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 Abundance, Autumn, Birds, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Wildlife, Woodland

Permaculture Cottage ~ A Walk on the Wild Side

Ivy loops and twirls around the trees in the Fairy Dell woodland. Ivy that feeds the birds in the depths of midwinter. Ivy that shelters the pheasant in the heat of midsummer. Strong, natural and wild…

Ivy and Lichens, so perfect in the gardens at Bealtaine that it can only be the hand of Nature…no gardener can create this perfection…

Another sacred part of the land at this permaculture smallholding…a small field of Devil’s-bit Scabious, the natural habitat of the rare Marsh Fritillary Butterfly. Nature working her pure magic and being encouraged at every turn!

Now is the time to plant Willow. This is something which is easy to do and will serve the eco-system around you well. So many insects, birds and bees depend on this plant. Simply cut a wand of Willow and push it into the ground as far as you can…about 1-2feet will do! Manure it well and it will grow fast and strong! Some people surround it with plastic to stop weeds and grass, but, personally I do not approve of this as the earth under plastic is not beneficial to wildlife and anyway, the Willow will soon shade out any unwanted weeds!

Cotoneaster…planted, but soon takes on the mantle of wildness and becomes a feeding station for birds and insects alike!

Posted in Abundance, Eco-Living, Garden, Gardening, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Passionate Gardeners and Outdoor Living

Passionate and gardening are two words that seem to fit seemlessly together.

There were three visitors to Bealtaine this morning and as walking around became enthused to talk of their own gardens! One had brought a photo album to show me…and it was well worth a look, as there were shots taken from just about every angle of her small garden in Dublin. it reminded me of a garden I once tended in London. It was an old garden, created when the house was first built around 1795, so the porportions were conducive to the size of the house…a Georgian Artisan Cottage.

We all had tea on the veranda, deciding that the outdoors was where it was at!

When I lived in London it became a Saturday ritual to go to the local park and the Teahouse therein for an early morning coffee…just to be outdoors! Summer and Winter alike, the same glorious ritual applied and more often than not it was shared with friends and family.

It is always the little cafe or teashop I go in search of…the big franchise, multi-national , always the same, just does NOT do it for me…!

Trying to control nature is not an aspect of personality of the passionate gardener…well, not that I have found! Valerian has found its own way up by the side of the tool-shed and there it will continue! Putting down a mulch or a sheet to stop growth of weeds is as much control as I have it in me to exercise…apologetically I may add…

Mulching around a garden sculpture, (home-made), using freshly shredded waste…

And mulch will keep the no-dig beds looking neat and work-free!

Some of the new beds this morning…mulched paths in between work really well and cost zero to make!