Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Folklore, Food, Garden, Health, Herbs, Ireland, Organic Garden, Ostara, Tea, Uncategorized

Dried Herbs and Some Uses…

 Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is also known as Common and Wild Marjoram, Greek Oregano and Winter Oregano.

Oregano in flower at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensOregano is a warm and aromatic yet slightly bitter herb in the mint family.

The name is derived from the Greek, meaning “mountain of joy.”

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureOregano can be made into a tea, tincture, and has powerful anti-bacterial properties.

The Oregano I harvest comes complete with flowers, so is especially potent for tea!

Oregano before harvesting at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensSome interesting folklore concerning oregano…

The Greeks and Romans used it for a variety of benefits.

~Among the Greeks, if Marjoram grew on a grave, it augured the happiness of the departed, and among both the Greeks and Romans, it was the custom to crown young couples with Marjoram.

~Oregano corresponds to Venus and air.

~It is an herb of happiness, tranquillity, good luck, well-being, and protection.

Dried oregano from Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens Ireland~Promotes joy, strength, vitality, and added energy.

~Make a Tea or burn as an incense.

~Plant Oregano around your house for protection, and scatter it inside the house to protect it.

~Carry it in a sachet or charm to bring good luck and vitality.

~It is also said to protect and promote psychic dreams when worn on the head during sleep.

~A protective herb with the power to ward off troublesome and meddling individuals, especially those who may wish to interfere with one’s personal financial dealings.

Lavender drying on the back door of my cottage

Dried Lavender is also available.

The use of Lavender goes back into the mists of time…

~Both the Greeks and the Romans had many uses for it, the most popular being for bathing, cooking, as an ingredient in perfume, for well-being, and as an insect repellent.

~English folklore advises a mixture of lavender, mugwort, chamomile, and rose petals to attract sprites, fairies, brownies, and elves.

~Lavender is used in teas, tinctures, and added to baked goods.

~Lavender is an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world.

~Put two handfuls of Lavender Flowers into a square of cheesecloth and tie with a white ribbon.

Use this aromatic “wash-cloth” in place of your usual one.

Dried Rosemary at bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens


Rosemary, or Rosmarinus Officinalis, is also known as Romero, and Dew of the Sea.

Dried Rosemary is also available in 1/2 ounce bags from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Rosemary is most famous for its use in cooking.

Bees love Rosemary!

Burn Rosemary  for a restorative incense.

In place of more costly incense, the ancients used Rosemary in their religious ceremonies.

An old French name for it was Incensier.

I use dried Rosemary in my Wheaten Soda Bread!

It is delicious!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Garden, Growing Food, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Photos from a Permaculture Smallholding

Lavender drying on the back door of my cottage

Certainly one way of keeping the flies out of the cottage here at Bealtaine!

A permaculture floor, using waste tile fragments…Bealtaine Cottage.

Growing lettuce in a tyre at the start of the Bealtaine Project…

Missy in her wild and inquisitive youth!

Dawn at Bealtaine Cottage

The moon over Bealtaine.

Close planting here means no weeds, no chemicals and a permaculture lushness that is at the centre of life here at Bealtaine.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Permaculture Cottage ~ Healing Herbs and Using Them

Oregano, harvested today and drying by the stove in the kitchen.

These are the flowers of the Oregano plant and are excellent for use as tea, once dried and stored. Oregano tea is good for sore throats and for warding off colds.

The thin rays of the sun on the windowledge this afternoon. It is almost autumnal. Indeed there appears to be an early start to Autumn.

Lavender was harvested as well as Oregano today. This is a bunch of lavender hanging from above the window. The scent is wonderful.

English lavender yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes and cosmetics. I use the oil in many ways, including making my own cleaning sprays and dropping some oil onto the stove to freshen the air.   

Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used in hospitals during World War I to disinfect floors and walls. These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products.

According to folk wisdom, lavender has many uses. Infusions of lavender soothe and heal insect bites and burns. Bunches of lavender repel insects. If applied to the temples, lavender oil soothes headaches. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. An infusion of three flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water soothes and relaxes at bedtime. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) heals acne when used diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.

Lavender can have influence on sleep quality and I often use it to aid sleep, by either sprinkling a few drops of oil on my pillow, or slipping some flower or seed heads inside the actual pillowcase. It can help in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.

Looking through the front window of the cottage, out onto the rainy day and the wet trees…always beautiful. Seven years ago there were no trees here, just rough grass and rushes. Nature is abundant and generous when encouraged gently.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Food, Gaia, Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Lough Allen Basin, Permaculture, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage Daily Diary

It’s been a really busy day!  After making the decision to re-design the vegetable garden and move the tyres…and this was several months ago, I finally got my act together to make a start on the work.

The Rhubarb in the first line of tyres had become embedded as they had not been divided for about four years or so…it was time to use brute force!

Stage one complete…next I will manure and mulch heavily while the soil is warm. Straw on the top will suppress weeds and keep the heavy rains from leaching the soil!

I’m doing this now because it is the right time and a good way of expanding the veggie garden!

Although it’s taken me most of the day, I’m glad to have got it done, finally, as there’s nothing worse than putting things off…now that can be ticked off my ‘to-do,’ list! Anyway, it’s been a lovely day for the work, though now have quadruple the freckles on my face that I started the day with!

Peas are growing well and ready for picking. It’s a task in itself just keeping the harvest up tp date on my list of work…still, that’s not a bad complaint really now, is it?

Before I came in for the evening, I picked a big bunch of flowers…Shasta Daisies, Dill and Lavender and it smells as good as it looks!