Natural Gardening and No-Dig Growing

DSC00027DSC00032Ireland is the richest source of Celtic  myths and legends.

DSC00029Down through the Ages, Ireland remained remote and cut off from mainland Europe, holding onto its rich folklore and spirituality.

DSC00030DSC00031It’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 Bealtaine Cottage.

DSC00034The reason for the wealth of myth and legend that pervades Ireland, today and it’s people lies not just from its isolation from mainland Europe for much of its history.

DSC00035Ireland remained free from pressures exerted by other cultures such as the Roman Empire.

DSC00036So much so, that the great writer, John B. Keane referred to his people as having only a “thin veneer of Christianity…” in that they merged their pre-Christian practices with their newly inducted Christianity.

DSC00037 And so I offer this up as a simple explanation for the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage having evolved through a similar understanding of the natural world and the supreme forces of Nature.

DSC00038This is no ordinary Permaculture garden as you can see, but one deeply nourished and inspired by the Goddess.

DSC00039For me there is a spiritual, otherworldly, ethereal force at work and play here.

DSC00040This is the rational (for me) way of explaining the extraordinary growth and extreme revving-up of biodiversity that has happened at Bealtaine.

DSC00041All beyond my control…not that I ever wanted to control this magnificent force!

I leave that to the Planet-Wreckers!

DSC00042As I re-emerged through my journey with Mother Earth, I came to an intuitive understanding of the need to stop digging Her…to let Her be!

DSC00043So I mulch and cover Her with as much tenderness as befits the Great Mother.

DSC00044You will never see any of Her precious skin exposed.

DSC00045Her mantle remains in place.

DSC00046And so this brings me to the second part of this story…

DSC00047The wonderful success of No-Dig Gardening…

DSC00050And here is the first of over twenty photographs and the story of growing success at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…continued over at Bealtaine Cottage Good Life… bealtainecottage.org

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Thrive

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Seedlings are thriving in the tunnel.

Spring is in full bloom and life is thriving at Bealtaine Cottage.

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There is a certain joy in the air that is spiralling outwards and upwards capturing the energy of all life.

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Primulas and Lady’s Mantle show off their form and colour, jostling for attention as the sun rises higher and higher in the clear blue skies above this little cottage.

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I love archways like this in the gardens, for there is something deeply spiritual and connective about the shape of them, joining one side of a path to another…connecting, as we’re all connected!

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Green, deep shades of green symbolising life at it’s most potent and powerful.

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Healing colour that pulses energy through the eye and deep into the human mind creating calm and joy.

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As Mother Earth thrives, so do we.

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The connection is so very simple to make.

We need little education to understand this most elemental of connectors we share with her.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

We need Nature to thrive.

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There is much to be said for the “Green Economy”, including the aspects of personal health and well-being we acquire through allowing Nature and ourselves to thrive.

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If you want to thrive, go to Mother Nature.

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If you want children to thrive, place them in Nature.

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The sounds, sights, scents of Mother Earth are all around us.

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The eminent Archaeologist, Marija Gimbutas, describes the power of Nature so well… “Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hills, trees and flowers. hence the holistic and mythopoeic perception of the sacredness and mystery of all there is on Earth.”

It’s time to go to her and begin to thrive.

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Blessings XXX

The Great Creatrix

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The photographer from Irish Country Magazine has just left…the magazine photo-shoot is over!
You can read all about Bealtaine Cottage in the Dec/Jan edition, which will be on the shelves at the end of November!

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As we walked around the gardens, the conversation turned to the story of how Bealtaine emerged from rushy fields and it became apparent that this story becomes harder to tell…for it all seems so improbable.

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The story has taken on myth-like qualities as visitors look around, finding it hard to believe that Nature could work such magic…but She has…the Great Creatrix!

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The gardens are now a riot of autumnal colour, due in part to what many call ‘mistakes,’ but have turned out to be inspired tree planting, with nothing other than a gut feeling of where to plant and plant without discrimination.

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When one considers it, Mother Nature does not discriminate.

She merely gets on with whatever needs to be done…nurturing and giving all her days.

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Rachel Carson was acutely aware of how the future might be, if humankind did not awaken to the need to live with her…the one…the Mother, Creatrix of beauty and life.

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“Silent Spring” remains to this time, an enduring legacy of the call to wake up and smell the roses.

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We cannot live without her, though she can go on and on into the future without us.

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The question is: does she want to?

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I believe Mother Earth is reaching out to us in a last desperate bid to stop us from destroying our habitat.

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What is being done in the name of economic progress is nothing less than a dance with death.

Despite what is apparent, there appears to be a mass awakening of people, much of it happening on internet media with a  gathering speed and force. permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 012

If this little website is anything to go by, then all is not lost, for I see the growing numbers of people interested in a more sustainable lifestyle!

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We are living in fast changing times, days of optimism and hope…we are moving into a time of co-creating with the great Creatrix…Mother Earth.

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I did not choose Bealtaine Cottage…it chose me, as one who would be an enabler of the great Mother.

In the Celtic calendar, the first day of May was known in Irish as Bealtaine.

This was the feast of bright fire, the first of summer, one of the four great quarter days of the year.

 The ancient Irish Book of Invasions tells us that the first magical inhabitants of the country, the Tuatha Dé Danaan, arrived on the feast of Bealtaine.

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Bealtaine is all about renewal, another chance, an awakening.

I will let the great Seamus Heaney have the last word…

Beacons at Bealtaine
Phoenix Park, May Day, 2004

Uisce: water. And fionn: the water’s clear.
But dip and find this Gaelic water Greek:
A phoenix flames upon fionn uisce here.

Strangers were barbaroi to the Greek ear.
Now let the heirs of all who could not speak
The language, whose ba-babbling was unclear,

Come with their gift of tongues past each frontier
And find the answering voices that they seek
As fionn and uisce answer phoenix here.

The May Day hills were burning, far and near,
When our land’s first footers beached boats in the creek
In uisce, fionn, strange words that soon grew clear;

So on a day when newcomers appear
Let it be a homecoming and let us speak
The unstrange word, as it behoves us here,

Move lips, move minds and make new meanings flare
Like ancient beacons signalling, peak to peak,
From middle sea to north sea, shining clear
As phoenix flame upon fionn uisce here.

A Place To Be Endured

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As a species on this Earth, we are separated from other life forms by consciousness, in that we are aware of our own existence.

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In being aware, we are able to make conscious choices every day, as we proceed through the maze of miracles and events that makes up our lives. Autumn in permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 012

“Live like a tree, giving, forgiving and free.”
Debasish Mridha M.D.

The best choices we make are those that involve, in some way or another, a generosity of spirit, for in those choices we give. Autumn in permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 013

I was walking the gardens this morning…really I should say, woodland, for that is what it has become, and pondering on the way in which all this manifested.

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It began with an unblinking, unfettered generosity of spirit…a conscious choice to simply plant trees into a land bereft of habitat.

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Growing and planting trees from seed has been my work over the past ten years.

Growing trees has been the work of Mother Nature for hundreds of thousands of years.

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However, at this point in time, Mother Nature, Mother Earth, needs our help…for she is so badly damaged by humankind!

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For my part, I continue to sow seeds of mighty trees in small pots…to give away with a generous heart, to the hundreds of annual visitors to Bealtaine.

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So many of you have made this sacred journey with me, planting trees wherever you live, in countries all over the Earth.

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“I have come to the conclusion that imperialism and exploitation are forms of cannibalism and, in fact, are precisely those forms of cannibalism which are most diabolical or evil.”
Jack D Forbes

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“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the Earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.’

But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.

For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.

But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
Chief Luther Standing Bear

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To plant and restore the sacred Earth means that it will never be “a place to be endured…”

We choose!

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“We return to you, O Earth, the things which you have given us willingly and most graciously; with our hearts, hands and minds, in the best way we know how.”
Taj Mahal

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Bealtaine Cottage website is free, with over 850 blogs and 3,500+ photographs.

However there is a new website for lovers of all things Bealtaine…

” Bealtaine Cottage Good Life”

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You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.

This amounts to 104 publications per year, at a cost of 12 cents each!

Click on button below to make your subscription.

The Magical and The Sacred

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It is a rare thing…to be lost for words.

A day in Autumn that changes one perspective on life and the meaning of it all.

Where shall I begin?

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Perhaps where I started, this morning, camera in my dressing gown pocket and mug of hot coffee in my hand, traipsing out in rubber clogs onto grass saturated with morning dew.

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Or maybe, a little earlier, as this year began, immersed in deep sadness, as my mother made her own journey back to the Divine.

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But the Wheel, as they say, turns and the beauty of the Sacred overcomes the grief of the mortal…I stepped out…

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What magic lies in Nature that transforms barren into life again and again?

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The gardens have emerged this year as Woodland…and my mother loved walking in the woods.

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Come walk with me…

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Blessings X

While Rome Burns…

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There are no solutions to the instability in the world that I care to offer, as my voice is irrelevant in the scheme of things that cause mayhem and war.

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I can only offer advice on what works for me…on what keeps me sane in a world filled with lunacy!

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Keep grounded!

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Do what you have to do and do it well!

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Look ahead into the seasons and make plans for planting, working, visiting and caring for the world around you.

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Think about ways in which you can heal the world around you, be positive and nurture.

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Don’t allow the mayhem to grind you down…life went on after the Fall of Rome, as well we know!

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Remember, even as war, austerity and breakdown of society is happening right now in countries around the globe, people continue to look after their children, grow food, make food, wash clothes and generally get on with life as best they can.

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For all the negative and dreadful news we are battered with on a daily basis, remember there are real people around you doing good things!

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The mainstream media rarely reports on good people.

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The next time you share a conversation with someone, compliment them on a little thing to lift their spirits, for it will be paid forward, it will!

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I can say, with absolute certainty,  there are many more good people on this Earth than bad…and sometimes, those we perceive to be bad are just hurting.

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The world is as beautiful, peaceful and abundant as each of us are prepared to make it!

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Blessings for a wonderful weekend XXX

As a member of the other website you get to see another 95 blogs not available publicly. The latest one, “Radical Changes” has been posted today, 29 November 2016. Here’s the link…

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

A Simple Life

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“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.”

Victoria Moran

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Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. ~Elise Boulding

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Yesterday, I found myself with two juicers.

Through fortune and kindness, my life had become too full, and so I gave one away, to a friend who needs to take good care of her health.

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She was delighted and my cupboard was, once more, roomy and ready to receive.

To live in a state of abundance, it is necessary to practice frugality.

One cannot work without the other.

Abundance needs space to grow!

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Clinging onto what one does not need creates clutter, confusion and chaos.

Is it any wonder the world is in such a state?

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We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it. ~Donald Horban

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The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed — it is a process of elimination. ~Elbert Hubbard

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I have two websites… Bealtaine Cottage and Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

This site, Bealtaine Cottage, is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life costs 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

Making this small donation adds your name to the subscriber list.

You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.

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Home Grown and Home Made Food

 

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The cost of food has risen and the overall quality has dropped.

Much of the fruit and vegetables being sold in the supermarkets may look good, but the taste is somewhat lacking. Considering these issues, it is fair to say that there could not be a better time to grow your own food, as well as make, cook and bake your own food!

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Today I have been harvesting potatoes and clearing the beds for the next planting or simply for mulching down with cardboard and straw.

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The compost heap is growing by the day as the beds are cleared and tidied.

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Elsewhere in the gardens, the burgeoning beds await their turn to be harvested.

This Golden Oregano will dry nicely and ensure tasty tomato sauces all winter!

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This is a sheltered part of the fruit gardens to leave the potatoes in the ground for a while to come.

Those at the back of the picture will stay where they are.

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You may remember how I mulched this ground last Autumn, using cardboard, straw and shreddings…now you can see the value of this exercise.

The earth is in good condition and any weeds that did grow were very easy to pull.

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This gives you some idea of how permaculture works…a forest garden with lots of shelter, biodiversity and ultimately, resilience!

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Lots of leaf drop feeds the soil, building a much needed fertility.

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Meanwhile, indoors, one of the few electrical items I own is ready to do a lot of sewing.

I also have a hand sewing machine for less labour intensive tasks.

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And in the kitchen I’ve been baking bread and making Houmous Dip.

There really is no comparison to home made and home grown food!

A Year at Bealtaine…part 2

Lime tree walk at Bealtaine Cottage

Nine years of planting trees into barren, north-facing land has now awoken a magical earth, with paths that lead forever among dappled shade.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageAnd every now and then open up into a secret garden…

Plant Sanctuary, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…or two…

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageSome paths get overgrown fast as Nature’s abundance keeps giving.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe thousands of plants all jostle for space…

A Cherry seed grows by an Oak tree at Bealtaine Cottageand are now self-seeding, like this little Cherry tree growing next to an Oak!

Willow arch into the Fairy woodland at Bealtaine CottageWillow arches that lead into the Fairy Wood at Midsummer.

Blossom on a Rowan tree planted in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageThe delicate blossom on the Mountain Ash, also known as the Rowan Tree.

Permaculture Paradise at Bealtaine CottageA place for tea in the garden on long summer days.

Pond at bealtaine cottageThe standing stone by the lower pond in the Bog Garden.

willow archway at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensWillow…

willow arches, dogwood and beechWillow…

crossing the pondAnd more Willow!

bog garden of bealtainePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottagePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottageAnd more paths!

Manifesting the Divine FeminineThe lane-way in Summer, walking down to collect…

The postbox at Bealtaine Cottagethe post!

Water garden in permaculture at Bealtaine CottageThe plants take over as Summer holds sway…

Roses at bealtaine cottageAnd roses outside on the veranda go completely crazy!

Gosh…there’s lots more to share for 2013, so a “Part 3” will be needed!

Happy New Year from Bealtaine XXX