Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, biodiversity, Birds, Cats, Edible Gardens, Garden, hens, Herbs, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding

New Permaculture Orchard

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 007Last year I planted a new orchard at Bealtaine Cottage.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 008To date there are thirty eight fruit trees planted across the three acres of land here.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 012This new orchard was planted on an area previously fenced off and used for hens over a period of years.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 009This is always a good start, as the land was prepared by the hens in terms of manuring and picking over.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 010Before the trees were planted I laid down a generous spread of seaweed and covered this with cardboard, to hold back the weeds for a year or so.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 013Over the morning I have been planting yet more layers into the orchard, mainly flowers and herbs to attract and feed the bees…my secret of abundant harvests; where would we be without the bees?

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 014The next phase will include planting a bee-friendly hedge along the south edge of the area.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 015I planted Fuschia and Berberis, Dogwood and Rubus along the north edge.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 016As I cut back around the orchard, cuttings are dropped onto the ground around the trees and bushes as a mulch.
permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 021The planting continues as more and more flowers and herbs are brought from my small nursery area, a really important part of any permaculture garden or smallholding! 

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 019As with all my projects here at Bealtaine, I couldn’t resist using some Willow to effect, constructing a simple arbour that will eventually house a home-made bench, on which to sit and sup a cup of tea!
permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 024The plan of maximum planting has worked well all over the land here, building resilience as well as fertility into the land, as a forest does naturally.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 002The days have been warm and sunny, with the back door open all day long.

There is such a good balance of biodiversity here that flies don’t seem to be a bother…this can be a serious Irish complaint during the summer months!

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 003I pulled the sofa chair over to the open door as I find the soft sounds of life in the gardens very soothing.

permaculture orchard at bealtainecottage.com 001Sammy does too!

The idea of planting food trees is taking off here in the west of Ireland.

My local town of Drumshanbo has planted a Community Orchard near the entrance to the town…a great Transition Towns inspiration!

 

Posted in Abundance, Bees, compost, Food, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Recycling, Trees

Orchards and Thunderstorms

New orchard at Bealtaine Cottage

An update on the new orchard at Bealtaine Cottage…the mulch is holding well and the little fruit trees are all bearing leaves and a little blossom too!

The ground beneath the mulching is layered with seaweed.

new orchard at Bealtaine CottageA new path has been created using shreddings from the garden waste and stones dug out from the ground.

A membrane for the path has been cut from builders material, that was on it’s way to a landfill, before I hi-jacked it!

Blackcurrant bushes are ready to be planted underneath the trees and flowers beneath those.

Barn and Potager at Bealtaine CottageThe main drive is to ensure succession planting for the bees.

If this is put into place, then all will be abundant and fruitful!

Meanwhile other work is under-way…re-planting the Potager beds and spreading compost.

About to open at Bealtaine Cottage
About to open at Bealtaine Cottage

Perennial poppies are about to open…these are red and white flowers and quite unusual.

And all this despite the early summer thunderstorms and incessant rain!

Wind Spiral on Willow arch in the permaculture gardens today
Wind Spiral on Willow arch in the permaculture gardens today

Geranium , Bamboo and Willow holds back the Ground Elder…there seems little point in trying to get rid of it as planting equally insistent plants appears to hold it in check!

Yellow Dogwood in the evening sun at Bealtaine Cottage
Yellow Dogwood in the evening sun at Bealtaine Cottage

The evening sun illuminates the gardens and all is still…the prelude to further thunder storms apparently!

Cotoneaster caught in the glare of the evening sun in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage
Cotoneaster caught in the glare of the evening sun in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sunshine!

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Cats, Eco-Living, Garden, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Permaculture, Trees

Friday at Bealtaine Cottage.

Friday at Bealtaine Cottage, featuring Missy and Flo…

Click and watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvA7AONAaNc&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plcp

(click on the speech bubble on the video to see Flo on her own video!)

Posted in Country Living, Eco-Living, Garden, Lifestyle, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Spring Wells and Straw Paths

Up early this morning and climbed the hill at the back of Bealtaine Cottage to visit the well.
It’s a spring well and feeds water to the cottage via simple gravity…the well being further up the hill than the cottage!
Over the past week or so the water in the pipe has occasionally stopped flowing and this usually means an airlock…so I brought a water can with me to force water down the pipe and release the airlock…it worked!

The morning was sunny and windy, so I made the most of the day that was in it and hung the clothes out to dry…hand-washed in the rain barrel!

The water is flowing in a trickle and building up enough pressure in the pipe to get it flowing into the tank in the loft…I can now light the stove!

Another task completed in the vegetable garden…spreading straw on the path around the tunnel…this proves to be very effective at stopping the rampant growth of weeds over the course of the summer.

As this decays, it will be spread on the vegetable beds at the beginning of autumn, making a good top dressing for insulation over the winter months.

One of the Pear trees in the orchard…covered in blossom that promises a good harvest and a possible vintage Pear Wine.
The bees are out in full around the Ribes and are moving onto the fruit blossom, with the Pear and Cherry trees all showing off! These are the first fruit trees to come into bloom here each year.

More blossom on the Amelanchier trees…I planted all the trees over the past 7 years or so and am always amazed at the vigour each spring…they seem to suddenly shoot up and start to tower overhead. Some of the trees in this picture are Lime trees.

One of these days Bealtaine Cottage will disappear…

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Culture, Earth, Ecology, Fairies, Gaia, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spirituality, Sustainable Living, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Spring Wells, Wisdom and the Hopi Indians…

First of all a BIG TA VERY MUCH for all who have visited my blog over the past year. I began in the middle of August 2010 and in little over a year, 70,000 of you have made the journey to Bealtaine Cottage at Ballyfermoyle, here in the beautiful West of Ireland…well, actually, a very great many of you have visited many times over and subscribed to the blog.  Hopefully in the next year the blog will expand even more in some exciting ways…ssshhh, it’s still a secret!

Fuschia and Fedges grow side by side. Both are grown from slips or cuttings. It will soon be time to harvest the willow and plant more cuttings, which is really the story of these gardens. Planting has been ongoing now for seven years, since day one of Bealtaine…

So much rain and so much water gushing along the stream beds in the Bog Garden…the rain brings music!

Walking up towards the woodland that is the Fairy Dell, through new plantings of Willow and Ash…

Spring water gushes up from the well in the woodland.

Deep within the Fairy Dell…has midsummer really passed that quickly?

Perfect apples…never ever sprayed, no chemicals and a bountiful harvest every year!

The Wisdom of the Hopi Indians…something to share with you, just click on the link…http://youtu.be/zNlNUJcEcoY

Have a great weekend! Plant a tree for the Mother…Gaia… x

Posted in Abundance, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage Daily ~ The Sunday Supplement

Apples

The windfalls have been collected and stacked in buckets in the kitchen, awaiting apple pies and jellies and maybe more, but I’m too lazy to give it much thought today, Sunday.

And apples of a different hue and a much different taste.

Twelve apple trees planted thus far and still nowhere near enough!

Ireland continues to import most of it’s eating apples and they’re quite tasteless!

Roses on the arch between the orchards have bloomed all summer long.

The newly divided rhubarb is thriving in the bigger space.

Comfrey, Rosa Rugosa, Purple Beech, Willow, Hebes, Sedge and Laurel all crowd together happily!

Sunday!

Fukushima…

This continues to concern me.

Dr Helen Caldicott is worth a watch…

http://youtu.be/4ITrXVJMKeQ

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Eco-Living, Frugal Living, Gardening, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Friday Photographs from the Smallholding

Leaving the tunnel and walking towards one of the orchards. Crocosmia to the right with water barrels. Oregano growing on the left, just outside the door of the tunnel.

Blackthorn trees on the edge of the woodland near the tunnel. These are now heavy with Sloes, ripe for picking after the first frost…then making Sloe Gin, for Christmas!

Looking back at the tunnel and the Blackthorn trees.

And a little later in the morning as the rain fell.

Willow, cut recently and stored in the Willow Hide.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Country Living, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

From Monoculture to Permaculture…Beyond Organic in Ireland!

From monoculture grass and cows to Pear blossom on an April evening…Permaculture.

Where once was a field covered in grass and rushes, there is now an orchard and…permaculture.

Blackthorn blossom through the arch…

The barbed wire that once bordered this area by the cottage is gone, replaced with a new border…of plants and trees…permaculture!

And permaculture paths where you have to duck to avoid the swooping birds…