The growing season has begun, with Rhubarb sending forth strong pink stems despite the storms of recent weeks.
Meanwhile, down in the Fairy Wood, ferns have kept their green in the shelter of the dell. Mosses grow bright in the sunlight and ivy twists and twirls around the Goat Willow.
Lots of Goat Willow has been coppiced over recent months, and although it takes a year or so to season, it makes excellent logs for the stove, giving out masses of heat for free!
Further down the gardens, Pine, laurel and Great Western Cedar all grow happily together and appear healthy in the spring sunshine.
Daffodils are on their way to opening under the shelter of the Beech hedge. This is down beside the pond by the driveway.
And as I turn around from the Daffodils, the Ivy that hangs from some of the mature Goat Willow, swings about in the wind and sunshine…this is turning into a lovely walk around the gardens!
I amble around the lower pond, snapping as I go…Jack moves ahead of me, tugging on his lead for he has picked up the scent of a fox or badger!
I put my camera away and let Jack pull me along, hot on the scent of other life…we finally stop as we come up to the east side of the cottage.
We move around towards the polytunnel and one of the orchards. Pyracantha and Cotoneaster are now devoid of berries. This can be a hungry time for the birds as they mate and nest…there is a big bag of Oats I can scatter around in handfuls for the hungry birds and will do this later.
Back to the cottage and the shelter of the veranda…it’s very stormy, despite the sunshine!
With a full moon over Bealtaine Cottage tonight and a hard frost to come, the evening will be cold for sure.
The coppicing continues and the woodpile grows…
Fennel is beginning to send forth lots of new growth in the shelter of the veranda and the back of the cottage. These new shoots are delicious added to salad!
And just across from the Fennel…
And a reminder for anyone wanting 100% Bealtaine seeds from Bealtaine Cottage…there is a link at the top of this page where you can choose what you want.
This is a good way of creating more fuel for the fire and is easy to do even if there is no barn or shed to stack them in. Simply clean them back and make a wig-wam to stand them up so they can air dry. These little wig-wams can stand over the Spring and Summer and be ready to burn over the winter.
Daffodils placed in the warmth of the kitchen today.
I picked them yesterday whilst out on a walk in the forest. They were growing around the ruins of an old castle near the lough. The daffodils had multiplied over the years and were simply everywhere!
Spring daffodils have become a marker of displaced and emigrated families as they come into bloom around ancient, deserted ruins…
Jack is a happy dog these days…for Flo has come to stay! Flo is yet another stray dog, re-homed through Bealtaine Cottage and a regular returnee…in fact she loves being here and Jack’s eyes have become heart shaped!
Flo and Jack make a strange looking couple, as Flo is tiny and Jack is, well, you can see what I mean!
Tea is my favourite tipple and I have recently discovered Redbush Tea…which is delicious! I have made a toasted cinnamon and sultana bagel…oh, the simple things in life are always the best!
I was chatting with Mum on the phone recently and she is already looking forward to the late Spring and the Bluebell blooming in the forest nearby Bealtaine.
It is amazing that Mum has happily been in good heath since her Breast Cancer Operation nearly two years ago. Mum resolutely refused any drug treatment or radiotherapy , saying that she simply wanted to live without any interference, appointments etc. Well, so far, so good! Mum is a great tea drinker…and I think that helps both her health and her spirit!
Many of my regular readers have said how they read this diary during morning or afternoon break, with a cup of tea or coffee…Cheers!
PS: Missy continues to be rather poorly and is visiting the Vet this afternoon. We make sure she is kept in good spirits and with plenty of love and warmth. Fingers crossed!
Trees as pressies! I love these presents as they keep on givingand giving and will be here long after I have passed!
The weather is very mild and has been so for much of the winter so far. As testament to this the daffodils have decided to make an unseasonally early appearance and will be opening their blooms very soon.
Trees lend a huge amount of shelter to all kinds of plants, but especially early flowering bulbs…a good reason to plant under trees!
To the Water and the Wild…
The lower pond this morning, the day after Christmas. Water weed remains green and lush. The spring well gushes life into this huge pond from further up the hill…
The Wren Boys
Today is St. Stephen’s day in Ireland…one where people dress to hide their identities and go door to door singing and making fool in aid of charity…an ancient tradition!
come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
like a flame.
~William Butler Yeats, “The Land of Heart’s Desire,” 1894
Living in Ireland, at Bealtaine Cottage, it is easy to believe in Fairies.
Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels. But their magic sparkles in
nature. ~Lynn Holland
The elemental spirits of Nature are all around…
As a child I was enraptured by the possibility of Fairies and often spent time constructing little altars to Nature wherever I went…arranging stones, plants and sacred things like I have done in the picture above and all over the smallholding that is Bealtaine…
Spread your wings and let the fairy in you fly! ~
Princess Edane… heard a voice singing
on a May Eve like this, and followed half awake and half asleep, until she came
into the Land of Faery, where nobody gets old and godly and grave, where nobody
gets old and crafty and wise, where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue.
~William Butler Yeats, “The Land of Heart’s Desire,” 1894
And the land at Bealtaine has been softly planted to embrace the possibility of Fairies…always keeping the inner child in mind and mindful of the great force that is Nature!
When the winds of March are wakening the crocuses and crickets, Did you ever find a fairy near some budding little thickets,… And when she sees you creeping up to get a closer peek She tumbles through the daffodils, a playing hide and seek.
We call them faerie. We don’t believe in them. Our loss.