Nasturtiums, Lobelia, Petunia, Sweet William, Perlagonium, Valerian and Night Scented Stock are jostling for space near the back door.
Abundance reigns supreme in the gardens, as seen here in these lovely old-fashioned roses that lead the way up to the new orchard.
This is a strange bee with a black bottom half.
These beds are very abundant and productive, considering the shallow depth and intensive planting…the weather is promised good for tomorrow!
This cable table has sat in the garden for eight years…great garden furniture for free!
Sunflowers and lots of seeds getting ready for harvesting in the tunnel in these Potager raised beds.
Friday evening at Bealtaine…the rocket stove is boiling the kettle for another pot of tea…could it get any better?
Would this be equal to a few solar panels?
A May morning at Bealtaine Cottage.
Looking through the front door, the sky is grey, but the trees are all greening up!
The roses on the veranda are ready to burst into bloom quite soon!
Arabica floods the stone walls of the Angel planter and Poppies are still bulbous eggs waiting to open near the Buddleia.
Colour is just waiting to spring forth!
These are the Tulips this morning at the back of the cottage under one of the Beech trees.
The early morning rain sits atop the still closed petals.
The drive-way up to the cottage is filling out with greens, reds and whites as the trees take on their new mantles of summer cover.
Parsley and peas growing in one of the raised Potager beds at the back of the cottage this morning.
You can see the shreddings and seaweed!
I recently moved the garden table and chairs to this sheltered little spot near one of the Potager raised beds…near enough to the back door to nip out with my tea!
Lots of Honesty, (Lunaria), in bloom this morning under the shelter of the Laurel arch.
Crocosmia, Columbine and Geranium are growing up alongside.
These little rockery flowers have blossomed in this earth pot for years now.
They sit atop an old iron fireplace filled with shamrock and watched over by Buddha.
Despite the problems with weather and lack of sunshine, this is turning out to be one of the best years on record for the harvest at Bealtaine Cottage.
Continual adaptation to climate change is paying off, as the Potager Beds have excelled themselves in little over ten weeks since construction and planting.
Designed and built in the truly vernacular style, using stone sourced on site, these beds have been a blessing in production and style.
Blessed with continual warmth and shelter at the back of the cottage, the plants have excelled themselves, doing better than those planted in the tunnel!
The Apple harvest is the best ever, as these trees have brought apples to my table every year since planting.
I have been out this morning and made a video for you to see for yourselves…it is amazing.
Oh, and as a joyous footnote…the Bats are back at Bealtaine Cottage…small and few, I suspect a new colony, but it is a stunning sight to watch at dusk!
Today’s video…just click on the link!
Despite the worst of the weather over the past two months, the raised beds planted out about eight weeks ago are producing abundantly!
Continual rain has not deterred production.
Even the grey skies have not stopped or slowed down growth…could this be anything to do with the stones used in constructing the beds and the white gravel which reflects whatever light there may be?
It certainly is a most unusual micro-climate that has been made here in the west of Ireland.
The beds themselves sit atop gravel, so are really well-drained.
They are lined along the bottom with sheep’s wool, which deters slugs and feeds the plants.
The area is well sheltered and south facing.
No harsh winds manage to invade this micro-climate area as the surrounding trees and bushes offer maximum protection.
Today’s video takes you around what is growing in the two beds.
You can click on the link at the bottom of this blog to access the video on YouTube!
I have plans to build another raised bed in this same area very soon…perhaps this week.
On another note entirely, I went along to the Boot-Sale in Carrick this morning and bought a fine addition to the kitchen, as you can see above, for a mere 20 euros!
Recycling at it’s best!
I am planning to get some hens this week and my dear friends Anne and Simon have offered me a fine cockerel to chaperone the girls.
I am making a sign to hang at the end of the lane…it will read, “Eggs For Swap” as swapping is much more beneficial than money!
I’m thinking, perhaps a bag of logs for some deliciously fresh eggs…or whatever is offered within reason…anyway, it should be much more fun than boring old money!
Do you believe in Fairies?
There are times when the only way I have of explaining the growth of everything here at the permaculture smallholding that is Bealtaine Cottage, is by citing the Fairies as the little workers that sally forth at night, as the sun descends and their Fairy Forts allow them exit…and here’s what I mean…
This bed is less than 3 weeks old, built and planted out on the same weekend…now look at the growth!
Well, it must have been the Fairies, because it wasn’t the chemical companies that most people use to grow food…
Talking of which, I was in Lidyl this morning and they had some lovely Rose Bushes for sale.
I did what I always do, I read the label…and oh, the utter disappointment!
It read that the Rose was licensed and one could not grow cuttings from it!
Not grow cuttings?
That’s like telling me not to drink the Spring water from the well, or breathe the clean air on the mountain!
So, …these are the raised potager beds in the Magical Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage…
Cardboard straight onto the gravel to stop weeds coming through!
And now to show you a little secret…here’s what I use to line the raised beds, sheep’s wool.
It’s referred to as “shoddy,” which is the parts of the fleece of little or no use for spinning.
It is very rich in plant food and even a liquid feed can be made from it.
It will rot down nicely and the roots of plants can bury themselves into the feast of food that is trapped therein! Fairies are fond of beauty and loathe straight lines…none here!
Just one more little bit of information on this beautiful Sunday in the west of Ireland…
You may be wondering why on earth there are pots sitting on the top of the raised beds…well that’s another brainstorm I had…
Cut the bottoms out of pots and plant that on the raised bed, with a plant inserted, so the roots have even more depth!
Have a lovely day and watch out for the Fairies! Earth Spirits are at work everywhere!
My special thanks and blessings to:
and Frederique Llensa
for your wonderful support!
Please consider supporting Bealtaine Cottage
Apples today in the gardens at Bealtaine.
Lots of mulching.
Sheeps wool mulched around base.
Regular feeds of manure tea.
Maximum biodiversity planted around the trees.
Trees well spread out.
Hedges and shrubs to protect from the wind.
In other words, intelligent planting, thought-out and planned along permaculture lines…
Just a few shots of empathy for and with Nature, alongside good, basic common-sense, realising that Nature is poly-cultural and loathes monoculture in any form, so, be diverse!
Plant for maximum biodiversity, with pockets of plants everywhere in your garden…and don’t try to dominate!
Us humans seem to have an innate desire to dominate Nature, an idea supported by so many of the world religions!
Use Local Resources
Raised beds can be made from most materials.
Local is best.
I continue to use some tyres in my gardens, but am replacing them gradually with stone, local stone, as and when I uncover it or come across it.
Wood is good and sustainable.
All my compost heaps are made using old doors, up-cycled to a new use!
Look at what you have as a local and preferably free resource and start using it!
By far the easiest and best way of growing I have ever encountered…this is my template for a great garden.
These are the potatoes this morning, growing mightily on a no-dig potato bed.
Have a look at previous blogs to see how this was started…
Collect and Save Seed!
Fennel in the tunnel this morning, flowering and soon to seed.
Save seed…any seeds and grow them on and share them out and value this above all else that you do, for without seed we have nothing!
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage are welcomed free.
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