An Irish Cottage Garden and Homestead in Spring

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! New Bird Boxes have been added to the rich habitat, now in its fifteenth year on these three acres. The interior of the tunnel has been remodelled  to create a sanctuary in which to enjoy being in the garden, even in very wet weather! Sanctuaries are much needed in today’s world! The plastic has been washed inside and…

Mother

“I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.” ~ Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland Walking through the upper gardens this morning and snapping photographs as I went… As I walked I thought about my Mother, my Grandmother and some of the women who have influenced my life, as Mother’s Day approaches… Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland was certainly one of those women! “The Irish presidential election of 1990 was the tenth held in Ireland and the first to include a female candidate. Independent politician Mary Robinson would go on…

Earth Day at Bealtaine Cottage

Photographs (18 exclusive photos taken today) from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage on EarthDay 2016. Words from the Earth Day network…on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life. We are now entering the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action. In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channelling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with ground-breaking ideas and by the power of our example. And so it begins. Today. Right here and right now. Earth Day is more than just a…

Signs of Spring

Life is stirring. Light shines higher in the morning sky. Thickening buds cast a haze over the land. “But there were certain early days in Casterbridge- days of firmamental exhaustion which followed angry south-westerly tempests-when, if the sun shone, the air was like velvet.” ― Thomas Hardy Colours emerge and birds sing out a joyous, higher note. We are officially in the season of Spring in the West of Ireland and the new energy is tangible, from rising in the morning to the growing lateness of dusk. The temperature seems rather unstable, as you can see evidence of in the…

We Are At War!

The ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign was started at the beginning of World war two, in Britain, The people of Britain were urged to use any spare land to grow vegetables.  Victory gardens were planted everywhere…and I mean everywhere! All land was considered viable for planting, including gardens, lawns, parks, golf clubs and all public spaces even in the City of London, around the Tower of London, for example!  During the height of the war, when food was rationed through scarcity, there were 3.5 million allotments in Britain, producing over a million tonnes of vegetables and it was estimated that in 1944…

G8 Summit of Charlatans

What is happening in our societies is not about austerity. It is not about the economy either. It is about the blatant, criminal misuse and misappropriation of our taxes. Was any government you ever voted for, mandated to give our tax money to banks? Was that the platform that the trustees we elected, in trust, to hold in trust, our state, voted into office? The media keeps talking about our “Economy”, as though it were our lack of work  or effort that caused any of these problems. We are told continually that the past is the past, what’s done is…

Permaculture Brings Hope…before and after images!

It’s been almost nine years since I began planting this smallholding in the west of Ireland. Many of you are familiar with the landscape as it looked then. The picture above shows Bealtaine Cottage after a lot of cutting and clearing, around the time that the planting began. This picture shows the same view today. As you can see, the cottage is obscured…melting into the gardens of intense production. The lonely, abandoned cottage on the first day I saw it. Disappeared into the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage…nine years of planting by one woman and a spade! This picture shows…

Cats in the Sink and Frogs in the Pond!

Missy Cat is being stubborn and uncooperative. Frogs are laying spawn in the pond. The sun is shining and snow is promised. All that’s missing is the Mad March Hare! I’ve been having fun stamping my little cat stamp all over the seed envelopes. As you can see it is a specially made stamp that says “by Bealtaine Cottage.” Lots of you have asked for seed, so I’ve been busy sorting and labelling before posting all over the world! I always dreamt that the magic of this little cottage in the west of Ireland would spread out, like a ripple…

Permaculture Planting at Bealtaine Cottage

Cardboard and seaweed. Copious amounts of both were brought to the cottage last Sunday by two followers of this Permaculture blog, Terri and Lol, now good friends! Living by the Atlantic Ocean in Connemara, access to seaweed was available and, as Terri has a health shop, cardboard was plentiful. Making the journey  all the way from Connemara, with their friend, John, the boot of the car was opened and this incredible valuable material was hauled out. Atlantic shore seaweed, bags of it, along with flattened cardboard, was to be used in the making of a new garden. As with all…