Equinox Return

I have returned home from my friends Terri and Lol in Clifden, Connemara. The Arts Festival was in full swing in the town, with a real buzz in the air! Staying with my friends whose house is outside of the town near the ocean was a calm and reviving experience. This is one of their beautiful cats in the garden. Driving home through the landscape of this beautiful part of Ireland was a holiday in itself. The road from Clifden to Westport is the stuff made of legends, with mountains that rear up in front of one and water reflecting…

A Year at Bealtaine…part 3

2013 moved from Spring to summer with ease and Poppies jostled with one another for space in the beds. The potager beds were extended and two more were constructed. Aquilegia and Valerian ignored the seasons and came up together, surrounding the porch with delicate shades of pink and purple. It was a frenzy of colour! The roses made their appearance on the veranda, more abundant than ever! My 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 turned from a rather naughty kitten into…

The Haunting…

With great longing for home and sadness of leaving, I made the journey back from Connemara today. As I passed Kylemore Abbey, the clouds began a hasty descent, down over the mountains of the pass… I longed for home, but was mesmerized by the play of light and mist that is a magical part of the landscape of the West of Ireland. A landscape that haunts one forever… Their cottage is surrounded by the most ethereal  play of light, being near the shoreline and surrounded by mountains. I first met Terri and Lol when they visited Bealtaine Cottage to learn…

Permaculture Harvest despite Chaos!

The permaculture harvest continues, along with the increasing numbers of visitors to Bealtaine Cottage. Garlic is harvested, dried and stored…just in time for re-planting the crop for next year, in just a few more weeks. As the world teeters once more on the brink of chaos, in the forms of war and nuclear contamination from Fukushima, getting the harvest home and planning for next Spring is a way of keeping one’s sanity! It’s also a way of nurturing optimism and hope for the future! Tomatoes are everywhere in the gardens and tunnel. I let them do their own thing and…

Growing Food in Cottage Gardens

It’s a perfect day for being in the garden, with just the right amount of sun and shade as the voluminous clouds drift overhead, sun shines full in between and there’s just a promise of rain! The roses on the veranda are hanging so low that one has to limbo-dance under them to get in and out of the cottage. In doing this manoeuvre, one gets smothered in the most heavenly scent. My friend, Terri brought lots of cardboard and seaweed from Connemara and I laid the cardboard down in the new orchard yesterday. The seaweed is being spread on…

Permaculture Planting at Bealtaine Cottage

Cardboard and seaweed. Copious amounts of both were brought to the cottage last Sunday by two followers of this Permaculture blog, Terri and Lol, now good friends! Living by the Atlantic Ocean in Connemara, access to seaweed was available and, as Terri has a health shop, cardboard was plentiful. Making the journey  all the way from Connemara, with their friend, John, the boot of the car was opened and this incredible valuable material was hauled out. Atlantic shore seaweed, bags of it, along with flattened cardboard, was to be used in the making of a new garden. As with all…

As Snow Falls on the Mountain…

Friday morning. The sun is shining, as snow falls on the mountain and tries to gain ground here in the valley. Even as the snow falls on Kilronan Mountain, the midwinter sun shines weakly onto the back of the cottage. The Geraniums continue to bloom… This is the view of the mountain opposite Bealtaine Cottage this morning. Snow dustd the top of Kilronan, making it look like a huge Christmas cake! Rosehips from the Rosa Canina shelter in the lee of one of the pine trees. Trees of all-sorts and all-colours…the birds approve of all and the landscape is better…