Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Woodland

Co-Creating With Nature

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Being brought up, as a child in a terraced house without a garden, I have often wondered where my passion for Mother Earth, growing, gardening and the environment emerged from.

I’m still thinking about that!

What I wanted to share with you today encompasses an afternoon’s work here at Bealtaine Cottage.

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Well, this afternoon I opened up a completely new path through the trees and shrubs planted over the years, into a beautiful world created by Mother Earth and nurtured by me through many seasons.

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Today, the inner voice I share with her drew me down into the Fairy Wood, slowly cutting a path into a very special part of this land.

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She has been left alone, protected by brambles and branches to create something very beautiful and exquisite.

The tree is an old ash which had been coppiced.

When a tree is coppiced, not only does one get a massive amount of wood for the stove, but the tree sends up multiple shoots, which in turn become trees, like this.

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The stones around the base are now deep in moss.

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Primroses and Ferns have naturalized in the woodland earth.

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Lords and Ladies adorn the base of the tree in red jewels.

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I just had to share this amazing little path with you.

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Mother nature is just amazing and re-generative!

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Ten years from rushy, monoculture field to magical, permaculture woodland! 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, compost, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture

A New Era at Bealtaine Cottage

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Smoke rises into a clear blue January sky.

The birds are singing like it’s Spring and black ice covers the road by the gate. www.bealtainecottage.com 012My friend Michael is here this morning to finally remove the toilet and install my compost loo.

The septic tank is, from today, a grey water tank!

www.bealtainecottage.com 008I have been using the compost system for the past year, keeping the flush toilet for visitors, but this is the time to finally say goodbye to a system that no longer makes any sense!

www.bealtainecottage.com 019Those who visit, or stay at Bealtaine Cottage, will experience a neat loo, that is both efficient and hygienic, adding to the environment rather than being a source of pollution.

I shall write a blog and post pics of the new loo in a few days time…

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Meanwhile, there are signs of life all the way through the permaculture gardens, with Daffodils pushing up through the more sheltered earth under the Beech trees.

www.bealtainecottage.com 027The sun is not yet high enough on the horizon to reach the paths in the Bog Garden, many of which will remain frozen for weeks to come.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026In the sheltered parts of the woodland, Ferns remain green and quite lush.

Many keep their life until new fronds unfurl in late Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.com 005The Willow continues to be cut, tied and stacked in the barn.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029Many of the Fedges will need to be pruned before Spring and vigorous new growth that follows.

This Fedge borders the stream that runs from the Spring Well.

www.bealtainecottage.com 038Many of the Bird Boxes around the gardens will need to be water-proofed with whatever I have to hand…usually a coat or two of gloss paint.

This does not seep into the wood and so does not harm nestlings in the box.

                                  Many thanks for the continuing support for the work of this Bealtaine Cottage  website.

Blessings

Posted in Abundance, Bees, biodiversity, Celts, Garden, Gardens, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, photography, Seeds, Summer, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

The Magical Garden

Bealtaine Cottage roses

The morning is hot and sultry.

The sky is clear blue.

Ireland basks in heat.

Roses on the verandaRoses on the veranda are making a spectacular show and the delicate scent fills the morning air

Columbine at Bealtaine CottageAs we ascend towards Midsummer plants have suddenly taken off and appear to have grown overnight.

Poppies self seed everywherePoppies have opened all over the gardens, even in the tunnel.

These self seed and come up more intensely year on year.

Herb bed in permaculture garden at Bealtaine CottageHerbs are filling the beds as bees buzz busily overhead.

Stone Circle at Bealtaine CottageThe grass within and around the stone circle has turned to meadow.

Cow Parsley and Ferns by the Stone CircleCow Parsley vies with Ferns for space around the Stone Circle.

Bluebells at Bealtaine CottageBluebells are just visible in the lushness of a June morning in the west of Ireland.

magical stone circle at Bealtaine CottageThere’s a sense of magic in the air around the ancient stones!

Posted in Fairies, Inspiration, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, Summer, Uncategorized, Woodland

And After the Weekend…Bealtaine Cottage in the West of Ireland

Monday morning, balmy, warm and bright. Midsummer has passed and the work outdoors continues unabated. Sheds to be cleared and painted, as well as fences to be fixed and preserved. Lots of blackcurrants still to be harvested…

The beautiful eerie light that falls across the land after the solstice, almost autumnal, bright and silvery and very romantic.

The heavenly scent of honeysuckle, or woodbine, is captured on the gentlest of breezes. The Fairy dell woodland is permeated with the sweet aroma.

The trees and ivy have merged into an elegant repose. Ferns have grown high and luxurious.

Light and shadows begin to play tricks on the eyes.

Posted in biodiversity, Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, photography, Spirituality, Wild Flowers, Woodland

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.


www.bealtainecottage.com

There is a sacred space here at Bealtaine Cottage, an ancient place that evolved at such a speed, that I quickly realised there was magic in this little corner of the land.

Above is one of the six entrances to what became known as the Fairy Wood…not my name for it, but bestowed upon it by visiting children.

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Children are more in tune with the land than we, for they see and hear on a more profound level.

Sedge in the Fairy Wood
Sedge in the Fairy Wood

As I planted and observed the land, I could see the influence this little place had on the bare land around it.

Slowly, over one thousand trees filled the space, with plants like the Sedge, above, planted alongside paths I created to wind in and out of trees.

Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage
Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

As I planted, so the Fairy wood evolved and her life energy seemed to emanate from deep within the earth itself.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

This was co-creation at it’s most magical and inspiring.

The Fairy Tree at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

Primroses and Celandines have emerged.

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The land is packed with magic indeed.

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The Sidhe are watchful as I work here.

One of the entrances overlooks the polytunnel.

Primroses at Bealtaine Cottage

Some pruning and cutting back has taken place here recently to allow more light onto the woodland floor, where rewards are plentiful.

There is an atmosphere and intrigue experienced as one walks through this lovely sacred space.

An entire bank of Herb Robert in flower.

Entrance to the Fairy Wood

Another entrance to the Fairy Wood…the essence of permaculture is being able to let go.

In the Fairy Wood below Bealtaine Cottage

The secret is to allow Mother Nature free reign over all of her subjects…she really does know best.

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I simply tidy up around her, paying attention to her promptings to do this and that…

Young Beech, planted a couple of years ago, droops low over Ferns and more Herb Robert.

And the exit from this womb-like place takes one straight out into sunshine…a beautiful birthing!

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Blessings
Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, cows, Culture, Current Affairs, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Orchids, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Wild Flowers, Wildlife, Woodland

European Monoculture Monsters…The Struggle for Biodiversity. Permaculture and Gaia.

Ferns…some of the oldest living plants in our world.

When I began the Bealtaine Permaculture Project back in 2004 there were few of these beautiful plants anywhere on this land. I remember digging one up in a woodland not far from here and planting it in the small, wannabe woodland that was to become the Fairy Dell…and yes, it is certainly magical! From then till now the population of Ferns on this smallholding has steadily increased each year…

Since the Banking Crisis broke worldwide it has become evident to me just how embedded  the corporations are with western governments and the amount of deceit and corruption that abounds within these structures. All kinds of directives come from Europe in relation to farming that, in my understanding, do nothing more than create Monoculture Monsters. To view the land as an economic farming industry is to do so at our peril…Nature WILL not tolerate what we attempt to ignore for the sake of industrialized food production and ultimately, greed.  “The world has enough for every man’s need, but not enough for every man’s greed!”

Posted in Country Living, Eco-Living, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Hothouse Flowers in a Permaculture Environment. Evening @ Bealtaine Cottage

Laburnum and Ferns, hastily picked, make a casual, summer bouquet for the sitting room window of the cottage. I never buy flowers and don’t support the polluting, hothouse methods involved in growing shop bought arrangements. The seasonal look is more in keeping with caring for the environment as well as being much more stylish.

The rain has passed over for the day as the evening sweeps in from the East. Hoping for a lot more if the wells are going to resume full flow! I still haven’t moved the logs as the rain has continued unabated for most of the day. Added to this is the task of clearing out the barn in order to stack the logs, which is pending…ahem!

Jack has been having a ripping time, literally…nothing is safe around him! I got him some massive bones from the butcher yesterday and he has been crunching and chewing away to his heart’s content! I can’t quite get over just how intelligent he is! I would advise anyone thinking of getting a pet to visit their local animal sanctuary first…you might be as lucky as myself and come away with a gem like Jack!

Looking out the window onto the veranda is uplifting when the roses are in bloom. I planted a grapevine further along, into a couple of tyres and have big expectations for equally bountiful harvests of grapes!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Woodland

Weekend Permaculture Tree Planting at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

 

Blossom on the Plum and Cherry trees continue to develop at Bealtaine Smallholding.

As I type this blog on a calm and warm Friday evening I am amazed at the continual good weather experienced here in the west of Ireland since the middle of March. The climate is changing…that I know.

Peach blossom covers the tree in the tunnel and all the seedlings are growing well. The bottom line is that food is very easy to grow. A small warm space is all that’s needed to get seedlings up and ready for planting out.

The Fairy Dell is now covered in green growth. Primroses, Mosses, Violets and Ferns are all competing with hundreds of other species to grow. The scents emanating from the warm earth below my feet as I walk the woodland are nothing less than intoxicating!

This is the willow wreath made here in December. I will strip back the winter foliage of Larch and Ivy and re-dress the willow base for the Easter celebrations. This Willow wreath will keep for several years and can be dressed for seasonal celebrations.

The leaves on the Amelanchier tree are out and making colour in the garden.

The weekend is here and I have another five trees to plant. These are all pot grown from seeds, so can be planted at any time of the year as long as they are kept well watered!