Sammy-Bear couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted in or out.
Previous to this photo I had opened the back door for him twice to go out, whereupon he ran around to the front of the cottage and jumped up on the window sill, as you can see here!
It’s always a strange time when the moon is full.
I’m sure you each have stories about weird happenings at this time!
This May moon has cast it’s brightness over Ireland, presiding over an extraordinary time of growth.
All around the cottage there are flowers opening, plants growing, seemingly overnight and trees now heavy with leaf and blossom.
Where would an Irish cottage garden be without the beautiful and traditional Perlagonium?
And, of course, every cottage garden has a little spot for Succulents…I plant these in terracotta pots and here in this old planter.
They love dry conditions!
Always lots of tasks to complete as in painting the old Buddha, so he may survive another winter!
As in all cottage gardens, famous for their mish-mash of flowers, vegetables fruit and just about everything else, edibles share potager beds with their close relations!
I have had to move many plants from pots and plant them in spaces wherever I can find them.
For, as always now at this time of the year, there is a drought…sometimes prolonged, but dry enough at the best of times!
The nursery bed, essential to a cottage garden, is being cleared fast, with plants going into the long beds down by the road.
Pieris and Poppies…as always, flowers are squashed in beside the most unsuitable bed mates…the Poppy is planted in with Flowering Currant!
And sitting in my chair on the veranda, looking up…the classic cottage garden rose.
The all-forgiving Cottage Garden will tolerate just about everything one wants to “throw out!” Except, of course, I throw little away, favouring a good old re-purpose, as in this old, but very comfy, fireside chair!
And…the beautiful Wisteria…tougher than it looks and essential “cottage garden!”
Nothing pristine here!
No manicured lawn or well-placed fountain or garden ornament…yet everything knows how to behave itself without supervision.
Even Jack…unlike Sammy-Bear!
Oh Jack, you are a little beaut!
Opening my backdoor this morning I see the Fairies have tidied up again!
Ivy loops and twirls around the trees in the Fairy Dell woodland. Ivy that feeds the birds in the depths of midwinter. Ivy that shelters the pheasant in the heat of midsummer. Strong, natural and wild…
Ivy and Lichens, so perfect in the gardens at Bealtaine that it can only be the hand of Nature…no gardener can create this perfection…
Another sacred part of the land at this permaculture smallholding…a small field of Devil’s-bit Scabious, the natural habitat of the rare Marsh Fritillary Butterfly. Nature working her pure magic and being encouraged at every turn!
Now is the time to plant Willow. This is something which is easy to do and will serve the eco-system around you well. So many insects, birds and bees depend on this plant. Simply cut a wand of Willow and push it into the ground as far as you can…about 1-2feet will do! Manure it well and it will grow fast and strong! Some people surround it with plastic to stop weeds and grass, but, personally I do not approve of this as the earth under plastic is not beneficial to wildlife and anyway, the Willow will soon shade out any unwanted weeds!
Cotoneaster…planted, but soon takes on the mantle of wildness and becomes a feeding station for birds and insects alike!
I wear woolly socks on my feet and often need to darn them as they wear thin when I use them instead of slippers!
This little wooden mushroom has a detachable head. It is used in darning holes and threadbare patches, fitting up inside the sock…
All that is needed is some wool and a darning needle…which is a big needle with a big eye to take the wool through.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about all the little holes on the mushroom…Jack had a little taste and chew!
Some interesting facts about wool…Wool ignites at a higher temperature than cotton and some synthetic fibres.
It has lower rate of flame spread, low heat release, low heat of combustion, and does not melt or drip; it forms a char which is insulating and self-extinguishing, and contributes less to toxic gases and smoke than other flooring products, when used in carpets.
This is one of the reasons why I used wool to insulate my loft!
It is also incredibly warm!
Wool is resistant to static electricity, as the moisture retained within the fabric conducts electricity. This is why wool garments are much less likely to spark or cling to the body.
The use of wool car seat covers or carpets reduces the risk of a shock when a person touches a grounded object.
Wool is considered by the medical profession to be hypo-allergenic.
Premature babies are laid upon wool in incubators…it is comforting and natural.
I spin wool from fleece collected locally…spinning is a wonderfully therapeutic and relaxing craft to do.
Wool is a sustainable and natural product to help us live lightly upon the Earth.