An extra long video for you to enjoy Bealtaine eve in the magical gardens of Bealtaine Cottage here in the west of Ireland.
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The year in the garden is now well under way, as Mother Earth awakens in a very visible way…not that she ever slept!
Coltsfoot is one of the first herbs to come into flower, for it flowers before it leafs and a very welcome sight this is!
Bronze fennel, that most vigorous of herbs and also a brilliant addition to the flower garden, starts to produce tasty leaves that can be added to early Spring salads.
Rocket has over-wintered well in the tunnel and forms the base ingredient.
Daffodils are now up and beginning to flower.
Daffodils on the hill above the cottage, around an old abandoned dwelling are in full bloom!
Reminders of Winter come and go, but not for long, sometimes just an hour or two of a light dusting of snow.
Never enough to hold back the advance of the seasons!
But beware the wind chill factor that comes with early Spring and wrap up warm when venturing out to work in the garden!
When the sun does shine, it is truly glorious and plants like Rhubarb spring into exuberant life!
A very hungry plant, Rhubarb eats up a generous dressing of well-rotted manure.
Euphorbia comes into life in the flower garden…here it shares a half barrel with a Fig Tree and both like each other’s company!
In fact, the Fig has fruited well year on year since getting a new bed fellow!
An old but treasured book is always at hand to delve into for advice on seasonal food, gardening and outdoors work!
I wonder if this little gem is still in print?
Beautiful catkins on the Hazel trees…flowers in fact!
The pond is filling with frogspawn and clumps of frogs celebrating the turn in the year as only frogs can!
Out in the hen-house the girls are in touch with the growing of the light as they come back into lay!
Mr and Mrs Fox are hungry and on the prowl! I often lay out food at night for the foxes, for the way I see it is simply this: we have interfered with the food chain by removing the animals that would have predated upon foxes.
This is my way of attempting to live in harmony as best I can…and ensuring that the girls in the henhouse are well protected!
Part Two of THE GARDEN IN FEBRUARY can be found on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…
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As I cut back around the orchard, cuttings are dropped onto the ground around the trees and bushes as a mulch.
The planting continues as more and more flowers and herbs are brought from my small nursery area, a really important part of any permaculture garden or smallholding!
As with all my projects here at Bealtaine, I couldn’t resist using some Willow to effect, constructing a simple arbour that will eventually house a home-made bench, on which to sit and sup a cup of tea!
The plan of maximum planting has worked well all over the land here, building resilience as well as fertility into the land, as a forest does naturally.
There is such a good balance of biodiversity here that flies don’t seem to be a bother…this can be a serious Irish complaint during the summer months!
The idea of planting food trees is taking off here in the west of Ireland.
My local town of Drumshanbo has planted a Community Orchard near the entrance to the town…a great Transition Towns inspiration!
The hens have settled into their new home and are all laying.
Happy clucks and soft singing emanates out from the hen house.
The secure enclosure promises to keep the Fox family away…for I have lost too many of my lovely hens to Mr and Mrs Fox. Inside, the house is spacious and comfortable, with an upstairs and five windows in total!
It is known as a deep litter system, using lots of straw.
This is what happens in Permaculture…surplus is fed back into the system or shared out!
PS: Next month will the my tenth anniversary of Bealtaine Cottage.
Today marks the 700th blog!
The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands…
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