The storm rages on, as the weather is divided between weird and wonderful.
Sun, torrential rain, gale-force winds continue to ravage the North West of Ireland.
Sorrel is up in green clumps all over the gardens.
This is a tasty and nutritions herb and salad ingredient and also great for the famous French Sorrel soup!
Buds continue to thicken on the apple trees and there’s some early blossom about to open on the Redcurrants
The hens have settled in well and are laying eggs…that was much faster than I expected, so they must be happy!
Blossom is beginning to open on some of the Pear trees, despite the crazy weather and the temperatures remain quite high, even at night.
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Friday at Bealtaine Cottage, featuring Missy and Flo…
Click and watch
(click on the speech bubble on the video to see Flo on her own video!)
I made a short video about the Fruit and Vegetable garden… It’s around five minutes long and begins to explain how it all works. I hope you enjoy it… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayBXUeT5NL0&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp
Valerian coming into flower today at Bealtaine. The rain continues, almost unabated, raising the water table and pushing the water in my spring well down towards the cottage. Spent quite some time bringing water across to the tunnel to give the plants a good drenching!
Sprays of Hawthorn blossom hang in swathes around the hedgerows at the cottage. The flowers of this tree release a certain chemical which is good for the heart and it is recommended to breath deeply around these gorgeous blossoms!
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.
Blossom on the Plum and Cherry trees continue to develop at Bealtaine Smallholding.
As I type this blog on a calm and warm Friday evening I am amazed at the continual good weather experienced here in the west of Ireland since the middle of March. The climate is changing…that I know.
Peach blossom covers the tree in the tunnel and all the seedlings are growing well. The bottom line is that food is very easy to grow. A small warm space is all that’s needed to get seedlings up and ready for planting out.
The Fairy Dell is now covered in green growth. Primroses, Mosses, Violets and Ferns are all competing with hundreds of other species to grow. The scents emanating from the warm earth below my feet as I walk the woodland are nothing less than intoxicating!
This is the willow wreath made here in December. I will strip back the winter foliage of Larch and Ivy and re-dress the willow base for the Easter celebrations. This Willow wreath will keep for several years and can be dressed for seasonal celebrations.
The leaves on the Amelanchier tree are out and making colour in the garden.
The weekend is here and I have another five trees to plant. These are all pot grown from seeds, so can be planted at any time of the year as long as they are kept well watered!
The view from my window a few moments ago.
Mist is clearing upwards from the valley floor up towards the top of Kilronan Mountain.
There’s great promise in the day.
Frost has melted into the heat of the morning as the temperature rises…
As the buds burst open and the blossom thickens, the planting grows dense and shade descends below…the earth is once more protected from the impending heat of the summer.
Leaves opening on the dogwoods.
This is a good time of the year to feed plants like these.
I make up a sludge from chicken droppings that have been left to ferment.
Lovage is growing fast at the moment and will continue to grow, reaching heights of over seven feet by midsummer!
This is a perennial herb.
The flavour is intense…spiced celery and strong!
I use it in soups and curries.
I grow most of my summer lettuce in hanging baskets for a slug-free happy growing system!
This is one recently planted out and hanging in the tunnel to get ahead before hanging outside.
This is a lovely and easy way to grow all the organic lettuce you need, from now until early October!
Brilliant blue skies this afternoon at Bealtaine.
Visitors to the gardens today included Richard and Averil from Kemble in England.
Both are enthusiastic permaculturalists and are seeking to buy a smallholding in Ireland.
The permaculture pumpkin bed is now ready.
The pumpkins are under way, growing happily in pots in the warmth of the tunnel.
Flowers on the Jostaberry this afternoon promise a heavy fruit harvest.
Masses of delicate white blossom on the Blackthorn trees this evening, basking in the sunlight.
Sloes will follow.
Ribes in blossom today.