Summer Cottage

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The heat of the day subsides into late evening.

A gloriously hot and sultry summer day.

bealtainecottage.com (2)The birds appear to have wakened in the cool of evening, filling the air with song and calls, as though they’d spent the day in the shade of the nest, keeping still and cool.

bealtainecottage.com (3)The grass paths are mowed in the upper gardens and plants cut back to allow safe passage.

This is Ireland at her best, with long cool evenings complete with blue sky until nearly the witching hour. bealtainecottage.com (4)Just as the fragrant roses have gone over on the veranda, archways of roses burst into being.

Roses and Virginia Creeper support one another in a frenzy of growth.

bealtainecottage.com (5)Less than a week until the Midsummer Solstice and the Earth knows.


bealtainecottage.com (7)She sings a song of endless summer days and green abundance.

Seeds are forming.

bealtainecottage.com (8)Fruit develops and ripens.

bealtainecottage.com (9)Blackcurrants darken and plump out.

bealtainecottage.comGeraniums spill out from under Blackcurrant bushes.

bealtainecottage.com (10)Lady’s Mantle flowers and falls over, drunk with summer!

bealtainecottage.com (11)And the Bealtaine Angel is surrounded by rose petals at Summer Cottage.

A Year at Bealtaine Cottage…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Not in any particular order…pictures of the year that was…

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageWith the oven hot enough to bake a cake…my beloved Stanley Stove in the kitchen…

view morning 001Early morning mist sweeps up the valley…

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureOne of the Plum Trees laden with fruit…

 Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensThe moon rising over the gardens…

mon 27 sep 001Salix Contorta, or Twisted Willow, with Hag-Stones hanging from one of its branches.

Nasturtiums at bealtaine Cottage1Nasturtiums by the veranda.

November 2011 018Back of Bealtaine, near the main production gardens.

November Bealtaine Cottage permaculture pondThe lower pond in the Bog Garden.

December 2011 permaculture cottage 005My darling Missy…gone from this mortal coil, but her energy is felt…

Bealtaine CottageFiring up the Rocket Stove with a bit of an old fence post…wicked heat!

Apple trees in April in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageEarly Spring in the gardens near the tunnel.

washing on the line at Bealtaine CottageWashing in the wind!

Easiest ever compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensHome made compost.

Apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture orchardApple blossom…a great apple harvest every year without fail!

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageThe tunnel in May…seedlings in pots and trays everywhere!

Permaculture Edible gardens of Bealtaine CottageProductive gardens, around the tunnel and herb beds, in May

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe Hen house…I will definitely get some more hens in 2014!

Hens at Bealtaine CottageI miss the girls…hens are very relaxing to watch.

Under the kitchen windowBluebells under the kitchen window…I shall post some more tomorrow

Happy New Year to you all XXX and Blessings from Bealtaine.

Permaculture Cottage ~ Not enough food in Ireland…

Tea after Enniskillen and a shopping expedition for another camera.

Recycled of course!

A great book shop up there also and by the looks of the cars in the car park, most of the population of North Roscommon and Leitrim were shopping there too!

What a relief! It rained yesterday and rained really heavily overnight. All the water butts are spilling over and the tunnel has had an early morning drink…6am! I love the way that the rainwater is held in jewel-like drops on the Ladys Mantle!

A tiny Oak seedling being nurtured in the tunnel. This will be ready to plant out next year. It will be potted on once more before then.

Pumpkins continue to set in the tunnel and around the garden.

These have been late this year, but hopefully there will be an Indian summer and easy ripening.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture PumpkinsPumpkins I grew last year stored really well and I was able to use them right up until just recently!

Another bumper harvest at Bealtaine Cottage, Ballyfermoyle!

Successive harvests this year have been excellent!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture RhubarbEarlier there was a great crop of Blackcurrants and before that, Rhubarb, as well as the other crops in between.

It’s a shame that so very few people in North West Ireland bother to grow food.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture hensMuch of the complaint is that the land is not good enough for that purpose…well, it would appear to be far from that, don’t you think?

It is a fact that if the supermarkets closed their doors tomorrow, people living in the countryside in Ireland, would be very hungry indeed, so little food is grown here!

eggs and pumpkins at bealtaine CottageEggs, jams, chutneys, potatoes, fruit, vegetables and all other home grown and home made produce has given way to poor quality supermarket food.

Country gardens in this area and beyond consist mainly of suburban type lawns, prolific use of weed-killer and a few chosen plants.

This is normally put into place, at huge expense, by the local garden centre.

November 2011 312The disconnect with the land is a sad reflection of today’s society.

A Sunday Ramble around Bealtaine Cottage Smallholding, Ireland

My visitors have left. Home made wine and pocheen, lots of home made vegan food and cakes and talk into the wee small hours…what better way to share a weekend!

Sunday afternoon. The first in July. Bealtaine basks in the sunshine.

Willow has been trimmed. Grass cut. Pumpkins are in flower.

The pears are making good progress on the youngest of the Pear Trees planted here at Bealtaine Cottage. I continue to feed the earth around them with a liquid tea made from nettles and comfrey.

The heady scent of Meadowsweet fills the air on this calm and balmy Sunday afternoon. It grows all over the Bog garden…here is some in the woodland, Fairy dell.

On an afternoon such as this I feel almost intoxicated as I walk around the gardens, with sweets scents filling the air and bees flying to and fro along their pathways of pollen.

Turning to look back at the tunnel as I approach the Fairy Dell, I am taken with the sounds coming from the blackcurrant bushes, only to see a Blackbird swooping out from a gorgefest of fruit…

Geraniums and Oregano spill across mown grass paths. All is peace.

Sunday Tea at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, Permaculture of Course!

Following the Boot Fair this morning I called into the local supermarket to chance buying a cake…well, I fancied somrthing sweet and you know life as a Vegan is not meant to be drab! What in the world do they put into these shop cakes…industrialized food at it’s worst! Being a Vegan means HAVING to check all the ingredients as to avoid the possibility of the dreaded, DAIRY!

I was so put off having to read the endless lists of chemicals in some of these cakes, that I gave up, came home and baked a cake instead! And here it is. It took minutes to make up and I left it in a warm oven with a plate on top to prevent it from burning while I went out to do some gardening and talk to friends who had called! It is completely criminal…yummy to the point of greed and beyond!

The gardens at Bealtaine are at their summer peak and very lush what with all the rain. I’m trimming back willow at the moment and pruning some fruit trees.

Willow, paths and gardens at Bealtaine today.

I planted these Sweet Peas in a big pot and they are growing on the south side of the cottage near the veranda. They have all opened today!

Sunset this evening at Bealtaine…a perfect end to a lovely day!

Just Before Bed…Bealtaine Cottage, West of Ireland

Plums beginning to weigh down the tree. One of the plum trees got silver leaf last year and was cut back hard, so this heavy harvest is welcome.

Flower-less colour by the compost heaps.

The beautiful Sage in flower in the tunnel. My big drive this year is focused on seed saving, hence the amount of tall and flowering plants in the tunnel. This Sage plant is strong and prolific…ideal to save seeds from!

Using Barley straw on the paths of the tunnel has given me an unexpected crop of…yes, Barley! So, more seed! And the hens will have a harvest feast!

Now that the grapes have set it is time to prune and cut back before too much of the plants’ vigour is used up and diverted away fro developing the fruit.

Just as I was leaving the tunnel I noticed the reflection in the water barrel just inside the tunnel door…this is it!

Today at Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding…Start the Week!

Nasturtiums are now in bloom outside, despite the rain. This one is pot planted outside the veranda and is slowly winding its’ way over pieces of driftwood, stone and Herb Robert.

Our lives are full of clutter. A garden is a retreat and a permaculture garden is a perfect, food-bearing retreat, created for almost no money investment…just time and an opening of the senses. Plants like London Pride, featured here, are so very easy to transplant from snippets and cuttings.

Chives this morning in the vegetable garden, but these have been planted all over the gardens and are great visuals.

The long-flowering Columbine growing in the vegetable garden…a good Bee and pollinator insect attractant.

Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 004
Density of planting…the essence of permaculture.

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Flowers…just flowers and endless beauty!

Blackcurrants ripening in the sun this morning. Writing this a short time later, the sun has gone back into hiding!

Plums on one of the many fruit trees at Bealtaine this morning…a good harvest is promised!

The many Apple trees are growing heavy with fruit.

Food and Roses…Today at Bealtaine…Permaculture Pantry.

The roses hang heavy on the veranda trellis, spurred on by copious amounts of soft rain and sunshine…Today at Bealtaine.

 Baby apples all soft and furry peep from under leaves of bright, greeny newness…Today at Bealtaine.

And furry little balls of new peaches start to look important on the tiny, new tree in the tunnel…Today at Bealtaine.

And the small Nectarine tree, also in the tunnel, showing off with an abundance of fruit on its two year old branches…Today at Bealtaine.

And the Strawberries…refusing to wait for Wimbledon…Today at Bealtaine.

And the Ladys Mantle that has taken over the path and nestles into the water bin…Today at Bealtaine.