The Bealtaine Project

Bealtaine Cottage before and after

Bealtaine Cottage was created, using Permaculture ethics and principles, on the poorest of soils, despite all the evidence suggesting the impossibility of success…a vision entirely funded by one woman, Colette O’Neill. As time passed, Permaculture evolved into Goddess Permaculture, based upon Earth-centered, Divine Feminine spirituality, with the Goddess embodied in every aspect of the old Cottage and Sanctuary Gardens. 


The photos above were taken at the same time of the year, April, but 12 years apart. (Checkout the bare Ash tree at the top of the driveway in both images!)

Despite applying for EU and Irish Government support for the Bealtaine Project, no support has ever been pledged…in fact Bealtaine Cottage and Colette O’Neill have been, over the past twelve years, ignored!

A bitter pill to swallow in a land where agriculture is grant-aided continuously.

cropped-november-2011-018.jpgCreating and funding the Bealtaine Project has been difficult, in that a mortgage to purchase the cottage and land had to be sought, leaving Colette to carry the debt until the age of sixty seven…no mean task for a woman living on her own.

cropped-cropped-garden-permaculture-at-bealtainecottage-com-1071.jpgNevertheless, Bealtaine Cottage has gone from strength to strength through worldwide good will, support and donations…and now, with the book just published by Colette O’Neill, “A Cottage and Three Acres”

Seed growing in the polytunnel in late April at Bealtaine CottageIn fact, in spite of all the odds being stacked against success, Bealtaine Cottage offers a vision for a world of possibilities and inspiration for all, keeping Mother Earth at the heart of life!

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0036.jpgOver the years, your support has provided Colette with a computer, camera, internet access and hope…to spread the message of Bealtaine far and wide…

Evening kitchen at Bealtaine CottageSupporters of this little place have been drawn to visit from all over the world, enjoying tea and scones in the little kitchen at Bealtaine Cottage, however, due to the work in maintaining the gardens, Colette sadly has to refuse visitors now.

Celtic Cross at Bealtaine CottageBealtaine Cottage…keeping the main website free for all, along with a NO ADS Youtube channel and FaceBook site.

“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
Wendell Berry

If you wish to make a small donation in support of the work at Bealtaine Cottage, then bless you XXX…


  1. I enjoy your watching your videos and what you have created with the before/after images, of your cottage. It is always refreshing. Thank you. Bright blessings.

  2. Warm Greetings Colette, I have been watching, learning and enjoying your videos for some time now, but this year their just seems to be an even more profound Magic and Growth with in and around your beautiful and lush land. Perhaps it is coming from having watched you do so much work this past year with trimming of bushes and trees, creating and opening paths, and of course so much more..
    All over the property, i just see a fullness of life. Its quite an interesting observance from this perspective, looking in from the outside.
    You walk the same paths within your videos, yet each time, i’am seeing something new, its subtle, but its there. if this makes sense..i just love the experience that you share with us in each and every video.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful home and land, as well as your knowledge,teaching and passion for our Mother Earth.
    Warmly and with much Gratitude,

  3. I was led here for a reason. Thank you for who you are and what you believe in. There is a kindred soul connection to your world. On this foggy rainy Saturday, February 27, 2021, I should be painting and doing endless hard chores, I realized I was feeling overburdened, and just needed to sit and connect to a like-minded spirit, and here we are. I’m 70, a Master Gardener, a no dig gardener, totally organic, and lover of nature and wild things. Living alone, especially during this pandemic, I needed this connection, today. xx Linda from Long Island, New York.

    • I too often refer to living alone, but the truth is that I have never felt alone and perhaps that is the real truth. We are tortured by the man-made construct to believe in strangeness, like alone is bad…this is so far from the reality of Mother Earth as to be utterly ridiculous! We are all connected in a magical way that Quantum Physics is only beginning to untangle and make some sense of!

  4. Thank you Colette for all you’ve done and all you continue to do. I have been following you for years and your blog is truly an inspiration. I am wondering, when you first began this project, were there any particular books on planting or gardening that helped you, taught you, or inspired you? I don’t ever recall you mentioning any, but I’m looking for some good gardening books to invest in and I knew you would be a person to ask!
    Thanks! Brenda

    • I joined my local libraries…one in Carrick and one in Boyle and indulged (relentlessly, haha!) in all things garden, growing and horticulture. There were hundreds of books I took to bed with me and the cumulative effect served me well…having no money at the time, this was all I could do and it was enough to keep the creativity and inspiration afloat! Can I recall any of them? Not really…

  5. You are an inspiration. i am young and wish to live a life of principle, love and virtue and stand up and work for something i believe in without any expectation of praise or notice. 16 years is a long time and i respect you very much.

  6. I have been trying to find out more about the playhouse and other small cottage you have . Who built those did you re t them out at some point? Thank you and blessing.

  7. I just want to say you are an amazing woman.What a beautiful earth we would have were more people like you, respecting Mother Earth and giving back to her.Your glorious garden and woods bring me such peace and calm. I noticed in a couple pictures you have two cats. What are their names? Jack is splendid but I am a cat lover. Love and light to you.

  8. Hi Colette,
    my name is Dorota, and I have come across your permaculture site.

    I wander I could accept me as a volunteer? I can offer my help for couple of moths this year. I am happy to perform all the necessary tasks.

    I love nature, I was born and raised in countryside. My father used to run huge fish farms so my childhood passed among ponds, lakes and forests. Currently i live in a big city which does not serve me well.

    Place you have created helps to connect with all the best in me, my dearest childhood memories, beautiful environment and simple life. My heart is longing to go back where i came from, to Nature. You have offered something of a great value. Thank you.

    If you feel you can benefit from from my presence and my help, please let me know.

    • Thank you for your kind offer, but I have never, in 16 years, had volunteer workers here at Bealtaine Cottage. There is little to be done now that cannot be managed by myself, but thank you anyway! XXX Colette

  9. Bless you beloved, but I think you need the heads up, that there’s probably a problem on your website with automatic opening of the links. For when I clicked onto loads of your videos all started up talking at the same time (without me clicking on them and asking them to). It was like a box of wind up dolls all going off at the same time with “Mama, Mama…” LOL, well you get the picture. I’ve included your bumper stickers in my blog today, hope you approve.

  10. Your gardens and cottage are beautiful beyond words. A wonderful vibrant beauty that shines out of the photos and must be amazing in real life. I have a garden and allotment and love growing organically and responsibly, but I am missing the beauty. At certain times of year there are small patches of beauty, that catch my breath and make me stand and smile. I need to learn how to bring more beauty and joy into my garden and my home and my life. Thank you for giving me hope and opening my eyes to the beauty and joy that is possible.

  11. I feel I was lead to your youtube site and the wonderful philosophy behind your work. My heart is full of anticipation each time you take us on a walk in the garden. I fully expect to see Fairies in the Fairy Garden and a lovely toad resting under a mushroom. I am afflicted with a passion for a similar lifestyle. I have dreamed of living in the mountains of Arkansas in a stone house surrounded by nature such as you have created around your cottage and three acres. If the day never comes for my cottage, I will cherish the visits to your piece of glorious Earth.

  12. Hi Colette. I wanted to write and let you know you are my hero. I have wanted a place such as yours for many years now… and you have given me inspiration and belief that it will present itself in the near future. I have ordered one of your maps to use on my vision board and I hope to someday come and learn from you. Many blessed thoughts and love are coming to you. Jeri

  13. Hello. I’ve just discovered your website and youtube. Your project is amazing! Well done reaching your 13th anniversary, your land and philosophy are and inspiration . …. wishing you many more successful years ahead.
    Ps…. do you make the stained glass suncatchers in your windows? They are beautiful.
    Best wishes
    Mandy x

      • Glad someone else asked and yes, I can understand. I am on your email list already but don’t see any courses yet offered – will that be changing now that the weather is improving? Thanks for all you do, your book is on my list and hope to visit Ireland at some point – hoping even a day visit with a class is achievable! Thank you Collette, you and the cottage are a marvelous inspiration indeed! 🙂

        P.S. I saw you spin and sew – do you knit or crochet too? Saw some of your lace around the windows, thought I would ask! 😉

Your comments are welcome!