Magical Wild Herbs and Other Things

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Hawthorn is one of the sacred Ogham trees of Ireland. It goes by the name Huath in Irish,  being the tree that symbolises Bealtaine, the merry month of May! This is also a wonderful, magical herb of abundant medicine. Hawthorn, or whitethorn, is easily identifiable during this time as her creamy blossoms brighten hedgerows, stone walls, fields and sacred sites.

IMG_0087Hawthorn is also known as the fairy tree for it is believed, especially a solo tree in a field, that it is a place that fairies would stop to rest (or party!) as they traversed across the land.

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There was a frost this morning, as you can see from the roof of the cottage. Insulation in the loft keeps the frost on the roof. You can always tell a poorly insulated home from the state of the roof on frosty mornings!

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An icy cover on the rain barrel by the lodge!

IMG_0165Myself and Jack set off for a morning stroll in the woodland gardens.

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I was reminded of the many herbs growing freely at Bealtaine Cottage and all along the roadsides here in the west of Ireland, as I walked along the woodland paths.

IMG_0169Dandelion, another exceptional wild herb growing abundantly here, with Its young leaves that can be used to make a tea with potassium-saving diuretic properties, so very useful for treating people suffering from high blood pressure.

IMG_0170Consumption of the bitter leaves will also aid digestion and act as a general laxative, while eating the ground root helps detoxify the liver.

IMG_0172It’s good to remember that the sticky, milky- white latex contained within its stalks can be used externally to kill warts and veruccas.

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The fire pit near the cottage has lots of precious wood ash to be spread out into the gardens. I continue to burn some of the dried blackcurrant stems from last year.

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The tidy up continues as I move the rusted bin over to the back of the old compost heap near the tunnel.

IMG_0175There are many wild and naturalised herbs growing in this semi-wild area, such as Comfrey, Nettle and Wild Garlic. Sweet Bay is planted to the right of the path in this picture. The Potager Bed is filled with many other cultivated herbs, growing happily alongside their wild cousins!

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Growing here at Bealtaine Cottage, in damp, grassy places, from July to September, this majestic, sweet- scented perennial, Wild Angelica, is known as Gallfheabhrán in Irish. Here it is, covered in frost this morning…

IMG_0178Wild Angelica was eaten in past times as a vegetable and used for dyeing cloth.

IMG_0182Traditionally it was used to treat rheumatism, gout and indigestion or to flavour liqueurs.

IMG_0184It really is amazing the vast quantities of wild herbs that are growing all around us. We have forgotten many of them and know very little of the edibility and uses of many of the recognisable plants. You can see some of the Chives spilling out from one of the Potager beds here by the Sedum.

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The colour wash across the woodland gardens continues this morning, the second day of Samhain as the progression of winter moves across the land. Flat Parsley is visible to the front of the bed! I moved all the Nasturtiums this morning from near the old Hen House, as the great tidy-up continues.

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Burdock, Nettle and Meadowsweet all grow with wild abandon here at Bealtaine Cottage. Meadowsweet contains essential oils, flavonoids and tannins. It is renowned for its anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, analgesic, and relaxant qualities. Just walking among it during the heady days of summer induces all of the above!

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Wild Oregano, or Marjoram, Yarrow, Coltsfoot and, Mullein…still in flower in the Lughnasadh Garden by the way!

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I shall post a photo of this over on the Twitter account for Bealtaine Cottage later on…

Bealtaine Cottage Goddess Permaculture Gardens

@PermaGoddess

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Plantain, Herb Robert and Feverfew can be added to the extensive list…I am now imagining a Bealtaine Book of Herbs and their uses, as I realise what a Herb Sanctuary this little acreage has blossomed into!

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Books, map and calendar can be accessed through the link at the top of the website.

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The calendar is packed with 46 photographs! The months of the year are all in Irish and there is room enough to write notes and appointments daily.

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The map is printed back and front on thick card with beautiful detailed artwork just waiting to be coloured in!

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Moon phases for 2019 and 2020 are all included!

Observed by Consciousness

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Reality only exists when it is observed…

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These are images I photographed yesterday…what I observed here in the woodland gardens and food forest that is now Bealtaine Cottage.

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Reality can only be observed by consciousness.

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Is this why we are here?

IMG_6773Are we part of the consciousness of Mother Earth?

IMG_6771I believe we shape the beauty around us with both our physical selves and our conscious minds.

IMG_6769We often hear the statement, ‘seeing is believing.’

IMG_6768I say, believing is seeing.

IMG_6766Belief in the sentient being that is Mother Earth has formed a major part of the energy that has manifested here.

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Not so long ago, the reality of this land was a different picture.

There are links at the top of this page where you can see what was…

IMG_6761IMG_6756IMG_6757IMG_6755From the very first time I saw this place I envisioned a cottage in the woods, surrounded by the music of Nature and the beauty of life.

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And here it is.

Blessings X Colette

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€19.00

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€10.00

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€13.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €32.00 but can be purchased together for for €28.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€28.00

Bealtaine Cottage Early Summer Album

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It has been some time…

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~ Henry James

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Just as the rosebuds are swelling, early Summer makes an appearance. It has been a long cold Winter and Spring.

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Euphorbia has brightened the veranda with its vivid lime green.

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And finally, finally the garden stirs into full life.

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“Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
~ Pablo Neruda

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“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”
~ Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine.

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Garden visitors have left and the warmth of a sunny afternoon is all my own once more.

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Quince is now fully open in the sun against the warm wood of the barn wall.

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“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!” ~ Kenny Chesney

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Cotoneaster and Birch grow to create shelter by the front door.

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Primroses prolong their blooms in the shady banks along the driveway.

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Bunting heralds a welcome to garden visitors…every day of May…

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And there’s Jack, curious as always to pick up the scent of visitors…

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The golden Goddess now has her sacred Owls nearby…one day Owls will move into Bealtaine…one day…

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Dandelions create a food path for the bees at the top of the driveway.

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Blessings of early Summer be yours XXX Colette, Jack, SammyBear and Beauty XXXX

Support the Bealtaine Project

 

 

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

 

 

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€19.00

 

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€13.00

 

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €32.00 but can be purchased together for for €28.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€28.00

 

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€10.00

 

 

The Long-Awaited Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

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The Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens is now with the printers in Sligo…finally!19575189_777045269124365_7235027663363828620_o

The tiny error in the spelling of Ballyfermoyle has been corrected, (not shown on here), and I’m hoping to pick the 200 copies towards the end of next week.19748463_1072901282809391_6230458109830596244_n (1)

This map has been painstakingly drawn with fine detail and creativity by the artist and cartographer, David Gascoingne.

David Gascoigne Thanks for a wonderful day yesterday Colette, great connections made and great work done. And thanks once again for the opportunity & for supporting & encouraging me, I am still buzzing today & I have started on the series of Magic Animal Goddess Cards already .. Raven on the way first . ! I will put progress/updates on my David Gascoigne Art page 🙂 It’s a pleasure & honour to know you Mrs, what you’ve achieved at Bealtaine is nothing short of mind-blowing,..you certainly walk the walk well and are a genuine inspiration, Blessed Be, and more of this kind of thing 

The map is printed on A3 card, front and back and folded in three. To order your very own copy, click here… Map of Bealtaine Cottage and GardensIMG_2665

The summer progresses towards Lughnasadh as soft fruit is harvested and vegetables continue to grow bountifully.IMG_2667

Outside grapes are as advanced as those in the tunnel!IMG_2668

This old Perlagonium is in her prime…again!IMG_2670

With visitors arriving from America next week, there’s a tidy-up under way!IMG_2671

This is the time for late summer and autumn planting, especially with vegetables and flowers.IMG_2673

This is the second year for this white Hydrangea and it appears to be happy in its home.IMG_2675

My way with plants I’m unsure of is to put them into a big pot and place in the area I want it to grow…to see if it likes its home!

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Some others, like this Willowherb, will set themselves and never move from that home…this doesn’t spread at all!IMG_2684

Where plants were heavily pruned over winter, all appears healthy and abundant.IMG_2685

At first I counted nine Buddleias in total, but I stand corrected, for I keep finding more and more…self-seeding is taking over!IMG_2708

Spirea, Shasta Daisy and Hypericum…all friends down by the gate!IMG_2705

The entrance to Bealtaine Cottage is a good advertisement for Goddess Permaculture and Permaculture in general!IMG_2694

Jack waiting for another car!IMG_2700

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgement. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ~ Roy T Bennett

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From dreamscape to landscape to map…

Permaculture Food Forest at Bealtaine Cottage

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Here at Bealtaine Cottage, the use of layers are one of the tools used to design functional ecosystems that are both sustainable and of direct benefit to the creation of a truly functioning permaculture food system..

As the ecosystem matures, the developing relationship between its component parts: trees, bushes, plants, soil, ground-cover, animals, birds and insects is integral to the high productivity of the area.

Because plants grow to different heights, a diverse community of life is able to grow in a relatively small space, as each layer is stacked one on top of another.

(One of the many apple trees last year)

This becomes recognized as a Food Forest.

In this short video, I explain a little of how it works…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE_ul8JBTPA