First Open Day of 2016 at Bealtaine Cottage

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kitchen window

It’s the end of a beautiful day…the first Open Day of the year at Bealtaine Cottage.

It was a joy to welcome guests and share time, tea, treats and walks.

I plan another open Day for the month of June and a further one for July.

Make sure you keep an eye on the website for details. 

Much Goodness…

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permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

The roses are in bloom on the veranda, resplendent with furniture cast-offs from friends!

Standing by the back door, surrounded by such beauty, I have a heavy heart…

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

I have lost my darling Che-Mousy Bear.

He has passed.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

Bealtaine Cottage seems empty without him.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

Last week was difficult for me, as I struggle to come to terms with the loss of my mother.

Losing Che seems to be a deeper grief…pets have a way of getting deep into the recesses of the human heart and clearing a space there.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

So, as you can imagine, I feel wounded.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

This much I have to say, for there is so much goodness in the world that, at times, we are blinded to it in our own despair, anger, or whatever we feel consumed by…

Upon bringing Che to the Vet to be examined and worked on and after some time of dedication from the vet and all failing…the Vet refused payment!

Can you imagine how that felt?

Such kindness and compassion in the face of chaos and despair.

Never, ever doubt that there is much goodness in this world!

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

Following that, my daughter made the long journey from Belfast, so that we, as a family could mourn and finally bury him, within the stone circle…where he often played.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

So, this week starts anew.

It is Monday and there is much to be done.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

It’s a cloudy morning, at times, with the sun making brief appearances.

The paths need mowing and branches need trimming as the new leaves weigh them down.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

There is an ordinariness to life that gives us all continuum.

permaculture at Bealtaine Cottage

And in between the work and rest, a little bit of my heart remains empty.

A Year at Bealtaine…part 3

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Poppies in Permaculture

2013 moved from Spring to summer with ease and Poppies jostled with one another for space in the beds.

potager beds at bealtaine cottage after the rainThe potager beds were extended and two more were constructed.

angel at bealtaine cottageAquilegia and Valerian ignored the seasons and came up together, surrounding the porch with delicate shades of pink and purple.

bealtaine cottage permaculture gardensIt was a frenzy of colour!

roses on verandaThe roses made their appearance on the veranda, more abundant than ever!

dealing with slugs, the seaweed methodMy friends Terri and Lol brought me masses of seaweed from their beautiful Clifden in Connemara and it was spread all over the potager beds!

Sammy Bear and meSammy-Bear turned from a rather naughty kitten into an even naughtier cat!

Roses at Bealtaine CottageVisitors had to dodge the low-hanging flowers and…

Apples growing in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottageemerging fruit!

bird bath in pollarded Sycamore at Bealtaine CottageBird baths were sat into trees for the rather hot birds…

Car-boy of blackcurrant must for wineand Blackcurrant wine was started off in the glass carboy.

demijohn of blackcurrant wineThen transferred to a demijohn to sit out the next few months on the kitchen windowsill.

Roses at the back of Bealtaine Cottage todayThe heat of summer continued and the well ran dry!

Bealtaine Cottage signBealtaine Cottage basked in the sun and heat, as I carted water up from a spring well lower down the land.

Roses on veranda at bealtaine cottage todayRose petals fell like confetti all over the veranda…it was lovely!

bealtaine Cottage this eveningOx-Eye Daisies flourished everywhere!

Che Mousy Bear rolls over in the tunnel this morning at Bealtaine CottageSammy-Bear cooled off by rolling in the dirt path in the tunnel and getting absolutely filthy!

Cats in the shade at bealtaine cottageChe-Mousey found a cool spot in the shade of the laurel arch.

Bealtaine Cottage this morningIt was sheer abundance!

Bealtaine Cottage this morning.And the summer rolled on…

Gosh…almost there…part 4 methinks!

Blessings from Bealtaine XXX

A Sack of Diamonds

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www.bealtainecottage.com 010Sunrise is happening later each morning.

This morning was clear and beautiful.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012But also, this morning, I was faced with taking Missy into the Vet…she has not been well and hasn’t eaten for three days.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Anyway, she is in there for the day and I am at home keeping busy!

www.bealtainecottage.com 030Coming back home, a journey of about eight miles, I stopped several times to take photos…it is really such a beautiful day here in the west of Ireland!

www.bealtainecottage.com 025Mature Beech trees line the road that sweeps along the edge of Lough Key.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026Stretches of blue water can be seen from the car.

www.bealtainecottage.com 028I have to drive back into Boyle to collect Missy at 6pm.

The day continues fine, so the journey will not be too stressful.

I remain on an emotional tightrope and I’m not looking down!

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Last night there was a half-moon in the southern sky.

At 5am the sky was a black velvet sack of diamonds.

The moon had set and the sky was illuminated by stars…endless stars!

The Earth continues to turn.

Winter in a Permaculture Garden…and Sam!

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Awoke to frost this morning and a brilliantly clear, blue sky.

The stove had stayed lit all night, so the cottage was warm.

It’s easy to see the level of insulation in homes, looking up at roofs, as I drive to Drumshanbo on an errand.

Many of the newly built homes appear to be poorly insulated.

I took my tea outside and walked around in the sunshine…

The sheer beauty of a winter morning is stunning.

The play of winter light upon the earth is a delight to behold!

The winter stems of Spiraea colour a deep orange.

Missy followed me to the tunnel.

Her visit to the Vet’s on Monday has perked her up a bit…

Even though the covering of the tunnel is frozen, plants inside continue to flourish and will stay green and healthy for the winter.

Parsley is very healthy as it grows strong beside the water bin…an ideal micro-climate!

Washing the plastic covering on the tunnel last month allows maximum winter light through to the plants…every little helps at this time of year!

The Lemon Balm grows well and will continue all winter, unless we have extreme weather.

Introducing Sam…one very naughty little kitten!

Sam was found on Samhain, hence his name.

He had an eye infection, which is now cleared up…though he fought me every time I applied his medication!

Sam had his second vaccination on Monday and is on medication for a bad cold, though that does not stop him being this adventurous!

Beds of Abundance in a Permaculture Garden

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Missy manages to climb to the top of the barn and nestle herself into the barley straw…high enough to keep a watchful eye on all!

This is one girl who takes no prisoners…just look at that expression!

A good sprinkling of lettuce seeds and within a few weeks there is more than enough to harvest for weeks to come.

Most people can manage to be self-sufficient in salad for at least half the year!

This is a potager style bed, with Lavender and Thyme nearby.

There are several varieties of lettuce here, in amongst the Nasturtium and Borage.

Sedum and Poppies continue to push their way up through the compost!

Moving compost from last year’s heap over to the new raised vegetable bed today.

A bed of abundance outside the tunnel today.

And here’s the new raised vegetable bed…coming along…

Friday at Bealtaine Cottage.

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Friday at Bealtaine Cottage, featuring Missy and Flo…

Click and watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvA7AONAaNc&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

(click on the speech bubble on the video to see Flo on her own video!)

Permaculture Planting…The Importance of Trees

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Following on from the short video on Willow and using willow in the garden as living willow fedges and structures, here’s a short video on trees… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBu_fP82VDY&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

An Irish Cottage Garden in Spring

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I’ve been listening to Sinead O’Connor this morning as I clean the cottage.

What is it about music that energizes and propels one along in whatever work they are engaged in?

It reminds me of the factories during WW2 where music was introduced as the women worked, building components for, and weapons of, war! And afterwards, the BBC introduced a programme on the radio, entitled, “Music While You Work,” aimed at women, of course!

Good grief…that’s a mental leap of thoughts from Sinead to WW2…amazing what a duster in one hand and a headscarf wrapped around the hair can evoke…

As you can see from the pic of today…spring and sunshine has a compelling effect on one’s energy and drive!

Foxgloves this morning, near the vegetable garden. There is no shortage of these beautiful, wild flowers around the land of Bealtaine.

In the tunnel earlier…Missy follows me as I work.
I received a lovely gift recently of 3 Elder trees and 3 Sycamores, so planting these will be enjoyable work to do this afternoon, no doubt, overseen by herself!

It is amazing just how much heat is captured daily in these stones edging the paths…passive solar collectors. Missy can tell you all about warm stones…just watch a cat!

The Bumble Bees are out in force, enjoying the heavily scented flowers of the Ribes. It is easy enough to plant an all year round forage for the Bees, whether they are the humble Bumble or the hard-working Honey Bee…all are welcome and catered for here at Bealtaine!