Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Birds, bog gardens, Country Living, Earth, frogs, Garden, Uncategorized

Frogspawn, Sunshine and a Walk in the Garden

DSC08362Went for a walk down to the pond and made a video on the way, as the sun shone and the birds sang…what a beautiful day!

The lower pond is filled with Frogspawn…almost heaving really…I’ve never seen so much!

DSC08368Just recalling how a mere twelve years ago there was nothing here by wet, rushy ground that was impenetrable to the spade!

Now it’s packed with wildlife, young woodland, ponds, streams, orchards, soft fruits and vegetables!

DSC08374There is even a Spring Well, dug out from stone, deep within the Fairy Wood! DSC08357Bealtaine Cottage…from monoculture to permaculture in twelve short years!

Enjoy the video!

Those interested in the Fuchsia, Blackcurrant or Rubus cuttings need to hurry and order, as they are fast coming into leaf…another couple of weeks left to get them in the ground and growing…and they will grow very fast indeed! To place your order, click on the link below…

http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

 

 

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Fairies, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spirituality, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Woodland

Follow Your Bliss and the Universe Will Open Doors

Looking out on a May evening...
Looking out on a May evening…

Making a decision is always the most difficult part of moving forward.

DSCF1379In deciding, one simply puts it out there, for the Universe to pick up.

DSCF1382That is what I have done here at Bealtaine Cottage…the next move comes from that energy.

Sammy-Bear takes a seat...
Sammy-Bear takes a seat…

The sale may, or may not happen…but the planting of trees will move forward.

The feeding system I have devised and constructed for the hens...an old pipe and tin, firmly secured on the wall of the hen-house!
The feeding system I have devised and constructed for the hens…an old pipe and tin, firmly secured on the wall of the hen-house!

I have done what was asked of me and agreed to the sacrifice.

What happens next is synchronicity and the will of Divine Energy…The Forest of Bealtaine will happen in the same magical way as Eden emerged here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Food is poured in to the top of the pipe and emerges from the feeder at the bottom as the hen peck!
Food is poured in to the top of the pipe and emerges from the feeder at the bottom as the hen peck!

As my friend, Rosie, on Twitter, pointed out to me this morning…“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” -Joseph Campbell

DSCF1394Bealtaine has begun here in the west of Ireland.

Down the steps into the may gardens
Down the steps into the may gardens

Planting is under way of crops and even a few more trees, though mostly the trees are in pots awaiting a forest!

Sedge in bloom to the left of the steps.
Sedge in bloom to the left of the steps.

Walking around the gardens this morning I snapped these pictures…

Through the Fairy Wood...
Through the Fairy Wood…

 

 

Foxglove in Spurge on the woodland floor...
Foxglove in Spurge on the woodland floor…


Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage
Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage
Sedge in the Fairy Wood
Sedge in the Fairy Wood
Stopping by the Silt-pond
Stopping by the Silt-pond
Willow in the Bog Garden
Willow in the Bog Garden
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Uncategorized

A Year at Bealtaine Cottage…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Not in any particular order…pictures of the year that was…

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageWith the oven hot enough to bake a cake…my beloved Stanley Stove in the kitchen…

view morning 001Early morning mist sweeps up the valley…

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureOne of the Plum Trees laden with fruit…

 Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensThe moon rising over the gardens…

mon 27 sep 001Salix Contorta, or Twisted Willow, with Hag-Stones hanging from one of its branches.

Nasturtiums at bealtaine Cottage1Nasturtiums by the veranda.

November 2011 018Back of Bealtaine, near the main production gardens.

November Bealtaine Cottage permaculture pondThe lower pond in the Bog Garden.

December 2011 permaculture cottage 005My darling Missy…gone from this mortal coil, but her energy is felt…

Bealtaine CottageFiring up the Rocket Stove with a bit of an old fence post…wicked heat!

Apple trees in April in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageEarly Spring in the gardens near the tunnel.

washing on the line at Bealtaine CottageWashing in the wind!

Easiest ever compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensHome made compost.

Apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture orchardApple blossom…a great apple harvest every year without fail!

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageThe tunnel in May…seedlings in pots and trays everywhere!

Permaculture Edible gardens of Bealtaine CottageProductive gardens, around the tunnel and herb beds, in May

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe Hen house…I will definitely get some more hens in 2014!

Hens at Bealtaine CottageI miss the girls…hens are very relaxing to watch.

Under the kitchen windowBluebells under the kitchen window…I shall post some more tomorrow

Happy New Year to you all XXX and Blessings from Bealtaine.

Posted in Animals, Cats, Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Crafts, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture

Bealtaine Cottage and Permaculture Gardens Photo Album 2012…February!

Looking back at the year…February photographsBealtaine Cottage Feb 12 005

February was mild and the Daffodils in the gardens of Bealtaine came up without damage

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 12 004

Ribes bushes throughout the gardens filled the air with a heady scent, enticing the Bees out from hibernation.

permaculture cottage, feb 12 015

Mizuna flourished in the tunnel, providing a green salad for the table throughout the winter months.

Bealtaine Permaculture Feb 12 002

Missy showed her first signs of being unwell and began a course of steroid treatment.

We thought we would loose her, but her spirit stayed strong.

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 018

Weaving baskets from willow began in earnest at Bealtaine Cottage, putting newly acquired skills into practice.

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 022

The water barrels kept filling and filling as the rain poured from the skies…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 034

We had sunny days too…all the more appreciated for the previous rain!

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012 Thornhill

We went out walking and found old ruins from past lives, now stark and dramatic against the bright, February sky of 2012.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012 Permaculture Bog Garden

The greening of the Bog Garden started in mist and frost.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012

The heavily misted mornings were a beauty all of their own.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb Morning 2012

And the early sun of 2012 crept into the cottage…

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Current Affairs, Fairies, Garden, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Willow Fedges, Arches and Fairy Woods

It’s evening here at Bealtaine Cottage.

The sun is setting in the west and there’s a mild chill in the air.

I have been cutting back some of the wild summer growth and the sunlight can now reach areas where there was only heavy shade.

The dappled light covers the standing stone on the bank under the cottage.

One of the big tasks is tying in the willow growth from this year into the fedges that cover the smallholding.

It’s a lovely task really, I can’t complain, as I work and listen to the sounds of Nature all around me.

It also allows me time to look at the way plants are developing and plan the next task, so there is an organic flow to my work.

This willow arch has many stems of Dogwood worked into it.

The fedge on the right was the first one constructed here and had developed well over seven or so years.

It looked odd at the beginning as it stood all alone on a rushy field.

An upside down vase covers the top of a stem from a Sitka spruce that I recently cut down.

There is a disease which is killing these trees off all over Ireland and Scotland and no wonder!

The plantations of these trees spread far and wide and are monoculture nightmares that blot the landscape in huge square planting schemes that allow no light or biodiversity into their space…it is purely for greed!

The bog garden has seen lots of work over recent days as I clear the edges of the pond and cut back willow and shrubs.

This is a lovely time of the year to work outdoors.

Autumn is my favourite season.

It is a time when the gardens start to look their best as the summer party ends and the tidy up begins…

I have realised the great value of Willow this year as a fuel for the stove.

Much of what I cut last Autumn made great kindling and small logs, giving a strong heat.

It also works well in the Rocket Stove.

When I had finished my work, I walked back up through the Fairy Dell Wood as the evening sun was illuminating the entrance, making it look magical.

I have always believed in Fairies…

Posted in Current Affairs, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Politics, Spirituality, Trees

A Walk in the Permaculture Gardens Makes All Better!

After listening to the radio this morning, which I should not have done, I had to seek solace and sanity in the gardens.

I will not go into what it was that upset me, but like most of you who read this blog, you can put a fair guess that it had something to do with the establishment…government, church…that measure of hierarchy!

So, off I went into the gardens to shake it off!

Most of us know right from wrong.

Why is this so very difficult for governments and churches?

Here is today’s video…just a walk through the gardens…click on the link and enjoy…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4UZMObLSIc&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Country Living, Gardening, Inspiration, Orchids, Organic Garden, Wild Flowers

The Water Garden at Bealtaine Cottage

Just pictures today…of the Water Garden here at the permaculture smallholding.

This is the Lower Pond in the Bog Garden.

It is a haven for wildlife…sitting by the Lower Pond on a summer evening surrounded by dragonflies is one of the pleasures to be enjoyed after work.

The ponds, for there are two, are filled with Wild Mint and Watercress, among other delights.

Buttercups, Celandines and Meadowsweet abound.

This is one of the grass pathways leading down to the Bog Garden and the ponds.

It is planted out with Willow, Yellow Loosestrife, Monbretia and the weeds are all really flowers as you can see!

One of the wild Orchids growing in the damp ground of the Bog Garden last summer.

Gunnera Manicata growing beside one of the ponds…

Midsummer Day 004There are many wildflowers that can be included when planting an informal pond to attract wildlife.

Midsummer Magic at Bealtaine 020It is important to include Native plants as these  provide a vital food source for many insects, which then encourages more birds to your pond and garden.

Many Butterflies will visit your water garden if native plants and wild flowers are allowed their domain!

Midsummer Magic at Bealtaine 002Butterflies that are first to hatch here at Bealtaine Cottage is the Orange Tip, and though it will feed from a range of plants it only lays its eggs on Ladys Smock.

Ladys Smock is one of the wild flowers that grace the wet conditions in the Bog Garden.

Midsummer Magic at Bealtaine CottageIt is really vital that we do all we can to protect  native habitats, for as these are threatened it becomes more important to provide alternative safe havens for birds, insects, Bees and native plants within gardens. 

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 120 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Posted in Abundance, Country Living, Garden, Permaculture, Thrift, Uncategorized

Careful Watchfulness in a Permaculture Garden

A garden is a grand teacher.

It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.

– Gertrude Jekyll 1843-1932

Lilac in the front garden in April of last year.

There’s a great promise of an even better show this year from the look of the buds!

And just a few feet away from the Lilac tree is the Kanzan Flowering Cherry…again, this is from last April and the promise this year looks good!

There is something so very joyous about seeing blossom in the Spring-time. These gardens at Bealtaine Cottage are all-year round gardens, planted to surprise and delight during all four seasons.

There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.

– Gertrude Jekyll

Midsummer Magic at Bealtaine 003

Can there be anything more delightful in a garden than edible flowers?

Chives is one of my favourites and is perennial, so there’s no fuss…just plant and watch it spread every year!

A garden is never so good as it will be next year” – Thomas Cooper

I am trying not to run ahead of myself too much so am limiting my curiosity to looking only at the April album from last year…this is the tunnel last April and as I look I can see just how much difference a few days can make at this time of year!

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.

– W.E. Johns, creator of ‘Biggles’, 1893-1968

I read all the “Biggles,” books as a child, being that the local library must have received a donation of the entire collection! 

By the lower pond in the Bog Garden…as I drove down the lane-way this evening there was a heavy flapping of wings as two ducks made their heavy ascent from the surface of the water off into the darkening sky.

Posted in Abundance, Bloom, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Permaculture Flowers in a Cottage Garden

July 2011 Permaculture Cottage 010

Permaculture gardens and growers shy away from bare earth.

The introduction of a layered system simply emulates Nature herself, allowing seed to spread and drift onto open land where pioneering species are allowed to take hold.

There is a plant for every place, even here on the limestone gravel…Valerian nestles into whatever spot a seed lands upon.

In this way, this beautiful flowering plant has made the gravel driveway of Bealtaine Cottage it’s home…

Buddleia in bloom at Bealtaine Cottage

Buddleia is another pioneering plant that will nestle into stony and inhospitable places.

Have you ever seen this flowering shrub, beloved of Butterflies, growing out from old buildings, between the cracks in the mortar?  

From the introduction of two shrubs, the natural cultivation of hundreds has followed on at Bealtaine Cottage.

Harvesting is simple…pull the seedling out from the gravel path and pot on, ready to replant the following year in it’s new home.

An example of the Valerian along the west wall on the gable end of Bealtaine Cottage.

When flowers appear to grow effortlessly, like weeds, you know they have found their perfect home…let them be!

Wild Orchids here, growing on a land that is allowed to breath free from chemicals…Nature knows best!

Michaelmas Daisies…make great ground-cover under trees and grows in almost any conditions from my experience here.

This is growing under a pine tree in the Bog Garden on the lower slopes of Bealtaine Cottage.

Spiraea, a most beautiful summer flowering bush.

Easy to grow…all here have been started as slips simply pushed into the soil.

Hard pruning will give you lots of kindling for the stove as well as bulk for the all-important compost heap!

Columbine, or Aquilegia, another hardy self-seeder here at the cottage.

This made itself at home in the early days of establishing permaculture at Bealtaine and has thrived and spread ever since!

This purple Columbine comes up each year at the front of  the cottage.

Permaculture flowers are easy to grow and take good care of themselves! 

There are hundreds of photographs showing the flowers that grow here…feel free to look up the summer calender of last year…just click on Calender and hover the mouse over dates for that month, then click to go in…

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Garden, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Friday Pics from Bealtaine Cottage

Mossy Angel in the Bog Garden today.

Dogwoods in the Bog Garden near the lower pond.

Amazing heaps of frog spawn in the upper pond…it’s that big black area!

Japanese Quince in the Bog Garden is flowering today…

Dogwoods come back to life…

The Spring Well in the Fairy Dell.

If you enjoy the free content of this blog, please consider making a donation using the button below. My PayPal account can receive your donations and will convert from your local currency, and you don’t need a PayPal account to make a donation. Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Woodland

Friday Morning Coffee at Bealtaine…Permaculture Life

Another weekend looms large and the weather is fab! Just wandering around the land here, snapping pics as I go. Paying homage to Gaia and all her splendour…it never ceases to bowl me over! This is the Fairy Dell and all is well!

Reflections in the Spring Well. The water continues to bubble up from below the Earth. Can never understand why the earth is called ‘dirt?’

It’s cool down here in the woodland of the Dell…so very hot and still in the open today.

Forget-Me-Nots in the long grass as I walk towards the ponds in the Bog Garden.

And Valerian near the cottage door in the early morning sun.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Country Living, cows, Roscommon, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Weekend Musings from a Permaculture Smallholding in the West of Ireland…and the weather is fab!

  • I love cows…they’re such sociable animals, so am glad I don’t eat them! These belong to a neighbour of mine and are very well looked after by Tom Kelly, as you can see. When I walk down the lane, they are inclined to peer over the hedge at me, full of interest. If I had the extra land I would definitely think about keeping a cow…as a pet!I’m continuing to fiddle around with this new format and try to get the blog unscrambled…bear with me! The image below was snapped on the north facing bank of the smallholding earlier. The cherry tree is in full bloom.The Lower Pond surrounded by fast growing willow fedge. 

From the Kitchen window on a good day, the world looks great…mind you the world is great, every day…well at least that’s the feeling that permaculture gives you!I decided to go for a new theme on the blog…hope you like it!