One of the real advantages of a permaculture garden is that there is always colour…flowers are not the only colour in the garden!
I took this photo about five minutes ago and even though it’s drizzly, dull and cloudy, the garden at the front of the cottage is dazzling with a veritable artist palette of colour!
There are crispy brown leaves on the grass from the Beech trees, which keep their leaves for most of the winter and only really shed them as the new ones push through.
The Photinia is bright red with the new growth.
Valerian is showing bright green through the gravel and the Pear tree is awash with white blossom.
Permaculture planting is intense planting, the objective being to cover the earth and leave no part exposed to the elements! The effect is incredible and the maintenance is absolutely minimal!
Most of these plants are easily recognised.
One of the big benefits of permaculture planting is the almost immediate transformation for the better, as plants move through the seasons and drop their waste upon the earth.
Pyracantha, Beech, Amelanchier, Spirea and Buddleia all jostle for the light…may the best one win!
There is a sacred space here at Bealtaine Cottage, an ancient place that evolved at such a speed, that I quickly realised there was magic in this little corner of the land.
Above is one of the six entrances to what became known as the Fairy Wood…not my name for it, but bestowed upon it by visiting children.
Children are more in tune with the land than we, for they see and hear on a more profound level.
Sedge in the Fairy Wood As I planted and observed the land, I could see the influence this little place had on the bare land around it.
Slowly, over one thousand trees filled the space, with plants like the Sedge, above, planted alongside paths I created to wind in and out of trees.
Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage As I planted, so the Fairy wood evolved and her life energy seemed to emanate from deep within the earth itself.
This was co-creation at it’s most magical and inspiring.
Primroses and Celandines have emerged.
The land is packed with magic indeed.
The Sidhe are watchful as I work here.
One of the entrances overlooks the polytunnel.
Some pruning and cutting back has taken place here recently to allow more light onto the woodland floor, where rewards are plentiful.
There is an atmosphere and intrigue experienced as one walks through this lovely sacred space.
An entire bank of Herb Robert in flower.
Another entrance to the Fairy Wood…the essence of permaculture is being able to let go.
The secret is to allow Mother Nature free reign over all of her subjects…she really does know best.
I simply tidy up around her, paying attention to her promptings to do this and that…
Young Beech, planted a couple of years ago, droops low over Ferns and more Herb Robert.
And the exit from this womb-like place takes one straight out into sunshine…a beautiful birthing!
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Tulips planted several years ago under one of the many Beech trees at Bealtaine.
London pride growing on either side of the steps. This is a perfect permaculture flowering plant, as it takes over, even in weedy, clay soil. Small bits were planted alongside the steps about 4 years ago and managed to push out the creeping buttercup, which can be very resolute and defiant! London Pride will flower during May and keep it’s flowers for many weeks!
Bealtaine Cottage is beginning to merge into the Spring growth…another few weeks and it will not be visible at all!
Little pots of Sedum are flowering atop the old fireplace at the back of the barn. Sedum is a great plant for enduring dry periods, then flourishing after rain!
Lilac has blossomed in a sheltered corner of the front garden. I pruned this last Autumn, cutting out all the spindley and crossover branches and consequently the blooms are lush.
Lilac today at Bealtaine.