Letter From Christine…

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I often receive letters and emails from those who have visited Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens.

DSC02042I treasure them as the words therein inspire me to keep on this busy path of sharing Bealtaine and caring for the Earth.

DSC02041This evening I have taken more photographs to share with you, as I share the words penned by Christine, who visited Bealtaine some days ago.

DSC02040Thank you dear Colette for the wonderful time with you in Bealtaine Cottage yesterday.

DSC02039We felt so nourished and inspired, your inspirational company, wise words and delightful home so full of beauty, vitality, and a healing presence. 
DSC02038Almost like a dream for me waking this morning and feeling – wow – I was actually sitting with you yesterday in your garden, stroking Jack, enjoying our conversation, my eyes feasting on the plants, flowers and trees, the sounds of the light rain, the chimes, the birds and your soothing voice…a real treat. (Of course eating your gorgeous vegan brownies too).
DSC02037We all feel very grateful to you.

DSC02036It’s a total inspiration having you create and share Bealtaine Cottage and being not far from us here, a ‘wake-up’ and an eye opener! 

DSC02035 We each felt so comfortable, at ease and at home…of course many questions bubble this morn inspired from our visit. 
DSC02034And also some grief…some of what you shared about deep sadness for how we are living as a civilisation, how we have lived with such lack of respect for the earth, the animals and plant kingdoms and also each other.

DSC02033Such disconnection…and some of that being reflected in the challenges we have to face…
DSC02032We went up to the Queen Maeve Cairn at Knocknarea after leaving you…such breathtaking views…

DSC02031I felt very grateful and blessed for good souls like yourself, living from the heart, soulfully, passionately, the warrior energy to follow one’s own heart-calling and live it, a real warrior path…takes courage tuning into one’s own heart, not that of the tribe or the need to be accepted and fit-in.
DSC02030So thanks again dear Colette. Much love to you, to Jack and Sammy Bear and of course your beautiful space and it’s healing spirit. 
Christine x (Nick and Raphael xx)” 

DSC02026On this night of the first new moon of Lughnasadh, I am content to be compared to a warrior.

DSC02025For, in so many ways, my journey to this point has been a battle at times…not with Mother Earth, but over the twelve past years, on my own, when I have had to motivate myself to stay with the project.

DSC02024There have been times along the way, when I have felt nurtured by others, the kindness of strangers on the internet who have supported me when I have needed it most.

DSC02023Serendipity has played a huge part in the Bealtaine Project!

You know who you are…and my blessings are many and often as I think of you!

DSC02022This year has witnessed a beautiful maturity in all I have planted and continue to love. I, in turn, feel nurtured by Mother Earth… There is a lot still to be done as we move into uncertain times. 

DSC02021There are important messages to share that empower us to act in support of Mother Earth, such as I share on my Twitter and FaceBook accounts…

DSC02020Digging Mother Earth releases into the atmosphere…and why I don’t dig! DSC02018Likewise… absorb from the air, through the small holes (stomata) present on the lower side of

DSC02016We are putting out double the amount of that can be absorbed by plants on Earth…Plant more!

DSC02015Carbon is a gaseous food absorbed by plants…so let’s plant more!

DSC02014Social Media is a powerful tool and can be used for great good in getting simple messages like these out there!

DSC02013 And, like all old warriors, I’ll just keep on keeping on!

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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 join…

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Cottage Garden Style

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There was a full moon last night.

Sammy-Bear couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted in or out.

Previous to this photo I had opened the back door for him twice to go out, whereupon he ran around to the front of the cottage and jumped up on the window sill, as you can see here!

DSC09962It’s always a strange time when the moon is full.

I’m sure you each have stories about weird happenings at this time!

DSC09961This May moon has cast it’s brightness over Ireland, presiding over an extraordinary time of growth.

DSC09960DSC09959 All around the cottage there are flowers opening, plants growing, seemingly overnight and trees now heavy with leaf and blossom.

DSC09958Where would an Irish cottage garden be without the beautiful and traditional Perlagonium?

DSC09957And, of course, every cottage garden has a little spot for Succulents…I plant these in terracotta pots and here in this old planter.

They love dry conditions!

DSC09956DSC09955Always lots of tasks to complete as in painting the old Buddha, so he may survive another winter!

DSC09954DSC09953DSC09952As in all cottage gardens, famous for their mish-mash of flowers, vegetables fruit and just about everything else, edibles share potager beds with their close relations!

DSC09950I have had to move many plants from pots and plant them in spaces wherever I can find them.

For, as always now at this time of the year, there is a drought…sometimes prolonged, but dry enough at the best of times!

DSC09948The nursery bed, essential to a cottage garden, is being cleared fast, with plants going into the long beds down by the road.

DSC09946DSC09943Pieris and Poppies…as always, flowers are squashed in beside the most unsuitable bed mates…the Poppy is planted in with Flowering Currant!

DSC09931And sitting in my chair on the veranda, looking up…the classic cottage garden rose.

DSC09941The all-forgiving Cottage Garden will tolerate just about everything one wants to “throw out!” Except, of course, I throw little away, favouring a good old re-purpose, as in this old, but very comfy, fireside chair!

DSC09937And…the beautiful Wisteria…tougher than it looks and essential “cottage garden!”

DSC09936DSC09933DSC09932Nothing pristine here!

No manicured lawn or well-placed fountain or garden ornament…yet everything knows how to behave itself without supervision.

DSC09930Even Jack…unlike Sammy-Bear!

DSC09927DSC09924Oh Jack, you are a little beaut!

DSC09923Opening my backdoor this morning I see the Fairies have tidied up again!

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The Goddess in the Well

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Yesterday was a special day for me!

The beautiful, ethereal mountain that is Ben Bulben will give you a clue…

DSC09886I travelled to Sligo, passing along the shores of Lough Gill, to collect a very special ring, that was made for me by gifted Silversmith, Mirjam Schiller at 

https://www.facebook.com/Wildheart-290973244286031/timeline

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My daughter, Cara, was driving, so we stopped by the shores of the Lough, made famous by W.B.Yeats in his poetry.

DSC09883DSC09884Birthdays come and go and I have enjoyed sixty of them, all in the month of October, near Samhain…so this, along with a second ring as yet unfinished, marked my sixty Summers on this precious, beautiful Earth.

DSC09885DSC09888I had deliberated for some time over what I should spend my birthday money on…have always loved silver and, very importantly, dearly wanted to place a much maligned symbol of the Goddess where I would always see it! 

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The story of the snakes being banished from Ireland represents a dark place in the history of this land…for it was the Goddess who was banned, to be replaced with an image dominated by Patriarchy… that of Virgin Mother Mary.13240026_1157744440942236_3639364493354802613_nThe Great Goddess often had snakes as her symbol—sometimes twining around her sacred staff, as in ancient Crete—and they were worshiped as guardians of her mysteries of birth and regeneration.

DSC09893Bealtaine Cottage encapsulates those two energies…birth and regeneration…of Mother Earth herself, in all her wild, unstoppable beauty.

DSC09889Wildheart was the place I had to go… 

DSC09891DSC09890The journey back was auspicious, in that we got lost. 

DSC09897And so, driving along a quiet road, we were led to an ancient Holy Well…much older than any religion…

DSC09898Tobernalt Holy Well is a place of reflection and nurturing serenity. 

DSC09896It predates the advent of Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. 

DSC09895Its importance as a meeting place and a sustainer of life predates even our Celtic ancestors.

DSC09894Tobernalt is a natural spring well that established itself in a primeval forest. 

It is situated at the South West corner of Lough Gill in the North Sligo Barony of Carbury. 

DSC09899This was where I blessed my ring, submerging it in the Spring Water that flowed from the hill, away into the mystical depths of Lough Gill and the Lake Isle of Inishfree. 

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Magical Evening of Ostara at Bealtaine Cottage

This is the evening of Ostara, the Spring Equinox…of equal day and night.

The Great Turning of the year as Spring moves with joy towards the Summer and Bealtaine, the first of May.

A magical time.

The word Ostara is just one of the names given to the celebration of the Spring Equinox, also known as the Vernal Equinox, on March 20 this year.

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north.

This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.

The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word Ostara is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. 

Solstices and equinoxes mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of Mother Earth.

Each year there are two equinoxes (spring and autumn) and two solstices (summer and winter).

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What If…?

poster tree

A reasonable question…why, some would even say, a good question!

Isn’t it about time we asked it?

Isn’t it about time we stepped out of the ridiculous matrix we have trapped ourselves in?  

Question more…

Poster Bealtaine Cottage trees

Today’s video from Bealtaine Cottage…

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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/

 

Signs of Spring

Catnip Heart Toy made at Bealtaine Cottage

Life is stirring.

Light shines higher in the morning sky.

Thickening buds cast a haze over the land.

“But there were certain early days in Casterbridge- days of firmamental exhaustion which followed angry south-westerly tempests-when, if the sun shone, the air was like velvet.”
Thomas Hardy

The woodland that surrounds Bealtaine Cottage

Colours emerge and birds sing out a joyous, higher note.

Warm weather in January

We are officially in the season of Spring in the West of Ireland and the new energy is tangible, from rising in the morning to the growing lateness of dusk.

The temperature seems rather unstable, as you can see evidence of in the photograph above.

The morning began very cold and in the space of minutes, the temperature had climbed by 18 F., causing the mirror on the veranda to steam up!

I recorded this as most of the only real information about climate and weather appears to be anecdotal evidence from social media! Cottage interior at Bealtaine, 2016

My favourite aspect of Spring is the way the light changes.

If one simply sat in this cottage and never ventured outdoors it would be possible to map the seasons in light play.

I expect birds, animals and even insects are similarly informed.

Living in the glare of artificial light can be dulling to our senses!

“She walks in the loveliness she made,
Between the apple-blossom and the water–
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son, and every tree her daughter.”
Vita Sackville-West, The Land

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Elsewhere in the woodland gardens at Bealtaine, frogs have emerged from hibernation and busied themselves, as only frogs can in cold ponds!

Frogs in Bealtaine pond have the luxury of a shallow, sheltered, ancillary pond, hand dug by myself, just off the main one.

This water heats faster and earlier, ensuring maximum attention to the detail of frog mating and spawning…a sort of nursery pond!

Anyway, it works a treat and has done for the past eleven years.

As a consequence, the amphibian life force has healthily expanded!

“Woods were ringed with a colour so soft, so subtle that it could scarcely be said to be a colour at all. It was more the idea of a colour – as if the trees were dreaming green dreams or thinking green thoughts.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

 

Frogspawn at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, 1st Feb 2016

Frogspawn at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, 1st Feb 2016

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2016

Diversity of planting not only has created resilience, but bestowed all year round colour to Bealtaine Cottage…so appreciated as Spring emerges…for with this rising of the sap, comes a much defined colour change!

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

Pussy Willow at Bealtaine Cottage. Ireland

Catkins have appeared on the Willow…and there’s many different varieties in the Woodland. Pond and even Orchard gardens. Essential food for the bees emerging from a hungry winter hibernation.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Quince flowers, Bealtaine Cottage, Feb 2016

This Quince grows in the Bog Garden and has begun to flower!

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
Margaret Atwood

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Where would Spring be without the exquisite little Primroses?

Seen here in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine, surrounded by Spurge!

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Spurge at bealtaine cottage in the Fairy Wood

The Fairy Wood awakens!

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You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:

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

 

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Country Cottage Journal~Floods

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Last night I encountered the severest rainfall ever…it was nothing less than apocalyptic!

I was awakened around midnight by the sound of gushing water.

It had been raining all day and the forecast was for the rain to persist until around 6am on Sunday morning.

Getting up and putting on my dressing gown, I opened the back door and switched on the outdoor light, to witness water rising up towards the door.

Grabbing a torch, I shone it along the back of the garden and was amazed to see waterfalls, cascading down from the hill behind the cottage, onto the gravel in my little courtyard.

It was horrendous…and very, very frightening!

I put my raincoat on over my dressing gown, slid into my wellies and clutching the torch, headed up the back garden, to see if it was possible to redirect the torrents.

I spent the next three hours with spade, hoe and rake, trying my hardest to channel the flooding away from it’s path of destruction.

I succeeded…eventually!

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This is extreme weather of biblical proportions!

The result of Climate Change due to the machinations of man…everything points that way!