Posted in Climate, Country Living, Current Affairs, Garden, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Uncategorized

A Day Indoors at Bealtaine Cottage

Heavy rain is falling here in the west of Ireland.

This is our now too frequent monsoon.

It occurs each summer, after a drought that sees the spring well slowing down to a dribble as the aquifers drop dramatically.

The evidence is all too obvious that there is a climate change going on…that is not negotiable in my book.

However, the source of this climate change can be debated over and even argued over…I care not.

I just know that it is happening.

I am a gardener.

I am in the gardens every day and the weather is recorded in my head or on this blog accordingly.

The clouds are so heavy and low that I actually fell asleep this afternoon.

There is an eerie silence.

The birds are tucked into overhanging branches, hardly moving.

Jack has slept under the stove in the kitchen…it’s warm there.

As I type there is a shawl draped over my shoulders.

There is a nip in the air.

Tonight will be spent hunkered down, waiting for the storm to pass…

There is a badger set in the vegetable garden, alongside the path into the Fairy Dell woodland.

The badger has dug many small holes along the path in his quest for some small root I would guess.

As I walked over to the compost to empty the ashes from the stove this morning, I noticed a series of quite neat excavations and a neat pile of soil by each.

I will film over there tomorrow if the weather eases up…

Home made wine continues to bubble up in the demijohns.

The sound of the bubbles breaking as they rise through the airlocks takes on a comforting, if frenzied, tick tock!

And the rain continues to fall…

Posted in Garden, Herbs, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Winter

Country Living with Climate Change in Ireland…Evidential Photographs

Climate change is quite evidential here at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland!
Walking through the gardens this morning I am shocked to find many flowers still in bloom.

Borage in flower this morning, the first day of December 2011. This herb is growing in a fairly exposed spot near the gate to Bealtaine.

The Borage is growing alongside a miniature Rudbeckia, grown from seed this year and in flower from early autumn.
This is indicative of just how mild the weather has been!

I used home made compost to plant out the Rudbeckia and the Borage has come up through it!

This time last year the ground was frozen solid. Today it is more like early autumn than December!

Fuschia in flower down near the Bog Garden…this is not the semi-native one that is hardy, so the flowers this morning are quite a shock to see!

Even the spring water in the ponds is warm…

Posted in Angels, Ecology, Fairies, Folklore, Gaia, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Orchids, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Woodland

Ivy, Euphorbia, Angelica and more Orchids at Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding, Ireland.

The Ivy hangs in 3-4 metre tendrils on a tree in the Fairy Dell…Quite Magical!Euphorbia…this wonderful perennial comes up more lush every year and transplants easily…I started with a stolen cutting and now it dominates the April/May/June garden and beyond!Angelica, now at least 7 feet tall and with a massive spread. Medieval herbalists called it ‘Herba Angelica,’ meaning  ‘Angelic Plant.’ Traditionally it is supposed to flower on the 8th of May, which is the feast of Michael the Archangel. needless to add, Angelica possesses protective qualities. The seeds add flavour to Chartreuse Liqueur!The way up out from the Fairy Dell…Orchids continue to emerge all over Bealtaine Smallholding. I was asked by the Census Enumerator the other day if I used any chemicals here…where that came from is interesting! However, I simply told him to look around…there is far too much growing evidence of NO CHEMICALS HERE!Sunlight dapples the grass under the Blackthorn trees near the tunnel. The light dances on the ground as the Fairy trees gently sway in the breeze.