Posted in Animals, Bees, Cats, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Permaculture, Seeds, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Glimpses of Days to Come

Red maple tree at Bealtaine Cottage

Stormy weather has given way to a sunny evening.

The Red maple has caught the glow, offering glimpses of days to come, for summer seems close at hand.

Rhubarb and Blackcurrants near the herb garden at Bealtaine CottageThe spring has lingered and time seems out of step with expectation.

One day it’s flooding and the next there’s a hurricane blowing!

I heard someone say to expect frost at night this week…I hope not, as I’ve planted a lot of seedlings out!

Grapevine in the polytunnelThe tunnel has escaped the ravages of the crazy weather and the Grapevine is coming into leaf.

Herb RobertHerb Robert carpets the ground underneath the vine.

This is a perfect ground-cover, as the root system is very delicate and shallow, so doesn’t take much from the earth.

Sammy-BearI caught the boys in here sunbathing in the warmth and out of the wind…

The cats at Bealtaine CottageThey are inseparable! Che-Mousey follows Sammy-Bear everywhere.

He was very lonely before Sammy-Bear joined us…

Lunaria at Bealtaine CottageThe plan is to save masses of seed this year and already the Lunaria is developing tiny seed-heads.

If you look closely, you can see the seed-heads and a beautiful bee doing her work!

These will expand to become “Moon-Pennies”

Lunaria in flower at Bealtaine CottageThe lovely thing about Lunaria is that once you introduce it into your garden it will spread year upon year…it is a most generous flower and so loved by bees.

This is Lunaria growing by the laurel arch today.

The heavenly scent is trapped in the archway and makes a visit to the herb garden and tunnel a joy!

Valerian, Columbine and BuddhaValerian and Columbine have the same generous, spreading habit and all beloved by the bees…

Both are growing freely by Buddha…neither one planted, but self-seeded in the gravel.

Apple blossom at Bealtaine CottageThe Apple blossom has opened fully today.

It’s 8pm as I finish writing and the sky outside the window by the desk is a perfect summer blue, making it hard to believe that frost lies ahead!

Important! Message from Terri:

 On Saturday 25th May, there will be a March against Monsanto in Dublin starting at 2.30p.m in the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square.

Come along and add your support.

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 102 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Country Living, Ecology, Folklore, Garden, Herbs, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Bealtaine Eve in Ireland

It is the eve of Bealtaine at Bealtaine Cottage and so I am celebrating 8 years of permaculture here at the cottage!  Summer is upon us once again and the Earth is busy producing the harvest of the coming season… The flowers of the Chives have already made an appearance and these are just so gorgeous in salads. Chives is also very easy to grow, forming lovely clumps as above and producing edible leaves and flowers that replace the traditional Spring Onion for me!

Yesterday afternoon was spent cutting the grass, regarded as a harvest and used in compost and as mulching. The by product of all this harvest is neat grass paths upon which to walk!

Lots of beautiful “weeds,” …what do you think? Here is today’s video…focusing on the woodland and what grows down there!

Click on the link to watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYqQaxZLPl0

Posted in Food, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, Organic Garden, Roscommon, Sligo, Uncategorized

Permaculture Notes from Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium ), a member of the sunflower family, has been used for centuries in European folk medicine.

This sweet smelling flower is commonly associated as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers.

The name Feverfew is derived from the Latin word for fever…febrifugia, meaning, fever reducer!

It grows really easily from seed, self-seeding all over the gravel here at Bealtaine Cottage.

This is growing in a pot near the back door of the house, on the southern side.

These are rambling roses, climbing and pushing their way across a willow arch I made to help support them last year.

Roses are best known as ornamental plants grown for their flowers in the garden.

There are several different varieties here, though I don’t really know the names, as I have grown them from slips, mostly purloined from other gardens!

Roses are  used for commercial perfumery and commercial cut flower crops.

Some are used as landscape plants and for hedging.

Although Roses have minor medicinal uses, the fruits, or Rose-hips tell a different story altogether, most famous for the syrup made from them and fed to babies!

This is a little apple tree bought by my mother and planted into a quiet little spot on the land behind the cottage.

The apple is from the species, Malus domestica, in the rose family (Rosaceae).

It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits.

The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, the Alma, is still found today.

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples.

Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock.

This particular cultivar is a miniature apple tree.

At least 55 million tonnes of apples are grown worldwide, annually. China produces about 35% of this total.

The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 7.5% of world production.

Iran is third, followed by Turkey, Russia, Italy and India.

Plants in pots and tubs at the back of the cottage today.

I noticed the birds coming down to feed on the flowers of the pansies.

The red and pink plant at the front is the little plant, Herb Robert.

Another rose growing here at Bealtaine…

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Herbs, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Sunny Permaculture Gardens at Bealtaine…June 1st.

Alder logs ready to be stacked in the barn and seasoned! Such a beautiful colour and such a fast- growing wood.

Spirea, ‘Bridal wreath,’…so-named for its arching habit which would make wreaths easily…beautiful in a bouquet too!

Calendula in the tunnel earlier today. Such a lovely, orangey scent from both the flowers and the foliage!

This gorgeous little Herb Robert is everywhere this year…conditions must be perfect for it!

Willow paths leading under willow arches that lead to other places in the garden…and yes…it was sunny for most of the day!

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.

Bealtaine Cottage

The land is packed with magic indeed.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture

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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