Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Buddha, Cats, Climate, Garden, Ireland, Permaculture, Spring

The Light of Spring

www.bealtainecottage.com

Sammy-Bear lies concussed by the heat from the wood burning stove! It’s a tough life being a cat at Bealtaine Cottage!

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past week there has been a struggle between Winter and Spring as temperatures have moved up and down the thermometer, with hard frost, heavy rain, warm nights and brilliant sun all in the mix!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe rising sun reflected in the mirror at the far end of the veranda.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe amazing light of early Spring…

www.bealtainecottage.comMoving closer to the mirror, the rising sun looks back at me over the head of the Buddha…quite otherworldly.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis was how the Romantic Poets viewed the world…through a mirror…I understand why!

www.bealtainecottage.comFurther down the gardens, the last seed-head of the Gunnera Manicata stands tall against the storms of winter, saluting the Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe ponds have remained in flood during this winter, the wettest on record since 1866 here in Ireland.

www.bealtainecottage.comCatkins stand out against a brilliant blue sky, providing some little food for any early Bees.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe shadows of Spring are long, casting patterns and shapes on an ever-changing tapestry.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe kitchen is illuminated by a different light…the light of Spring.

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Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 600 blogs in the archives on this site.

Posted in Buddha, Cats, Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Garden, Life, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

The Wood in the Willows

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This is when the coppicing begins…early winter as soon as the leaves have fallen.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011This Willow will make excellent logs for the stove, once properly seasoned.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009The thinner bits will be added to the kindling pile and left to dry.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Coppicing allows for continual regeneration of woodland and is an excellent way to help young woodland get established.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036This is a selective process and involves wonderful interaction with Nature, as it is slow and steady work.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003This is the interface of the young woodland, colourful and vibrant!

www.bealtainecottage.com 044The warmth of Bealtaine Cottage on a Winter’s night, is fast becoming dependent on this most under-appreciated of all our natural resources…trees!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012As I work through small areas of the gardens, it allows me time to tidy up some of the paths…though allowing the leaves to stay where they fall, as this helps to build soil and define pathways.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Buddha sits among the leaves…

www.bealtainecottage.com 024Meanwhile, down in the Bog Garden, little Che-Mousey enjoys the November sunshine and temperatures of 14 oC!

www.bealtainecottage.com 032Spindle continues to hang onto its berries…

www.bealtainecottage.com 048And the Potager beds, at the back of the cottage, continue to deliver food for the table…

www.bealtainecottage.com 039So far its been a beautifully mild early winter, making the season seem much shorter!

A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am into a second print run and am posting from today, Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy…

http://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings from Bealtaine X

Posted in Angels, Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Cottage, Garden, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Summer, Trees, Uncategorized

May Morning in Ireland

Porch door at Bealtaine Cottage

A May morning at Bealtaine Cottage.

Looking through the front door, the sky is grey, but the trees are all greening up!

Back door at Bealtaine Cottage

The roses on the veranda are ready to burst into bloom quite soon!

Arabica floods the stone walls of the Angel planter and Poppies are still bulbous eggs waiting to open near the Buddleia.

Colour is just waiting to spring forth!

Pink tulips at Bealtaine Cottage

These are the Tulips this morning at the back of the cottage under one of the Beech trees.

The early morning rain sits atop the still closed petals.

Laneway at Bealtaine Cottage

The drive-way up to the cottage is filling out with greens, reds and whites as the trees take on their new mantles of summer cover.

Parsley growing at Bealtaine Cottage beside old iron kettle

Parsley and peas growing in one of the raised Potager beds at the back of the cottage this morning.

You can see the shreddings and seaweed!

Metal table and chairs at Bealtaine Cottage

I recently moved the garden table and chairs to this sheltered little spot near one of the Potager raised beds…near enough to the back door to nip out with my tea!

Honesty under the arch at Bealtaine Cottage

Lots of Honesty, (Lunaria), in bloom this morning under the shelter of the Laurel arch.

Crocosmia, Columbine and Geranium are growing up alongside.

flowers in a pot at Bealtaine Cottage

These little rockery flowers have blossomed in this earth pot for years now.

They sit atop an old iron fireplace filled with shamrock and watched over by Buddha.

Posted in Abundance, biodiversity, Buddha, Current Affairs, E.U., Earth, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Politics, Seeds, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living

Replacing Fear and Hopelessness with Fearlessness and Joy.

washing on the line at Bealtaine Cottage

The washing is on the line, as there’s a great breeze between the light showers and sunshine.

There is no washing machine or tumble drier here at Bealtaine Cottage, so a little barter or exchange takes place when the washing basket is full…which happens when I’m too busy to wash laundry daily.

A good friend did 3 loads of washing in exchange for a few kilos of blackcurrants from the freezer.

Jam making is under way at her house!

Blackcurrants in the freezer at Bealtaine CottageFrozen blackcurrants make a better tasting jam, as the enzymes have already begun to break down the sugars in the fruit.

recycling fish boxes for seed grwoing in the tunnel at Bealtaine CottageThe same friend brought me a stack of polystyrene fish boxes, that were to be thrown away at the market.

These make excellent seed boxes as you can see in the tunnel today, I have been busy sowing seeds and potting on.

Seed growing in the polytunnel in late April at Bealtaine CottageI lay the boxes on the soil as the warm earth will keep an ambient temperature over-night.

Plants and pots are packed into every available space in the tunnel today.

permaculture at Bealtaine cottage

People are angry with the governments who refuse to listen!

A petition was presented to the UK government recently, highlighting the concerns we all have for the health of bees.

It was ignored.

Governments are there to serve us.

The politicians are our servants.

They need to be reminded!Bees are the workforce of Mother Nature!

 

Buddha at Bealtaine Cottage Ireland

Aquilegia, Valerian and pot lilies surround Buddha in the potager beds today.

I will leave you with these wise words from Dr Vandana Shiva, my inspiration…

“[How do I do it?] Well, it’s always a mystery, because you don’t know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I’ve learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don’t cripple myself, I don’t tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.” ― Vandana Shiva

Posted in Abundance, Buddha, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized, Wine, Woodland

A Life in the Country ~ Buddha, Permaculture and Growing…

What we think, we become. Buddha

Thinking plants and gardens and growing…I suppose I have become a person who is in love with the Earth!

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. 

 Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. 

 Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. 

 Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. 

 Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. 

 But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.  ~Buddha

Permaculture wine…because, all the fruit is grown here at Bealtaine Smallholding using permaculture methods and every aspect of the wine making process is carried out in a sustainable way.

Even the demijohns have been sourced as recycled/upcycled.

I’m reading ‘Blackberry Wine,’ by Joanne Harris at present and one of the central characters, ‘Joe,’ is definitely a permie!

It’s a great read!

A reminder from a few months back…and yes I planted trees and a lot more than 50.

As for the Blackcurrants, I have taken to planting them along the ditches here and into the hedges…planting a slip at a time!

Trees are very precious to me.

I have lived here for 7 years and planted over 600 to date with plans for more!

Plant as though your life depends on it…because it does!

 We could not exist as we do if there were no trees.

 A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

 Forests  act as  giant filters  that clean the air we breath.

 Trees Shade and Cool

Shade resulting in cooling is what a tree is best known for.

Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer.

 In winter, trees break the force of winter winds, lowering heating costs.

 Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be “heat islands” with temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.