Food in the Midwinter Garden


It’s surprising just how much food is growing in the gardens of Bealtaine at this time of year, the time of scarcity…but far from it! There’s the makings of a decent salad, with Fennel, Japanese salads like Mizuna and others as well as a lovely edible garnish in the form of Pansy flowers. In other […]

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Why Save Seed?

Lunaria seeds drying on the veranda of the Lodge

All seed-saving at Bealtaine Cottage helps to preserve heirloom seeds’ genetic diversity! This is Bealtaine Cottage Lunaria. This seed has adapted over twelve years to grow in difficult conditions, for as you know, it rains frequently here and the gardens are all on a north-facing slope. This is why the seed saved here, year after […]

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Using Seaweed in the Garden


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

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Natural Gardening and No-Dig Growing


Ireland is the richest source of Celtic  myths and legends. Down through the Ages, Ireland remained remote and cut off from mainland Europe, holding onto its rich folklore and spirituality. It’s peoples worshipped all aspects of the natural world in which they recognised the Divine, in much the same way as I do here at […]

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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 […]

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Garden in February (Part One)

bealtaine cottage permaculture feb 2011 002

The year in the garden is now well under way, as Mother Earth awakens in a very visible way…not that she ever slept! Coltsfoot is one of the first herbs to come into flower, for it flowers before it leafs and a very welcome sight this is! Bronze fennel, that most vigorous of herbs and also […]

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Country Cottage Journal…Beginning the Year in the Garden


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 […]

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Thrive 064

Seedlings are thriving in the tunnel. Spring is in full bloom and life is thriving at Bealtaine Cottage. There is a certain joy in the air that is spiralling outwards and upwards capturing the energy of all life. Primulas and Lady’s Mantle show off their form and colour, jostling for attention as the sun rises […]

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