The Evolution of Bealtaine Cottage…a Fifteen Year Odyssey

This is year fifteen of the Bealtaine Project…where has the time gone? Much has happened here on the land and in the cottage since May 2004. However, the real change has happened in the outside world, beyond the boundary hedges of Bealtaine Cottage.

I shall begin with Bealtaine Cottage… The plan in the beginning was to create a garden with hundreds of trees interspersed with paths that would become a symbol of regeneration and hope in a landscape that represented one of the poorest and therefore cheapest places to create. North-facing, thin, poor soil- my first book, ‘A Cottage and Three Acres,’ details the story well.

(And, by the way, the tunnel is fifteen years old with the original plastic covering…nothing special, 6mm and middle price range in case you are interested!)

The plan evolved into a full Permaculture design in the first year, with swales and ponds, drainage and raised beds, fruit and vegetable gardens and so on. Then, as the years progressed and trees began to grow, the energy changed. It became evident to me and those who were following my journey, (online since around 2010), that Bealtaine Cottage and the Project was heading in a different direction, fuelled by a potent and powerful energy!

Permaculture alone seemed complete and static as the trees began to develop and dominate the landscape. I had to give in to the force that was awakening in the Earth below my feet and so, Goddess Permaculture was birthed!

I explain this by way of the word, “innovate.” The tremendous force of energy that was growing around me innovated Goddess Permaculture.

Innovate: To give new form of that which exists.

This force of Nature was a Divine Feminine force of such tremendous power, that it was impossible to resist. Those who have visited Bealtaine Cottage will bear witness to this energy!

I felt drawn towards the story of the Goddess and began to explore the relationship my ancestors had with this powerful Creatrix. Academics like Maria Gimbutas, opened doors into the world of the Goddess and slowly, slowly, the dire situation developing in the outside world began to make sense! We had abandoned our relationship with the Great Goddess, Mother Earth, fuelled by a belief system that was inherently patriarchal and dominating of Mother Earth.

We had developed a totally extractive way of living with Earth…out for all we could extract from Her…greed has overwhelmed everything!

The overwhelming sense of loss began to be replaced with a powerful sense of regeneration and re-birth. My second book, “In Search of the Goddess Rising,” heralded the beginning of my understanding of the Great Awakening!

Yesterday I felt compelled to write a note on social media, expressing something of the dilemma many people feel and are unable or even fearful to articulate…

As we enter the #SixthMassExtinction,

remember this…

We sacrificed our divinity to sky gods, religions, a promised afterlife,

ignoring the sacredness of #MotherEarth

the abundance She creates in joy for us all!

We were taught dominion over Her.

We became #abusers

And so it is.

In order to move forward and embrace great change, it is imperative we accept what we have done. We are all included here…

Arrogance, hubris and ego will be our downfall if we fail to make the radical changes needed to live in peace with Mother Earth!

There is so much more to say, but I am both mentally and physically exhausted at present and am embracing a regeneration for my own health, in the form of a Juice Fast for the next few weeks.

Blessings to you all XXX Colette and Jack

PS: I noticed that my address on the website had been changed…and have no idea why or how this happened! The past two weeks have been rather strange in that I have not received any mail, which led me to check the address!…please check the website as I have corrected the address. please understand that I don’t have the time to respond to personal emails or letters, though read all.

A Home for the Jackdaws

The Jackdaws have up residence in the unused chimney.

A beautiful pair of Jackdaws…here is the male keeping watch, waiting for the female to put the twig, carefully carried to the cave, into place in the nest. He will alert her to my presence!

He’s just spotted me! Now there followed a flapping of wings as both took off together into the cold, clear morning sky. I don’t object to their presence…let all life find sanctuary here at Bealtaine Cottage.
Yes indeed, it is very cold, with a deep cap of snow on Slieve Anierin to prove it.

Blossom on the Blackthorn is abundant this year…the Wild Bees are in their nectar Heaven, with a promise of Sloes to follow in Autumn.
The tunnel is evolving as my own sanctuary, where I can sit and observe the burgeoning life all around me. A place of silent retreat and mindfulness.
The days of clearing up the compost and pots area are almost at an end. The new compost area is now where the hundreds of pots used to be. The compost to the left will be distributed around the gardens where it is needed.
I intend planting out the old compost area with shrubs, to provide both protection from the east winds and colour to lighten the heart!

There remains much work to be done here in the gardens over the coming days and weeks. It is essential I get on with it! I shall leave you with the rest of the photographs I took this morning as I walked around the gardens.

Apple blossom ready to break out.
Blackcurrant blossom near to opening.

An Irish Cottage Garden and Homestead in Spring

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The promise of peaches growing outdoors in the west of Ireland, another Bealtaine Cottage first! Blossom on these home grown trees, grown from seed, is looking good. So far, with only the first month behind us, this has been a remarkable Spring!

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New Bird Boxes have been added to the rich habitat, now in its fifteenth year on these three acres.

IMG_1967The interior of the tunnel has been remodelled  to create a sanctuary in which to enjoy being in the garden, even in very wet weather!

IMG_1678Sanctuaries are much needed in today’s world!

IMG_1965The plastic has been washed inside and out, ready for its fourteenth year!

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IMG_1963The area around the tunnel, which includes compost heaps and potting corner, is now tidy.

IMG_1961Crocosmia is growing into fine clumps of lime green foliage.

IMG_1959Rhubarb doesn’t need forcing in the mild climate enjoyed here in the west of Ireland. IMG_1960Beds have been well mulched and Rhubarb banked up with enriched compost.

IMG_1954Work in the garden never stops, because Mother Earth never sleeps.

Sweet Peas have successfully germinated outdoors in plastic buckets. Many of you have been following this experiment.

IMG_1953IMG_1952There are lots more seeds germinating in this way and I expect them to be stronger and hardier for their experience being outdoors, even through the recent snow!

IMG_1949In between the outdoors work, clothes are hand-washed and hung out to dry in the wind and sporadic sunshine.

IMG_1948IMG_1947Potatoes are arranged to chit, as pots are brought together and prepared for potato planting.

IMG_1955In a home without television, reading is the great entertainment…my book of the moment is all about the incredible life of Vita Sackville-West…a rollicking good read in the form of a wonderful biography by Victoria Glendinning.

IMG_1940And, as always, whenever the weather allows, the back door is thrown open to welcome in the day that’s in it!

Books, Map, Calendar and Bumper Sticker selection…

Bealtaine Cottage Press: 

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

February in the Goddess Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland.

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Work has continued unabated all this week. I managed to get a load of cardboard to begin mulching the problem bed over by the Lughnasadh Garden.

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Here I have laid the aboard and mulched with chipping from the garden shredder and laid another layer of cardboard.

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The progress is fairly rapid, with the exception that all the chipping come from the gardens, so pruning and shredding has to happen in conjunction with the mulching…and that takes quite some time!

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These are the magnificent red dogwoods that I am pruning at the moment…providing lots of mulch.

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The shredder is electric, second hand and the cheapest one on the market. It serves me well, but capacity is limited!

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The Robin keeps me and Jack company as I work.

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All the Laurel pruned last week is now laid as weed-suppressant mulch, as well as small mammal habitat. Goddess permaculture is about ALL LIFE!

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This week has been both cold and wet, so the occasional sunshine is worth photographing…I keep my camera with me as much as possible.

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The days are getting longer, with dark drawing down around 5.30pm.

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The sap is rising in the plants, developing a depth of lovely colour!

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Work in the tunnel continues, as I move from task to task in order to remain enthused with energy…small results are energising!

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I walked down through the gardens this morning and took these photographs.

IMG_1541It was delightful to see the first catkins on the willow.

IMG_1547IMG_1552Heavy rain fell last night, so the pond was gushing!

IMG_1554IMG_1556IMG_1557Back up to the cottage to write this blog and upload some of the photographs. I have heaps more that I may put on a slideshow on YouTube.

Thank you for your continuing support…I will continue to happily share freely.

Blessings X Colette

Re-Setting My Life

IMG_9918The virtual world of social media appears to be taking over much of what people refer to as “life!”

IMG_9920I challenge this assertion, for having spent the past few years on the most virulent form of social media, FaceBook, I have concluded that much of what passes for interaction is little more than soapbox spouting, increasingly dictatorial shouting at others and re-posting stuff!

IMG_9919That is not to say that there are many friends there, but I have made the decision to walk away from it.

IMG_9921To this end I’m no longer posting on the FB platform.

However I have to keep the FB account open in order to keep all the vast amount of material already posted on Bealtaine Cottage and Woodland Sanctuary…closing my account would mean deleting all the material on there!

IMG_9915To elaborate on the above statement I must add that time management for me is a big concern these days, as I am continually trying to catch up with work in the gardens, writing, working around the cottage and somewhere, somewhere, trying desperately hard to have a life of my own in social terms…aspiring to that!

IMG_9914I hope you understand my choices…caught between a rock and a hard place really!

IMG_9911So, it’s back to basics, where it all began…the website here, Twitter (I keep this as a good source of up to date news!) and YouTube.

IMG_9909Bealtaine Cottage on YouTube…
For more daily inspiration and thousands more photographs: Twitter… https://twitter.com/PermaGoddess
You can also enter your key search words into any search engine, followed by Bealtaine Cottage and lots of info will appear!
I am also discontinuing Instagram.
To keep up to date with Bealtaine Cottage please subscribe to the YouTube site and this website, where regular new material will be posted.
Blessings XXX
Colette

Renewal

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Every now and then I feel the need to recharge my batteries.

This is one of those times.

IMG_8690I have, once again, over-stretched myself across social media platforms, as well as working every day in the gardens and continuing to refresh and update the interior of Bealtaine Cottage…and all my own work, unaided.

IMG_8696My main work should be focused on writing, as this is my income, but, more often than not, I allow my energies to flow in too many directions.

IMG_8698So, for the next month, I am away from social media, concentrating my efforts on this website and YouTube channel instead.

IMG_8694All the little finishing tasks that are outstanding in the cottage will, hopefully, get finished!

IMG_8681I managed to finally hand-sew the curtain for underneath the worktop in the kitchen and hang it.

IMG_8702This week has been spent working in the Lughnasadh Garden and tidying up around the upper woodland.

IMG_8700I even managed a trip into town and to the market…not often enough I think, for I do need to get out more as I am becoming too much of a recluse!

IMG_8707Of course it is hard to leave  Bealtaine Cottage at present as the colours of Autumn are simply divine!

IMG_8711Often times I feel there is a constant pull from FaceBook and Twitter, but then this is the clever way both are set up…to keep drawing one back!

IMG_8708This website is my first love and will remain so, above all other aspects of the internet, for it is where so many discovered Bealtaine Cottage and fell in love with this land as I have done.

IMG_8712It is where I found community and support. It is also a safe place to post all my photographic work, on this website which hosts thousands of images of Bealtaine Cottage and Woodland Sanctuary.

IMG_8714It is a labour of love and devotion to Mother Earth, for sometimes I am at the computer for over an hour just uploading the images to the website…I don’t have internet, just a hotspot on my phone!

IMG_8715Much of social media is so fast-flowing that images get drowned in the tide of ‘stuff!’

IMG_8716All of the images I capture on camera add up to a tiny fraction of what I want to photograph.

IMG_8727These are then sifted down to what I upload onto this website.

IMG_8732I am on a daily quest to present the beauty of Mother Earth here at Bealtaine Cottage to the world.

IMG_8717IMG_8719IMG_8720IMG_8731So, for the next twenty eight days or so, a lunar month, I shall be posting here on my website and YouTube.

Touching base can be such a relief!

Mabon Moon

Much of the day has been spent in the garden, working, head down, cutting back and meditating as I chop and drop. It’s been a long day and tiredness has forced me indoors. This is the first day of a seven day Juice Fast and, as always, my energy levels are high. Working hard enables me to sleep deeply and restoratively.

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There is something incredibly magical about working in the garden during Autumn. It is the scents arising from the earth that trigger memories and feelings. Then the hot tea, so well earned after hours of work.

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There is also the light that seeps into the trees and plants during Autumn. I stood outside last night and watched the full moon shine like a bright lamp onto the trees. This was a Mabon Moon, special, magical, conjuring otherworldliness among the woods that now surround the cottage.

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And the colours…oh, the colours!

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The Stone Circle seemed a fitting place to sit and drink my tea…there is an enchantment within…

 

…and without.

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Indoors there are some of the most magical photographs I have ever seen, framed and ready to hang on the walls. I am pondering the best way to exhibit them. This is all the work of Beth Trepper. I made a video of her work at the Clifden Arts Festival…you may have seen it on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…

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Calendars continue to be available…the link is at the top of this page.

Blessings to all XXX

Colette

Return

IMG_8473The evening has drawn in without my noticing, a sure sign of Autumn quickening towards Samhain.

IMG_8474I have walked the woodland gardens this evening and made a video.

IMG_8471It’s so much easier to upload videos with my new laptop now that both phone and laptop are compatible.

IMG_8460I have missed the regular writing I do here on the website and was pondering on what to do in order to make the time for this?

IMG_8457This website was my very first and enduring foray into the world outside of Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_8456I have decided to make this website a priority above FaceBook and Twitter…those who want to will find and subscribe here.

IMG_8452I may even get back to a daily journal of sorts…we shall see!

IMG_8454There are stories to be told and pictures to share…

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You may have noticed the change of title at the top of the website…this is because Bealtaine has evolved and is very determined to be a woodland…She was always wilful!

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Link to the calendar is at the top of the page…

2019 Calendar Now Available

The Woodland Cottage

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It is Lughnasadh, the last great festival of the Celtic Calendar!

IMG_7974The year is tipping towards an end as Samhain marks the beginning of the new year… IMG_7971There has been much change here at Bealtaine Cottage as the canopy of trees has merged to form what is now truly a woodland.

IMG_7977This evolution has happened at just the right moment in time as we have witnessed a terrifyingly hot summer and drought…the woodland gardens have come through the worst unscathed…no loss on anything!

IMG_7966Beauty now lies between the stones of the great circle. I have flowers to plant here and many, many happy memories of this visiting soul who decided to spend time with us here at Bealtaine.

IMG_7976And so the wheel turns…

Jack is happy I am home from London and SammyBear sleeps on my bed. I wonder the woodland gardens able to breath once more!

For much of my time away I was very aware of my shallow breathing.

Indeed my face looked older and more stressed.

I am happiest here keeping care of this sacred place.

IMG_7960Much of my holiday was spent walking, something I love about being in the city!

To walk and be able to peer into other’s lives, through windows that are close enough to touch in the winding streets of North London.

I continued on my Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle while on holiday and was two pounds lighter upon my return home!

There are many more Vegan eateries and it was much easier to eat this way.

IMG_7980IMG_7990Rain had fallen in my absence and the Spring Well was refreshed enough to send water to the cottage down the hill…the tank in the loft is now full and filling!

IMG_7987IMG_7983IMG_7995I expected to see much more leaf drop, but as you can see for yourself here in these photos, the trees have come through unscathed!

IMG_7997The forecast for Autumn seems very much as it should be and may prove to be quite a spectacular colour show!

IMG_7999This website is now approaching two million views…wonderful to imagine all those who have stopped by and perhaps taken a little inspiration into their lives, shaking off the old paradigm of what a garden should be…

IMG_7998The gardens at Bealtaine are all dedicated to the Great Mother and thus are charged with her energy.

IMG_8008IMG_8009IMG_8012IMG_8016The energy of earth is healing, both of herself and all her life upon.

IMG_8039As I walked with Jack around the cottage I was stopped in my tracks by this image…that of a woodland cottage, for this year has seen the manifestation of my heart’s desire from fourteen years ago, that of a cottage in the woods.

One has an idea of scale when seen against the car…

IMG_8025IMG_8019IMG_8018IMG_8028Butterflies were out in force today, in time for the sweet flowers of the Buddleia!

IMG_8022IMG_8030I uploaded a video shot this morning showing some of the Butterflies feasting on the flowers!

IMG_8032I want to say a special “Thanks and Blessings,” to all of you who sent condolences for Beauty…such kindness and compassion, Bless you XXX

IMG_8042IMG_8041IMG_8034IMG_8031There is the beautiful month of Lughnasadh to enjoy and appreciate the changes as summer merges into Autumn.

The special offer on the books continues and prices INCLUDE postage WORLDWIDE

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€27.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €36.00 but can be purchased together for for €32.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€32.00

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€12.00

For more info on Bealtaine Books…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/