Posted in Uncategorized

No Tarmac Here!

Valerian and Rubus edge a path

It’s not often that I dedicate an entire blog to the driveway of Bealtaine Cottage, but today is totally about that most viewed and often ignored part of the gardens.

Rosa Canina on the drivewayRosa Canina is opening with the promise of hips this Autumn.

driveway at bealtaine CottageThe driveway is an integral part of the gardens as it is not only the entrance to the cottage but the corridor of connection between the cottage and the rest of the land.

Hazel on the drivewayI counted the trees I planted along this 120metre stretch of lane…over 70!

Trees like this Hazel… Providing clean air!

Valerian and Ox-eye daisies on the driveway at bealtaine Cottage

Cotoneaster gives flowers, colour in autumn and food for the birds during the winter.

Bealtaine Cottage drivewayThis lane-way will never suffer the suffocation of tarmac…and seeds will continue to germinate in the gravel.

Bealtaine Cottage signThe gravel ensures equal drainage into the soil with no run-off.

Beech, Laurel, Box and Willow

Beech, Laurel, Buddleia and Box all grow shoulder to shoulder!

Postbox at bealtaine CottageDriveways are not just for cars!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 100 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

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Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Culture, Frugal Living, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Garden design using white-washed stones.

It is standard permaculture practice to use whatever is to hand when constructing features in the garden.

I happen to live in a part of West Ireland where there is a surplus of stone…in fact there is stone just about everywhere.

This is a very rocky part of Ireland and is in fact very beautiful for it.

However, when making a small garden, and in this case it was one by the entrance to the cottage near the public road, then it made perfect sense to collect up some stones and white-wash them.

That way the edges are marked out well for passing cars to note and stay clear from!

I used a traditional lime mixed with water and left to sour for a few days.

This is a very cheap and easy way to create an effective white paint and as it washes down into the soil over the course of time it actually benefits the plants growing there!

The cost of making this little garden was almost zero…about one euro in total!

Here’s how it looks…click on the link to view today’s video diary from Bealtaine Cottage…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpZ92T1ws-0

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Garden, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Tuesday 18 May @ Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding

It’s raining this morning and the plants that self-seed in the gravel are continuing to drink. This is Valerian, which loves the limestone gravel and grows from seed scattered into the stones. It’s beginning to flower and will continue to flower all the way through the summer.

Columbine is coming through the gravel around the Valerian. Seedlings like this usually do very well when potted on.

The Phototinia on the driveway suffered badly during the severe weather last winter, but it’s making a good recovery, with lots of new growth making a show.

Lots of berries are coming through on the Ivy…and there’s lots of Ivy all through the gardens. Possibly the sign of a cold winter ahead?

Gunnera Manicata grows easily under the Cherry tree, with no loss on the Cherry production. Dense planting is an essential part of permaculture…with definitely NO chemicals to control ANYTHING!