A Home for the Jackdaws

The Jackdaws have up residence in the unused chimney.

A beautiful pair of Jackdaws…here is the male keeping watch, waiting for the female to put the twig, carefully carried to the cave, into place in the nest. He will alert her to my presence!

He’s just spotted me! Now there followed a flapping of wings as both took off together into the cold, clear morning sky. I don’t object to their presence…let all life find sanctuary here at Bealtaine Cottage.
Yes indeed, it is very cold, with a deep cap of snow on Slieve Anierin to prove it.

Blossom on the Blackthorn is abundant this year…the Wild Bees are in their nectar Heaven, with a promise of Sloes to follow in Autumn.
The tunnel is evolving as my own sanctuary, where I can sit and observe the burgeoning life all around me. A place of silent retreat and mindfulness.
The days of clearing up the compost and pots area are almost at an end. The new compost area is now where the hundreds of pots used to be. The compost to the left will be distributed around the gardens where it is needed.
I intend planting out the old compost area with shrubs, to provide both protection from the east winds and colour to lighten the heart!

There remains much work to be done here in the gardens over the coming days and weeks. It is essential I get on with it! I shall leave you with the rest of the photographs I took this morning as I walked around the gardens.

Apple blossom ready to break out.
Blackcurrant blossom near to opening.

An Irish Cottage Garden and Homestead in Spring

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The promise of peaches growing outdoors in the west of Ireland, another Bealtaine Cottage first! Blossom on these home grown trees, grown from seed, is looking good. So far, with only the first month behind us, this has been a remarkable Spring!

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New Bird Boxes have been added to the rich habitat, now in its fifteenth year on these three acres.

IMG_1967The interior of the tunnel has been remodelled  to create a sanctuary in which to enjoy being in the garden, even in very wet weather!

IMG_1678Sanctuaries are much needed in today’s world!

IMG_1965The plastic has been washed inside and out, ready for its fourteenth year!

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IMG_1963The area around the tunnel, which includes compost heaps and potting corner, is now tidy.

IMG_1961Crocosmia is growing into fine clumps of lime green foliage.

IMG_1959Rhubarb doesn’t need forcing in the mild climate enjoyed here in the west of Ireland. IMG_1960Beds have been well mulched and Rhubarb banked up with enriched compost.

IMG_1954Work in the garden never stops, because Mother Earth never sleeps.

Sweet Peas have successfully germinated outdoors in plastic buckets. Many of you have been following this experiment.

IMG_1953IMG_1952There are lots more seeds germinating in this way and I expect them to be stronger and hardier for their experience being outdoors, even through the recent snow!

IMG_1949In between the outdoors work, clothes are hand-washed and hung out to dry in the wind and sporadic sunshine.

IMG_1948IMG_1947Potatoes are arranged to chit, as pots are brought together and prepared for potato planting.

IMG_1955In a home without television, reading is the great entertainment…my book of the moment is all about the incredible life of Vita Sackville-West…a rollicking good read in the form of a wonderful biography by Victoria Glendinning.

IMG_1940And, as always, whenever the weather allows, the back door is thrown open to welcome in the day that’s in it!

Books, Map, Calendar and Bumper Sticker selection…

Bealtaine Cottage Press: 

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

The Woodland Cottage

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It is Lughnasadh, the last great festival of the Celtic Calendar!

IMG_7974The year is tipping towards an end as Samhain marks the beginning of the new year… IMG_7971There has been much change here at Bealtaine Cottage as the canopy of trees has merged to form what is now truly a woodland.

IMG_7977This evolution has happened at just the right moment in time as we have witnessed a terrifyingly hot summer and drought…the woodland gardens have come through the worst unscathed…no loss on anything!

IMG_7966Beauty now lies between the stones of the great circle. I have flowers to plant here and many, many happy memories of this visiting soul who decided to spend time with us here at Bealtaine.

IMG_7976And so the wheel turns…

Jack is happy I am home from London and SammyBear sleeps on my bed. I wonder the woodland gardens able to breath once more!

For much of my time away I was very aware of my shallow breathing.

Indeed my face looked older and more stressed.

I am happiest here keeping care of this sacred place.

IMG_7960Much of my holiday was spent walking, something I love about being in the city!

To walk and be able to peer into other’s lives, through windows that are close enough to touch in the winding streets of North London.

I continued on my Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle while on holiday and was two pounds lighter upon my return home!

There are many more Vegan eateries and it was much easier to eat this way.

IMG_7980IMG_7990Rain had fallen in my absence and the Spring Well was refreshed enough to send water to the cottage down the hill…the tank in the loft is now full and filling!

IMG_7987IMG_7983IMG_7995I expected to see much more leaf drop, but as you can see for yourself here in these photos, the trees have come through unscathed!

IMG_7997The forecast for Autumn seems very much as it should be and may prove to be quite a spectacular colour show!

IMG_7999This website is now approaching two million views…wonderful to imagine all those who have stopped by and perhaps taken a little inspiration into their lives, shaking off the old paradigm of what a garden should be…

IMG_7998The gardens at Bealtaine are all dedicated to the Great Mother and thus are charged with her energy.

IMG_8008IMG_8009IMG_8012IMG_8016The energy of earth is healing, both of herself and all her life upon.

IMG_8039As I walked with Jack around the cottage I was stopped in my tracks by this image…that of a woodland cottage, for this year has seen the manifestation of my heart’s desire from fourteen years ago, that of a cottage in the woods.

One has an idea of scale when seen against the car…

IMG_8025IMG_8019IMG_8018IMG_8028Butterflies were out in force today, in time for the sweet flowers of the Buddleia!

IMG_8022IMG_8030I uploaded a video shot this morning showing some of the Butterflies feasting on the flowers!

IMG_8032I want to say a special “Thanks and Blessings,” to all of you who sent condolences for Beauty…such kindness and compassion, Bless you XXX

IMG_8042IMG_8041IMG_8034IMG_8031There is the beautiful month of Lughnasadh to enjoy and appreciate the changes as summer merges into Autumn.

The special offer on the books continues and prices INCLUDE postage WORLDWIDE

“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.

€27.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €36.00 but can be purchased together for for €32.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€32.00

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.

€12.00

For more info on Bealtaine Books…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

Mind, Body and Spirit Wellness

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Yesterday I spent much of the day in a workshop group learning all about needle felting. It was a day well spent, for I was with others and being creative.

I made this…

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We often forget how it feels to simply be.

IMG_6885To be oneself.

IMG_6900To be with others.

IMG_6893To be happy.

IMG_6904To be quiet and still.

IMG_6910To simply be!

IMG_6891We have forgotten…be kind, be kinder.

IMG_6911We are oft times unkind to ourselves.

IMG_6912We can never fully know or understand what others are struggling with, yet we all know the value of a kind word, a caring call or a shared coffee.

IMG_6914Being kind opens the door to personal happiness.

IMG_6918Body wellness is centred around being kind to oneself…something many of us never really think about…especially if we have others to care for.

IMG_6922In the past I have often posed the question, “who cares for the carers?”

IMG_6923Kindness changes everything.

IMG_6924This was the abiding message in the famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and yes, Rime is the correct spelling!

IMG_6925Being kind and casting a blessing on ‘slimy’ creatures, allowed the mariner to be freed from the corpse of the Albatross.

IMG_6930It is an epic poem and one worth reading, for it is a marvellous story and lesson.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.
Blessings to you all XXX Colette

So Grateful

IMG_6042Mother Earth is thriving.

IMG_6039Her abundance is nothing less than magnificent.

IMG_6037Everywhere on this land She thrives.

IMG_6048I have found a great many Cherry Trees She has seeded and grown over the past two years, but have remained hidden in the general mayhem of Spring and Summer, only to be discovered this year as Spring seemed to struggle and lag behind, so allowing me to see.IMG_6043

It is simply delightful to behold. The mother tree was planted by me a mere 13 yrs ago and already she has brought forth abundance.

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This Field Maple is bearing fruit this year and the Bees are soaring around its topmost branches.

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I know that I have posted this quote before, but it speaks loudly and will not be quietened…IMG_6084

“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.’ IMG_6080

But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.IMG_6079

For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.IMG_6077

But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
― Chief Luther Standing Bear

IMG_6076“Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle.

IMG_6073In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept us safe among them…

IMG_6075The animals had rights – the right of man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness.

IMG_6074This concept of life and its relations filled us with the joy and mystery of living; it gave us reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.”
― Chief Luther Standing Bear

IMG_6072And so wherever we allow Her, enable Her and protect Her, abundance flows…

IMG_6071It’s humbling to witness…

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My Goddess helps me to keep in mind the great Life Force of the Great Mother, for I, as a human need symbols to ground me and remember that She is not just a life-force, but an intelligent sentient being.

IMG_6069Symbols have always resonated with us.

IMG_6067IMG_6066IMG_6064IMG_6063We possess an innate ability to read and understand symbols, for they transcend language and culture.

Yet even as I walk back along the veranda towards the door of the cottage, I see the abundance.

IMG_6086This time in a recently re-potted tree…lots of tiny Parsley seedlings. I have no idea where they have come from, except to add that I used home made compost and these are from the seed-heads of last Summer.

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.

€27.00

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.

€21.00

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.

€15.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €36.00 but can be purchased together for for €32.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€32.00

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.

€12.00

A Feast of Spring

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Spring forever appears
the soothing music part
of lyrics unspoken.
It thaws the frozen fears,
mends the wounded heart
that Winter has broken.
~Aarno Davidson

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Tomorrow is the national holiday of Ireland, St Patrick’s Day. As is the norm., the weather is promised cold and a little unpredictable in terms of snow, rain and wind. Here at Bealtaine Cottage the march of Spring continues unabated.

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.

~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

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As always, the mornings here are filled with promise and, usually, sunshine.

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Ribes sanguineum have exploded into a bright pink fuzzy life, enticing the solitary Bees to awaken from hibernation.

IMG_5095Their heady aroma moves through the trees in a binding spell of delight.

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It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, “An Easter Hymn”

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Hazel Catkins add a yellow hue to a backdrop of blue.

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I’ve banished Winter, saith the Spring,
Awake! arise, ye flowers!
Brisk breezes blow,
Bright sunshine glow,
And rouse the young Year’s powers.
~Henry James Slack (1818–1896)

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Despite March’s windy reputation, winter isn’t really blown away; it is washed away. It flows down all the hills, goes swirling down the valleys and spills out to sea. Like so many of this earth’s elements, winter itself is soluble in water…. It is a wet world, winter’s harsh grip beginning to relax…. An outcropping ledge on the hillside sheds its beard of icicles and becomes a seep spring that drips into a shallow pool that feeds a growing runlet.

~”Washing Winter Away,” The New York Times, 1964 March 17th

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Now when the primrose makes a splendid show,
And lilies face the March-winds in full blow,
And humbler growths as moved with one desire
Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire…

~William Wordsworth, “Poor Robin,” March 1840

And so by degrees the winter wore away… and the chill, bitter, windy, early spring came round. The comic almanacs give us dreadful pictures of January and February; but, in truth, the months which should be made to look gloomy in England are March and April. Let no man boast himself that he has got through the perils of winter till at least the seventh of May.

~Anthony Trollope (1815–1882), The Chronicles of Barsetshire

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March brings breezes loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.

~Sara Coleridge (1802–1852)

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I hope you enjoyed this feast of Spring…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.

€27.00

More titles…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

 

Early Lughnasadh in the Gardens of Bealtaine

The last flush of Summer happens in early Lughnasadh.

IMG_3049As I walk the gardens in late evening, the earthy taste of Autumn pervades the air.

IMG_3052The wheel turns as endings and beginnings wind their way through the days of change.

All is change…

Mists form in early morning cool air as heat continues to rise from the earth.

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Soon the clothes of summer will be packed away, to be replaced with woollens and woven items more suited to the cooling of Lughnasadh.

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In the world of man the destruction and threats of destruction continues, as though in another dimension. Mother Earth is unaware of their arrogance and hubris…She just goes on, as they huff and puff and eventually blow themselves out…She just goes on!

 

 

If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, completely dependent on people who value what I do, here’s how…

Purchase The Book…

https://bealtainecottage.com/a-cottage-and-three-acres-the-bealtaine-story/

Take a look at The Magical Map…

https://bealtainecottage.com/map-of-bealtaine-cottage-and-gardens-purchase-here/

Here is the link to my new Patreon page
https://www.patreon.com/BealtaineCottage

Here is where you can send a donation via PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/BealtaineCottage

Some links for you to use should you wish to comment on any of the videos on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…

The Website…

https://bealtainecottage.com/

The Goddess Gardens…
https://www.facebook.com/GoddessGardens/

Twitter…

https://www.youtube.com/user/BealtaineCottage

Midsummer and the Earth is Singing

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The back door of the cottage lies open.

IMG_2240Outside the birdsong carries vibrant energy over the land.

IMG_2233On this, the longest day of the year, the Earth in the northern hemisphere basks in the glow of seemingly eternal light.

IMG_2221The shades of green seem endless, a patchwork of effervescence with splashes of outrageous colour.

 

Ox-Eye Daisy and Feverfew compete in the borders of the Lughnasadh Garden.

IMG_2225As fast as flowers open they turn to seed and the future summers to come.

 

Bees are everywhere, feasting and dancing through their very own garden of abundance and delight.

IMG_2220The hard work of the winter, creating the Lughnasadh Garden, has paid such rewards as could only have been imagined.

IMG_2215Midsummer marks the year in glorious technicolour and song, as befits Mother Earth. It’s like a birthday for her!

IMG_2187I have run out of space on this land…there is little room for more…yet more grows and arrives as gifts.

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I will be hosting another workshop on July 1st.

IMG_2208The workshop on July 1st covers aspects of co-creating a garden with Mother Earth, creating micro-climates, incorporating fruit and vegetables and the no-dig method of establishing, building and maintaining a regenerative Eden.

IMG_2205 Aspects of seed saving will be part of the day.
IMG_2171A full walk and talk of the gardens will also be included.
IMG_2203You are welcome to take photographs and ask all the questions you may want.
IMG_2200Please allow for the weather in your outdoor clothing considerations…and footwear.
IMG_2199The day begins at 11am and finishes at 5pm.
IMG_2191Morning and afternoon tea and vegan cakes are included.
IMG_2196A vegan lunch, also included, is served at 1.30pm.
Spring water is provided.
The cost is 75 euros.

Please email Colette to check availability as two places are already taken.

IMG_2185As of this posting there are two spaces left.

I will update when all places are filled.

This is the button to use for payment once your place is confirmed.

 

 

If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, there are two ways you can do just that…

Here is the link to my new Patreon page
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=6605173

Here is where you can send a donation via PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com
coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

 

 

 

Like Noah

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no
difference what people
think of you.

Rumi

IMG_0387Another five days.

IMG_0385Bealtaine.

IMG_0386The beginning of Summer.

IMG_0388This Bealtaine is the celebration of thirteen years of the Bealtaine project.

IMG_0384A project once considered the silly dream of a ridiculous woman.

IMG_0383Against all financial advice it was conceived and against all horticultural wisdom it was planned.

IMG_0382Planned, planted and grown!IMG_0381

The Bealtaine Project is now complete.

IMG_0389This land is both resilient and regenerative…it can grow abundance without me.

IMG_0390I am now free to observe and delight, potter and sit, all the while simply ensuring the gentle maintenance of the edges and paths, free to harvest and raise plants for the Potager Beds which provide some of my food and much of my pleasure.

IMG_0391I have embarked on writing my second book, happy with the good reception of the first, “A Cottage and Three Acres.”

IMG_0392I recently read this quote by W. H. Murray and found it to be true to my experience at Bealtaine Cottage over the past thirteen years…

IMG_0393“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. “

W. H. Murray 

IMG_0394Wise words…live your life!

IMG_0396Click here to purchase the book… “A Cottage and Three Acres…One Woman’s Return to Ireland in Her Quest for Eden.”