The Evolution of Bealtaine Cottage…a Fifteen Year Odyssey

I shall begin with Bealtaine Cottage… The plan in the beginning was to create a garden with hundreds of trees interspersed with paths that would become a symbol of regeneration and hope in a landscape that represented one of the poorest and therefore cheapest places to create. North-facing, thin, poor soil- my first book, ‘A Cottage and Three Acres,’ details the story well. (And, by the way, the tunnel is fifteen years old with the original plastic covering…nothing special, 6mm and middle price range in case you are interested!) The plan evolved into a full Permaculture design in the first…

A Home for the Jackdaws

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.

Heart Awakening…

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.” ― John O’Donohue from: A Little Book of Celtic Wisdom Heart Awakening Podcast (audio) We approach the Equinox and the promise of longer days and shorter nights…the dark days are over. The Bealtaine Cottage Press supports The Bealtaine…

An Irish Cottage Garden and Homestead in Spring

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! New Bird Boxes have been added to the rich habitat, now in its fifteenth year on these three acres. The interior of the tunnel has been remodelled  to create a sanctuary in which to enjoy being in the garden, even in very wet weather! Sanctuaries are much needed in today’s world! The plastic has been washed inside and…

February in the Goddess Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

Work has continued unabated all this week. I managed to get a load of cardboard to begin mulching the problem bed over by the Lughnasadh Garden. Here I have laid the aboard and mulched with chipping from the garden shredder and laid another layer of cardboard. The progress is fairly rapid, with the exception that all the chipping come from the gardens, so pruning and shredding has to happen in conjunction with the mulching…and that takes quite some time! These are the magnificent red dogwoods that I am pruning at the moment…providing lots of mulch. The shredder is electric, second…

Christmas Eve in the West of Ireland

There was  a full moon on the Winter Solstice, an unusual event and not occurring in my lifetime again, so, very special to me. As my ancestors before me, I celebrate the Solstice, marking the longest night of the year and with the promise of all that lies ahead… The ritual of fire and feast, music and drink, gathering of family and friends are all important aspects of the Winter Solstice. The youngest member of my little tribe was here, forming a focal point for us all as we gathered to celebrate. She is displaying a love for the natural…

Enchantment on the Last Day of November

There was always understood to be a contract between the people and the land.  This reminder formed the words as I walked the woodland sanctuary, on this last day of November. The leaf-covered earth I walked upon reminded me of that sacred contract, one long since forgotten by humankind. From the sacred well flows the life-giving force of the Otherworld. All the ancient races of the Earth understood this. The contract was broken by those who nurtured a greed for more and more wealth. This continues today and is the reason why Mother Earth has been brought to the edge of…

Thanksgiving Blessings from Ireland

Fourteen years ago at the beginning of the Bealtaine Project, I had no contact with anyone in the US. My perception of American people was very much decided by all things Hollywood and the news broadcasts that informed me of all that was negative. It’s shocking how our view of the world lies in the power of so few! As the years here at Bealtaine Cottage have passed and the great work of planting so many hundreds of trees has changed the land and fortified the future, I have blogged and vlogged the journey to anyone who was interested. In…

Magical Wild Herbs and Other Things

Hawthorn is one of the sacred Ogham trees of Ireland. It goes by the name Huath in Irish,  being the tree that symbolises Bealtaine, the merry month of May! This is also a wonderful, magical herb of abundant medicine. Hawthorn, or whitethorn, is easily identifiable during this time as her creamy blossoms brighten hedgerows, stone walls, fields and sacred sites. Hawthorn is also known as the fairy tree for it is believed, especially a solo tree in a field, that it is a place that fairies would stop to rest (or party!) as they traversed across the land. There was…