DSC06723That the doors of perception are not locked and barred!

DSC06724We are all, each and every one of us on an incredible journey, each one unique, yet deeply connected to all and everything.

We may live alone, but we are never alone.

DSC06730We are beautiful souls experiencing a human journey with the greatest Mother of them all…our own Mother Earth.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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A Cottage and Three Acres by Colette O’Neill

Rustic and Free…Garden Ideas

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Everybody loves gardens!

DSC02454One of the flourishing businesses of our time is that of Garden Centres.

DSC02451I love walking around a Garden Centre, but can rarely afford to buy more than one or two plants…if that!

DSC02450But…I continue to develop the gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage…on a budget that more often than not hovers around the zero mark!

How is it done?

DSC02449With lots of inspiration from the greatest gardener of the lot, Mother Nature!

Lots of seeds and cuttings grow into plants that go to make the gardens, such as here by the front door.

DSC02448Home-made compost as well as compoost!

DSC02447Liquid fertiliser is always available…urine mixed 10:1 with spring water, (the cottage is fed by a Spring Well!).

DSC02446Old bits of wood, logs and tree stumps make wonderful edging.

DSC02445Broken terracotta pots and broken china help create the right effect in Rockery Gardens.

DSC02455House ornaments that are weather-proof help create the right atmosphere in the garden…

DSC02444Stones that are smooth…

DSC02443Stones that are big…

DSC02442Logs with mossy bits…

DSC02440Old candle holders topped with an old can of Sedums…

DSC02441Tree stumps with round stones atop…

DSC02439Silly concrete garden ornaments bought pre-loved at a Boot Fair and painted…

DSC02438…and more Sedums that tolerate neglect!

DSC02435Shells and broken bits of tiles…

DSC02434It’s a wonderful and fun way to create a small but interesting garden, where one wants to spend more time looking…

DSC02432Using wood and stone as well as a multitude of other materials helps create micro-climates where plants flourish.  

DSC02433Rustic gardens are full of texture and interest…

DSC02431Places where the old and unusual take on a new life…

DSC02429Like this old river stone in the shape of Gandalf’s hat!

DSC02427DSC02426DSC02425Garden pots and more ornamental shrubs can be incorporated too…

DSC02428I hope you make some of these ideas your own, for wildlife, especially Bees and insects benefit so much from rustic gardens!

DSC02422There are over eleven hundred blogs about Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens on this website, as well as over six thousand photographs…all free! 

Growing the BEALTAINE PROJECT one upload at a time…

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please support…

 

Using Seaweed in the Garden

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After so much rain during the past few weeks, it was a relief to have a relatively dry day! DSC01293You may remember that last week I visited the Atlantic shoreline to harvest some seaweed to use on the garden. DSC01292The strands to the south of Sligo town have piles of loose seaweed here and there along the beaches.

DSC01291Always only ever take the loose stuff…don’t pull seaweed from stones as these form habitats and are essential to the ecology of the seashore!

DSC01290In the end I managed about three big bags of seaweed and headed home with my foraged booty!

DSC01289The first thing I do is to spread it on the gravel around the cottage and allow the rain to wash out excess salt.

DSC01288After about a week, I start to spread the seaweed around established plants in the garden and tunnel.

DSC01287 The seaweed acts as a wonderful feed and a weed-suppressing mulch!

DSC01285One of the best things about growing food in the garden is the opportunity to use local and near resources that are free to be foraged or collected…seaweed is an organic fertiliser! DSC01286Seaweed is washed in by the tide, so is easy to forage!

DSC01284Only ever take what you need!

It can be used straight away too by the way!

DSC01283It’s packed with Potassium and Nitrogen, bot wonderful for the garden!

In the next blog, over at Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, I will explain how to make Liquid Seaweed Manure…along with lots more pics of the vegetable beds mulched with seaweed and how this feeds the plants!

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

 

 

As Evening Descends…

Towards the end of a perfect day at Bealtaine Cottage. The gardens are looking well tended as the evening descends. Strawberries have been potted up in hanging baskets and seedlings rescued from the gravel around the cottage and potted up. These will make fine plants for the Summer ahead! And…all the while…the birds sing!

Please consider supporting Bealtaine Cottage

Sunshine and Cuttings

It’s like the Mediterranean here at Bealtaine Cottage!

The sun is shining and the birds singing like it’s Spring…and it is!

This is the second month of Spring on the ancient Celtic calendar and it’s all true to form!

Those interested in the Fuchsia cuttings need to hurry and order, as they are fast coming into leaf…another couple of weeks left to get them in the ground and growing…and they will grow very fast indeed! To place your order, click on the link below…

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

 

Country Cottage Journal…Beginning the Year in the Garden

Propagator at Bealtaine Cottage

Now is the time to sort out seeds and get sowing underway. January passes very quickly…we’re already halfway through!

First of all, ensure all trays and pots used for sowing are scrupulously clean.

No need to use chemicals for this, as soapy water, clean rinsing water and air-drying will ensure a perfect result.

I have used this method for the past eleven years and it has never failed.

Always use a good compost if you cannot make your own.

The John Innes recipe is perfect, but can be difficult to get it all together…

2 parts sterilized loam
1 part moss peat alternative 
1 part sharp sand

The loam and peat is put through in 3/8 in (9mm) sieve.

To each 36 L  add:

1-2 oz (42gm) superphosphate
1/2 oz Potassium nitrate
4-6 oz (21gm) ground limestone

I prefer to purchase sowing compost, as one small sack is usually enough, keeping home-made compost for the potting on process.

Once seeds are sorted and new ones added to the stock, it’s time to get sowing.

Success is all as the season can be delayed!

At this time I also clean the tunnel plastic to ensure maximum light penetration.

Daylight is now increasing by over a minute a day!

A good tidy up of the garden begins around this time, especially in the west of Ireland as Spring is about a month earlier in the gardening calendar.

This is measured on charts from Wisley in the SE of England and is in line with the Cornwall temperatures, due to the effect of the Gulf Stream.

Once the first signs of Spring appear, it is as though a magic wand has been cast over the landscape, with each day being a new day of discovery.

Sometimes there happens a snowfall that appears to set everything back, but in the absence of a deep and lingering freeze, it is very temporary indeed!

Pruning fruit trees and trees in general can be done before the sap starts to rise.

However, and this is from my own experience, Birch trees are known to rise sap very early on in the year, so do not cut as this can lead to the tree bleeding to death!

I encountered this much to my own grief…

In short, just because it’s cold and wintry at present, be aware that Nature’s clock is ticking and, if like me, you garden alone, there’s simply not enough hours in the day! Happy gardening!

Please note there are seeds available from Bealtaine Cottage…here’s the link:

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

Many are perfect food providers for Bees…remember the Bees in your garden planning this year!

Permaculture Works…A Ten Year Transformation!

Just over ten years ago I bought a derelict cottage standing on three acres of wet, rush-infested, north-facing land.

This is how I transformed it, using only Permaculture and my own labour.

See for yourself and share the magic!

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Windchimes at Bealtaine Cottage

Bealtaine Cottage before permaculture

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Bealtaine Cottage wheelbarrow to compost heap

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Bealtaine Cottage sign

Manifesting the Divine Feminine

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Year One…the pond and stream beds were dug and the water has flowed ever since!

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www.bealtainecottage.com

www.bealtainecottage.com

Looking out on a May evening...

Looking out on a May evening…

For the past fifteen or so years, Mother Earth has been communicating with us in a powerful and energetic way.

She wants us to plant her, nurture her and most of all recognise her for the Great Mother she is.

I heard her over ten years ago.

I write about her and photograph her magical ways every day, uploading to bealtainecottage.com several times a week, to be her voice and advocate.

The energy is quickening.

We live in wonderful times.