Posted in Climate, Country Living, Folklore, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Health, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Vegan, Wild Flowers

My Herb Garden

I grow lots of herbs in the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage, picking freely wherever I walk along the paths.

Herbs grow very easily in the Irish climate, as the fairly constant temperature agrees with the plants.

Herbs have a variety of uses that include culinary and medicinal.

The crossover line is blurred, as much of what we cook with does so much good and is easily integrated with everyday food.

Think of Garlic for example, or Parsley, both great for the blood!

Herbs can also be used in spiritual practice too, usually through the method of burning to release scent and as a cleansing or purification ritual.

Many herbs release anti-bacterial oils into the air, thus cleansing, so again, the crossover line is easily blurred, as herbal oils released into the air can have a tremendously uplifted effect upon the senses.

This can also be in the form of strewing underfoot, as was the practice during medieval times, to combat pungent smells and general sickness.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage I grow over fifty different herbs, including perennials  such as Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, Fennel, Lemon Balm and Mint.

The list goes on to include: Chervil; Angelica; Borage; Catnip and Chives.

Include in this list, Dill, Elderflower and Garlic. Lavender, Lovage and Salad Burnet.

Parsley is a good permaculture herb, coming up each year and growing steadily for two years as a biennial plant.

Most herbs self-seed easily.

Feverfew and Borage, once introduced to your garden will grow always.

Some perennial herbs are shrubs, such as Rosemary, Sage and Lemon Verbena, or trees, such as Bay laurel, all growing healthily here.

Oregano grows virtually wild here as does the strongest mint you will ever smell or taste, which grows in the Bog Garden as Water Mint.

Willow Herb is another wild addition and even the Valerian around the cottage looks after itself.

Inserting willow to make arches that will support the developing crop of Pumpkins and Butternut squash.

Many herbs are enjoying the space left in between the squash, such as Nasturtium and Thyme.

The production in these newly established raised beds has been phenomenal!

Growing herbs will give an easy and beneficial garden anywhere.

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, cows, Ecology, Herbs, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Permaculture Cottage ~ Herbs and Cows

I have a fascination with cows.

They are very sociable and family oriented animals.

These belong to my neighbour, Gabriel, here in Ballyfermoyle.

They are contented and very laid back.

At this time of year the land is over-run with wild herbs and flowers and cows are out in the fields all the time.

It’s fascinating to watch them…and they watch me…and Jack, but mostly Jack!

Isn’t the little brown calf and the white one coming along behind, just adorable?

I stood by the fence for about half an hour and they were as interested in me as I was in them.

The flowers of the Rosa Rugusa are in full bloom at the moment and already quite a few hips have formed.

These are packed with Vitamin C and used to make syrup, amongst other foods.

They also make lovely additions to Seasonal wreaths and bouquets.

A spider has encapsulated this plant inside a web, all silky and delicate.

I am reading a book about life in Medieval Times in England and was fascinated to read how soldiers going off to battle would carry a tiny box with them at all times, filled with…spider’s webs!

These would be used, very successfully apparently, to stem the flow of blood from a wound.

Amazing!

Willow arches in a quiet spot near the vegetable garden.

The sun setting over Bealtaine Cottage…