Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Garden, Growing Food, hens, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Uncategorized

A Year at Bealtaine Cottage…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Not in any particular order…pictures of the year that was…

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageWith the oven hot enough to bake a cake…my beloved Stanley Stove in the kitchen…

view morning 001Early morning mist sweeps up the valley…

Plum tree at bealtaine cottage permacultureOne of the Plum Trees laden with fruit…

 Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensThe moon rising over the gardens…

mon 27 sep 001Salix Contorta, or Twisted Willow, with Hag-Stones hanging from one of its branches.

Nasturtiums at bealtaine Cottage1Nasturtiums by the veranda.

November 2011 018Back of Bealtaine, near the main production gardens.

November Bealtaine Cottage permaculture pondThe lower pond in the Bog Garden.

December 2011 permaculture cottage 005My darling Missy…gone from this mortal coil, but her energy is felt…

Bealtaine CottageFiring up the Rocket Stove with a bit of an old fence post…wicked heat!

Apple trees in April in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageEarly Spring in the gardens near the tunnel.

washing on the line at Bealtaine CottageWashing in the wind!

Easiest ever compost at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensHome made compost.

Apple trees in blossom at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture orchardApple blossom…a great apple harvest every year without fail!

Permaculture Tunnel at bealtaine CottageThe tunnel in May…seedlings in pots and trays everywhere!

Permaculture Edible gardens of Bealtaine CottageProductive gardens, around the tunnel and herb beds, in May

Hen House at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe Hen house…I will definitely get some more hens in 2014!

Hens at Bealtaine CottageI miss the girls…hens are very relaxing to watch.

Under the kitchen windowBluebells under the kitchen window…I shall post some more tomorrow

Happy New Year to you all XXX and Blessings from Bealtaine.

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Trees, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

Pulling Down the Sky

www.bealtainecottage.com 010There is a gigantic food festival happening all around Bealtaine Cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011The partying has been going on around the clock for a few days now, with most of it taking place in and around this humble little, easy to grow plant…the Nasturtium!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012Bees and Caterpillars are stocking up on the end of season glut, before the first frost descends, as surely it will this week!

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Once the frost comes then the Nasturtiums will die off completely as they appear to melt in the extreme cold!

And, in the meantime, these beautiful Caterpillars eat their way to transformation, as Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies! www.bealtainecottage.com 013The rain has fallen steadily for several days now, filling containers all over the gardens.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015These shallow containers with rims, are essential for bees to drink from, as many die struggling to climb out from water barrels.

They are also quite beautiful, in that they pull the sky into them, creating magical light in dark areas of undergrowth, like here.

www.bealtainecottage.com 024Whether on the ground or, as here, in trees, little areas of water are welcome feeding stations for small wildlife.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021The season moves gently through the trees and shrubs, creating vibrancy of colour here and there.

This Virginia Creeper stays for much of the year, unnoticed, as it spreads its tendrils through the Rose Arch, only to dance out onto the stage as the curtain falls!

www.bealtainecottage.com 023And likewise the Spindle bush…all plain and coy until Autumn gets it drunk on colour!

www.bealtainecottage.com 030The days may be shorter, but they are packing in the entertainment!

Even the Lemon trees are coming up!

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Bealtaine cottage crafts 010Bog Oak Pendants are available from the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop.

Each pendant is hand-crafted from locally sourced Irish Bog Oak, an ancient and profoundly mysterious wood that’s been buried in the Irish peat bogs for thousands of years.

These pendants are made from wood dated as 5,600 years old.

Visit:

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Posted in Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Life, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Perennial Vegetables in a Permaculture Garden

Bealtaine Cottage summer in the permaculture tunnelOne of the interesting aspects of growing food is the continual study of plants and what grows where, how and why. 

Bealtaine Cottage potager beds in permaculture gardenI keep records of all I grow as the seasons progress and notice how the environment changes as trees and shrubs grow taller and more dense each year, creating micro-climates, where it is possible to grow all manner of fruit and vegetables that before seemed almost impossible!

Bealtaine Cottage wheelbarrow to compost heapAlso, the manner in which things grow.

I made a short video today on Purple Sprouting Broccoli, originally planted as an annual vegetable but since has developed into a perennial vegetable…fascinating to record!

Missy and the potager garden Bealtaine Cottage Over recent days I have been cutting back and shredding, spreading the chips on the soil around trees, fruit and vegetables.

I noticed how warm the soil was in certain areas of the garden compared to others.

Missy and the potager garden Bealtaine Cottage I then looked at what was growing, as well as other factors affecting the conditions, including aspect.

Some of the conclusions I reached include facts like, stones create heat.

Dry soil heats faster than wet soil.

Hedgerows are such efficient windbreaks that the air on the shelter side is always a few degrees higher than on the wind side.

The area around a wood pile is always warmer and more fertile.

The list goes on…

Bealtaine Cottage veranda and courtyardAnd as for the perennial vegetables, most have the ability to become perennial, if given the right growing conditions.

Bealtaine Cottage plants and logsSo, the more micro climates you create in your garden, the more possible perennials you will have.

Bealtaine cottage Permaculture GardensAlso, many annuals take on an aspect of perennial if allowed to self-seed, so stop being so tidy!

Bealtaine Cottage verandas and plantsI scattered the seed of Aquilegia once only, some nine years ago, and now have Aquilegia all over the upper gardens.

The same goes for Lunaria, Feverfew and Nasturtium.

bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardens IrelandIf you want a garden of abundance and perennial growth, lay off the Roundup and watch how Nature does it!

Mother always knows best!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

The archives at Bealtaine Cottage blog contain over 500 entries.

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Posted in Country Living, Earth, Ecology, Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

The Gardens after the Rain…

This delight greeted me this morning after all the rain and cold of yesterday…a beautiful poppy grown from seed last year and planted into this new bed in the early spring.

The colours in Nature are sublime and really hard to replicate.

Sometimes when things break there is a way of recycling it and even changing it’s direction.

This is what happened when the mushroom ornament broke.

It then re-started life as a small plant container…in this case a little Nasturtium.

Logs placed on the ground near pots of plants will encourage a good bacteria to develop in the soil under the gravel.

This will be reached as the plant roots exit the pots in search of nourishment.

Redcurrants are plumping out nicely and the harvest looks good.

From one bush, seven years ago, there are now over thirty Redcurrant bushes, all from the mother plant.

Walk with me around the cottage and on into the vegetable and fruit gardens after the rain…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK2GlsXyXTc

Posted in Abundance, Animals, Cats, Country Living, Ecology, Food, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Uncategorized

Beds of Abundance in a Permaculture Garden

Missy manages to climb to the top of the barn and nestle herself into the barley straw…high enough to keep a watchful eye on all!

This is one girl who takes no prisoners…just look at that expression!

A good sprinkling of lettuce seeds and within a few weeks there is more than enough to harvest for weeks to come.

Most people can manage to be self-sufficient in salad for at least half the year!

This is a potager style bed, with Lavender and Thyme nearby.

There are several varieties of lettuce here, in amongst the Nasturtium and Borage.

Sedum and Poppies continue to push their way up through the compost!

Moving compost from last year’s heap over to the new raised vegetable bed today.

A bed of abundance outside the tunnel today.

And here’s the new raised vegetable bed…coming along…

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Earth, Eco-Living, Fairies, Gardening, Herbs, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Tea, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Permaculture Cottage ~ 70,000 Visitors…(now almost 300,000) seek a better way forward.

Potting, planting, protecting and nurturing the future of Earth…the babies of Gaia are secure in the Nursery beds as the storm approaches from the west, with an early winter not far behind…in late October to be expected!

Visitors to this permaculture blog topped 70,000 this week.

Interest in permaculture is booming as the forces that rule and dominate this sacred earth go into a tailspin, driven by their hatred, greed and compelling and overwhelming desire to destroy all that is good and sustainable on Gaia.

More and more people are becoming desirous of finding a way forward which can only be based on sustainability.

Permaculture is the way that has proven itself to be foolproof here at Bealtaine Cottage. Marian, Colin and Marisa, visitors this week, will testify to that!

Sedums this morning, near the tunnel.  It’s hard to believe that these are growing where once only rushes grew…with nothing sprayed, turned, dug, imported, raped or plundered.

The thing is, when you start to trust Nature and treat her as a friend, wonderful things start to happen…that is permaculture for me, in a nutshell!

Oregano growing around the water bins near the tunnel this morning.

The flower heads can be dried and used to make tea which has wonderful anti-bacterial properties.

Good for sore throats!

Ash trees stand tall and heroic all around the borders of Bealtaine…I have more faith and trust in these guardians of Gaia than any standing army!

The pathway into the Fairy Dell, lined on either side by a Willow Fedge…now is the time to create fedges like this, easy to make and cost ZERO…my favourite word as you all know!

PS…since posting this in September 2011, over 295,000 visitors have made their way to Bealtaine Cottage…permaculture is blooming!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Folklore, Frugal Living, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

The Permaculture Daily Photo-Blog from Ireland

Nasturtiums  in bloom this morning. These are the trailing variety and will grow well in poor soil. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible and add a spicy taste to a salad. These are growing from a pot on the veranda.

Swathes of colour dot the driveway to the cottage as the Valerian, Dog Daisy and Dog Rose all come into bloom.
The Dog Rose, Rosa Canina, will go on to produce rosehips that are packed with vitamin C and are good for making syrup that is traditionally fed to babies and toddlers.


Yellow Flag Iris grows by the Lower Pond. This beautiful flower spreads each year, given the right conditions and makes such a brilliant show in late May, early June…I love this naturalized flower.


Willow through Gunnera Manicata…