Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Crafts, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Roscommon, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living

Moving Forward…

Buddleia in a vaseThere’s a touch of early autumn in the air.

The air is cool and the sun is hidden behind low cloud and even a little mist.

I must admit to loving this time of year!

spinning wheelThe morning is filled with activity as I clear space for my bigger and better workshop addition.

This is all about living as sustainably as possible.

lodge at bealtaine cottageThe Lodge will now be that dedicated space that I have so long needed!

As more and more visitors make their way to Bealtaine Cottage, for workshops on sustainable living and all aspects of permaculture, a space that would define this was needed!

In order to live even more sustainably, I am aiming to install solar and wind power…upgrading the shop and workshop space will help me achieve this goal!

kitchenMoving furniture around is hard going, so I’ve stopped for a cup of tea, as the kettle has been boiling on the stove for some time now.

harvestI have spent some time building a small, sustainable business here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Tomorrow I meet with an advisor from Roscommon Enterprise…wish me luck!

 

You can find Bealtaine Cottage on Etsy… developing the range of Vintage Clothes and Cottage Bric-a-Brac…as well as lots of crafts and jewellery!

shop posterBealtaine Cottage Etsy

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BealtaineCottage

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Gardening, Permaculture, Spring, Trees, Uncategorized

Spring Garden in Ireland ~ Permaculture Planting for Brilliance!

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!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Ecology, Folklore, Ireland, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees

Permaculture Cottage ~ Many Magical Trees

The Life Force of Trees

It was a common belief, long ago, that many conditions could be cured by bringing the patient into contact with the powerful life force or MANA represented by trees…

Nearly 800 trees have been planted here at Bealtaine and there is something so awesome about trees that makes me want to get more land and keep on planting. 

Today has seen the transplanting of another 20 or so Birch trees, seedlings rescued from the road verge before the tractors mow the grass.

More Buddleias for FREE!

Managed to pull up 3 tiny Buddleias from the gravel around the cottage…gravel makes an ideal seeding ground for many plants and trees.

These too have been potted on and will make fine specimens for planting out next year.

Birch Trees

This is a little Birch sapling planted only a few weeks ago and already grown over a foot in height and spread.

Grass cuttings have been spread around the base to deter weeds and provide food for the fast growing tree.

Apple Trees and Verbascum

Apple trees under-planted with Blackcurrants and perennial flowers…here is the Verbascum in bloom with Geranium  and Calendula amongst others.

Many Magical Trees…

Willow, Birch, Copper Beech, Twisted Willow, Oak and Pine, all planted in very close proximity to one another…this is the permaculture way and very quickly excludes weeds and provides an excellent source of coppiced wood for the stove.

Ash trees were traditionally used in Folk Medicine against poison and evil. Lightning runs to the Ash…’Avoid the Ash, it courts the flash!’

Long ago, in many parts of the Highlands of Scotland, on the birth of a child, the midwife would take a green stick from the Ash tree and hold it in the fire. As the heat worked on one end of the stick, the sap would ooze from the other. This was administered to the newborn baby as the first liquid to pass its lips!

I write about, film and photograph Mother Earth, for Mother Earth, opening little portals of healing energy all over the world.

Blessings and thanks for your support.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Beltane, Garden, Gardening, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Inspired Ideas for Gardeners

8am this morning. The steps that lead down to the front garden…and on the tree, a weather-proof mirror and some bamboo chimes. These make the stsrt of the garden walk an interactive experience for all. Few can resist looking at the reflections of the garden behind them, in the mirror, or shaking the chimes. The melodious sounds follow as one descends the stone steps!

This small mirror is made from a lightweight metal and has been wired onto the tree…which is an Alder that has been pollarded to remain compact and umbrella shaped. Alders are fast growing and results can be achieved rapidly…in less than 3 years in this case!

White Buddleia and Bamboo form a natural gateway into another small garden at Bealtaine. The table is an old cable reel, disguarded by the electric company. There is a display of large shells on top, that would otherwise just be collecting dust indoors!

Another naturally shaped path and gateway, marked with an old piece of driftwood, hammered into the ground and topped off with another indoor ornament, of which I had too many! Now, scattered throughout the gardens here at Bealtaine and better appreciated!

Avoid straight lines where you can and plant in clumps with edges that can be rounded off easily using a mulch…I use grass clippings as this also feeds the soil. Place pieces of sculpture where you can…in this case an old fountain, now used as a planter with sedums. Sedums require NO looking after at all!

Another idea for a planter…stones, encircled and topped out with soil, then simply planted into. In this case, Hypericum.

Just a few ideas, but food for thought for lots of your own. And bear in mind that the best are recycled!

Posted in Abundance, Beltane, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage…Groups of Plants and Jack….

Jack has settled into Bealtaine very well and now runs around the cottage playing with anything he can steal…usually one of my socks, scarves or shoes…

Highly scented Buddleia, drooping under their own weight, hang down after the storms of recent days.

No butterflies as the weather has been so bad recently…hoping all that will change at the weekend when warmer days are promised!

Intense permaculture planting of Bamboo, Spirea, Horse Chestnut, Buddleia, Dogwood and Greengage, bullying and pushing weeds away from them…

More intense planting of Gunnera Manicata, Cherry and Ribes.

The permaculture gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage have lots of rain and like to pretend to be a rainforest!

Little Gatherings…

Hypericum, Sedge, Pine and Beech, with Michaelmas Daisies coming slowly into flower, rather too early I think!

The tall pink plumes of the Spirea and the long lasting flowers of the Lysimachia Punctata make a lovely show despite the rain and wind!

Posted in Autumn, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture at the Cottage.

SWEET JOE PYE

A perennial, growing near the apple tree pictured in previous blog, it grows tall and flowers quite soon as you can see.  Otherwise known in Latin as Eutrochium Purpureum is a clump forming plant. it can grow to 2 metres high…wow, indeed it does too! The leaves grow to 30 cm (12 in) long and have a somewhat wrinkled texture. Plants  attract a lot of activity from insects that feed on the nectar produced by the flowers.

Mulching

This clump grows well beneath the Copper Beech tree and wedged between it and the Apple tree. I recently mulched around the area with cardboard and straw in oreder to clear some ground for planting out this Autumn.

I once spent Autumn in Toronto in Canada and that was definitely the most gloriously colourful place ever for that season…it took my breath away!

Roses and Willow

Roses, Willow and Copper Beech…some of my favourite plants. I must take lots of cuttings this Autumn and grow these Roses on! I took some last year and they all did well!

Planting Together

Why is it that plants like to be together? They obviously thrive well like this! Perhaps they are aware that they are not alone…

The Butterfly Bush

The white Buddleia near the Barn is coming into bloom. Soon the Butterflies will be around and about!

Posted in Beltane, Climate, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Easter Sunday Wildflowers and Butterflies ~ Permaculture in Ireland at Bealtaine Cottage

The delicate an exquisite flowers on the Dogwoods are beautiful close-up. For colour all winter, flowers in summer and berries during the autumn, dogwoods are hard to beat.Wildflowers…the most delicate and delicious blooms at Bealtaine Cottage…Elderflower Cordial, mmm!The time of the butteflies is very near. Last summer seen a huge upturn in the butterfly population as the garden matured. This summer should be good for butterflies too, although some of the buddleia was killed off in the prolonged frost of last winter. Seed heads from last summer. All so-called weeds are in fact valuable herbs, some of which we have not yet found a use for. It’s amazing just how much knowledge we have lost over the post-industrial time, a mere 150 years!