Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Climate, Cottage, Garden, Gardens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Winter

Magical Midwinter at the Cottage

Freezing fog surrounds Bealtaine Cottage.

Despite the cold, part of the day has been spent outdoors, tree-planting and dog walking.

Missy decided to remain indoors.

She has gotten rather snuffly again as she struggles with her condition.

She craves the warmth and sleeps a lot, bless her!

Once outside, adjusted to the cold with lots of layers, it’s a pleasant day with that magical midwinter light, as the sun travels low on the horizon.

You can see that the fog has partially lifted, though remains in the valley below, hugging the village of Keadue.

Lots of mixed and informal planting gives the gardens a colour and form all the year round, as you can see from today’s picture.

That’s Pyracantha in the foreground, with Buddleia and Copper Beech, Box and Bamboo, all vying for a space and standing up to the wind from the west!

Part of today was spent in hard graft…cutting back some of the Laurel Arch  on the path that leads from the cottage to the polytunnel and soft fruit gardens.

Winter is a busy time, as one attempts to keep on top of the crazy growth here in the west of Ireland.

The top needs to be cut back, but I shall leave that to another day!

However, look what was on the inside…a beautiful birds nest…so I walked quietly away!

My excuse to retreat indoors and make a big pot of tea!

Posted in Autumn, Country Living, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Thoughts

A Special Delivery from the Postman!

My postman, Tom Benson, was clearing out the cowsheds on his farm in Keadue and kindly offered me an absolute mound of well-rotted cow manure, one of the best additions to the permaculture gardens at this time of the year.

It will boost the fertility in all areas of the land, especially the fruit and vegetable gardens.

The harvest next year will be a good one, for sure!

Spreading it on the earth before the soil cools is also a way of letting it get in around roots before the next growing season.

Never mind diamonds…this is a permaculture girl’s best friend!

And on the subject of diamonds…here’s my little Pumpkin Mouser Missy, sitting beside the pumpkins on the veranda.

These will soon be ready to bring into the pantry and store for the winter, ready for pies, soups and curries.

Grown only on home-made compost, these cabbages continue to develop good firm hearts, ideal for saukeraut and freezing.

The autumn is continuing to be a fair season, dry and mild.

Time to tidy sheds and treat all outside wood with a preservative.

Last night was a full moon and the land was illuminated beautifully.

Tonight promises the same.

I do so love the autumn!

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Butterflies, Cats, celebrations, Country Living, Dogs, Gardens, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Roscommon

The Autumn Gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

One of the many apple trees at Bealtaine Cottage, laden with fruit on this glorious September day.

As the nights draw in and the apple harvest swells, we realise Samhain is near.

Autumn is making it’s progress through the beautiful Arigna Mountains and the valley where Keadue nestles near the Castle of Kilronan…a place swathed in mist at this magical time of year.

Walking around the gardens today, I took these pictures to share with you.

Butterflies cover the Buddleia…this is a late flowering one as I planted it out this year, which is lucky for the butterflies as they made a late appearance!

Of course, it wasn’t long before Missy joined me, followed by Flo and Che.

It always feels so nice to walk around the gardens with the little characters who inhabit this sacred space!

Flo is just visible on the other side of the pond, near the standing stone.

She keeps an eye on everyone!

I can only add that we all enjoyed the walk.

 Bealtaine Cottage at Ballyfermoyle, is a beautiful place for sure, but, when the sun shines it is heaven!