Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Fairies, hens, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, New Year, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Woodland

A Year at Bealtaine…part 2

Lime tree walk at Bealtaine Cottage

Nine years of planting trees into barren, north-facing land has now awoken a magical earth, with paths that lead forever among dappled shade.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageAnd every now and then open up into a secret garden…

Plant Sanctuary, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…or two…

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageSome paths get overgrown fast as Nature’s abundance keeps giving.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe thousands of plants all jostle for space…

A Cherry seed grows by an Oak tree at Bealtaine Cottageand are now self-seeding, like this little Cherry tree growing next to an Oak!

Willow arch into the Fairy woodland at Bealtaine CottageWillow arches that lead into the Fairy Wood at Midsummer.

Blossom on a Rowan tree planted in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageThe delicate blossom on the Mountain Ash, also known as the Rowan Tree.

Permaculture Paradise at Bealtaine CottageA place for tea in the garden on long summer days.

Pond at bealtaine cottageThe standing stone by the lower pond in the Bog Garden.

willow archway at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensWillow…

willow arches, dogwood and beechWillow…

crossing the pondAnd more Willow!

bog garden of bealtainePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottagePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottageAnd more paths!

Manifesting the Divine FeminineThe lane-way in Summer, walking down to collect…

The postbox at Bealtaine Cottagethe post!

Water garden in permaculture at Bealtaine CottageThe plants take over as Summer holds sway…

Roses at bealtaine cottageAnd roses outside on the veranda go completely crazy!

Gosh…there’s lots more to share for 2013, so a “Part 3” will be needed!

Happy New Year from Bealtaine XXX

Posted in Abundance, Bees, biodiversity, Celts, Garden, Gardens, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, photography, Seeds, Summer, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

The Magical Garden

Bealtaine Cottage roses

The morning is hot and sultry.

The sky is clear blue.

Ireland basks in heat.

Roses on the verandaRoses on the veranda are making a spectacular show and the delicate scent fills the morning air

Columbine at Bealtaine CottageAs we ascend towards Midsummer plants have suddenly taken off and appear to have grown overnight.

Poppies self seed everywherePoppies have opened all over the gardens, even in the tunnel.

These self seed and come up more intensely year on year.

Herb bed in permaculture garden at Bealtaine CottageHerbs are filling the beds as bees buzz busily overhead.

Stone Circle at Bealtaine CottageThe grass within and around the stone circle has turned to meadow.

Cow Parsley and Ferns by the Stone CircleCow Parsley vies with Ferns for space around the Stone Circle.

Bluebells at Bealtaine CottageBluebells are just visible in the lushness of a June morning in the west of Ireland.

magical stone circle at Bealtaine CottageThere’s a sense of magic in the air around the ancient stones!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Cats, Country Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Health, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Summer, Sustainable Living

Midsummer in an Irish Permaculture Garden

Fruit, flowers and vegetables are all in abundance in the permaculture smallholding of Bealtaine.

Roses are in over-production and some are well on their way to becoming the wonderful, vitamin-C packed hips of harvest for the Autumn.

 Missy continues to direct operations, while listening to the calls of the Pheasant on the hill behind the cottage.

Pumpkin plants are making their way up along bends of Willow, as Peas vie for their territory along the same climbing frames.

All is in full growth and bloom as the day turns into a weekend of stillness and calm after the high winds and heavy rains of previous days!

Today’s video link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_x8EII9J_c

Posted in celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Cottage, Country Living, Current Affairs, Frugal Living, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Summer, Trees, Woodland

Urban Foraging and Accidental Coppicing!

Happy Bealtaine Everyone!

I began the day with a trip to my local town of Carrick-on-Shannon and managed to fit in a spot of urban foraging while I was there!

You see, many of the shops package up their cardboard waste into huge bundles, ready for the waste collection, a service they pay for, by the way!

This kind of waste is excellent for using in both the cottage and on the land.

Using it in the cottage, in the stoves, as an excellent way to start the fire, as the cardboard gives out a brilliant heat!

As a mulch in the garden, especially around newly planted trees as it keeps the weeds and tall grass at bay for a year or more!

This kind of foraging is very practical, as it offsets the cost of the petrol used in the car driving to town…the cardboard in the stove alone saves money that would be spent on firelighters!

When I was building the porch, shown here, I used a lot of recycled cardboard as an insulating material and it works rather well too!

It is also a great, compostable material after using it on the floors on particularly wet days…muddy feet and wet paws!

The video today is about Roses and coppicing…accidental coppicing!

Click on the link below and enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gr-SI2_V7Y&feature=plcp

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 Autumn, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Permaculture at the Cottage.

SWEET JOE PYE

A perennial, growing near the apple tree pictured in previous blog, it grows tall and flowers quite soon as you can see.  Otherwise known in Latin as Eutrochium Purpureum is a clump forming plant. it can grow to 2 metres high…wow, indeed it does too! The leaves grow to 30 cm (12 in) long and have a somewhat wrinkled texture. Plants  attract a lot of activity from insects that feed on the nectar produced by the flowers.

Mulching

This clump grows well beneath the Copper Beech tree and wedged between it and the Apple tree. I recently mulched around the area with cardboard and straw in oreder to clear some ground for planting out this Autumn.

I once spent Autumn in Toronto in Canada and that was definitely the most gloriously colourful place ever for that season…it took my breath away!

Roses and Willow

Roses, Willow and Copper Beech…some of my favourite plants. I must take lots of cuttings this Autumn and grow these Roses on! I took some last year and they all did well!

Planting Together

Why is it that plants like to be together? They obviously thrive well like this! Perhaps they are aware that they are not alone…

The Butterfly Bush

The white Buddleia near the Barn is coming into bloom. Soon the Butterflies will be around and about!

Posted in Beltane, Bloom, Cottage, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Life, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Summer, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Gunnera Manicata, Valerian, Arabica and Sedums at Bealtaine Permaculture Cottage.


Rain has helped the Gunnera on the north bank really grow tall this year. The weather is usually quite dry around this growing time and this particular Gunnera Manicata tends to remain quite small in comparison to the mother plant near the lower pond.

These Sedums were planted into this old fountain last year and have spread to fill out the space. Sedums are ideal for planting into living or green roofs.

Valerian and Arabica are beginning to make a splash of colour by the veranda. The Roses just keep on giving…growing in 2 tyres, no less! I feed them with a chicken manure tea every week.

Valerian and Arabica make a good contrast when grown together and as they are perennials, are well able to take care of themselves!

Valerian growing along the west gable wall of the cottage today.

Posted in Baking, Birds, celebrations, Cottage, Country Living, Culture, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Raspberry Coulis Cake, Friends and Friday…Notes from a Cottage


I love the idea of the weekend. It evokes images of lolling around and being part of a TimeDrift…just going with the flow.

And yes Jack, you should be embarrassed…ripping up the porch just because I shut the door when my dinner guest came! The protest doesn’t cut it with me…I was a Greenham Common Woman don’t ya know! Now tidy up!

What can I say? I shouldn’t have? Oh, the hell with waistlines…tea and Raspberry Coulis Cake is the best way to begin life on a Friday…leftovers always taste sinful! (But, it was delicious with Vanilla Ice Cream)!

I removed the cloth from the Elderflower Cordial and the smell was intoxicating…it’s so easy to make and will happily post the recipe…Summer in a bottle, it keeps for a year, easily!

Roses just keep coming, despite the wind and rain over the past week. The little Wren continues to sit on her clutch of eggs nesting in the hanging basket…

Here she is, peeping at me through the window…the back door is out of bounds now until herself and her family have flown!

Have a great weekend end everyone…plant a tree this one!

Posted in Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, Summer, Wild Flowers

Days of Wine and Roses…West of Ireland Permaculture.

Continuing to empty the freezer of last summer’s huge harvest of black and red currants…so, it’s more wine on the make!

Colours in the gardens continue to develop with very little need for flowers…and those that are in bloom are strong perennials that are here to stay!

Roses hang heavy around the veranda. Valerian comes up through the gravel, astounding me year after year…where does it get its food from?

The colours and shadows of summer begin to play with the light on the window ledges.

I now add the yeast to the must and it makes a real difference in the fermentation process of the wine…speed it ip considerably!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Ecology, Food, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, polytunnel gardening, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Wild Flowers

Food and Roses…Today at Bealtaine…Permaculture Pantry.

The roses hang heavy on the veranda trellis, spurred on by copious amounts of soft rain and sunshine…Today at Bealtaine.

 Baby apples all soft and furry peep from under leaves of bright, greeny newness…Today at Bealtaine.

And furry little balls of new peaches start to look important on the tiny, new tree in the tunnel…Today at Bealtaine.

And the small Nectarine tree, also in the tunnel, showing off with an abundance of fruit on its two year old branches…Today at Bealtaine.

And the Strawberries…refusing to wait for Wimbledon…Today at Bealtaine.

And the Ladys Mantle that has taken over the path and nestles into the water bin…Today at Bealtaine.

Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Gardening, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding

Saturday in the Permaculture Garden.

Valerian coming into flower today at Bealtaine. The rain continues, almost unabated, raising the water table and pushing the water in my spring well down towards the cottage. Spent quite some time bringing water across to the tunnel to give the plants a good drenching!

Valerian growing along the west gable wall from seed scattered into the gravel…one of many reasons why permaculture and tarmac are not good mates!

Sprays of Hawthorn blossom hang in swathes around the hedgerows at the cottage. The flowers of this tree release a certain chemical which is good for the heart and it is recommended to breath deeply around these gorgeous blossoms!

I’m hoping that the roses will go on for longer this year, as they have a tendency to flower early in the summer. This has certainly been the best year yet for the blooms.

Posted in Country Living, Eco-Living, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

Hothouse Flowers in a Permaculture Environment. Evening @ Bealtaine Cottage

Laburnum and Ferns, hastily picked, make a casual, summer bouquet for the sitting room window of the cottage. I never buy flowers and don’t support the polluting, hothouse methods involved in growing shop bought arrangements. The seasonal look is more in keeping with caring for the environment as well as being much more stylish.

The rain has passed over for the day as the evening sweeps in from the East. Hoping for a lot more if the wells are going to resume full flow! I still haven’t moved the logs as the rain has continued unabated for most of the day. Added to this is the task of clearing out the barn in order to stack the logs, which is pending…ahem!

Jack has been having a ripping time, literally…nothing is safe around him! I got him some massive bones from the butcher yesterday and he has been crunching and chewing away to his heart’s content! I can’t quite get over just how intelligent he is! I would advise anyone thinking of getting a pet to visit their local animal sanctuary first…you might be as lucky as myself and come away with a gem like Jack!

Looking out the window onto the veranda is uplifting when the roses are in bloom. I planted a grapevine further along, into a couple of tyres and have big expectations for equally bountiful harvests of grapes!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Cottage, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, PermaGoddess, Smallholding, Uncategorized

And then the rain came…Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Smallholding

And the lettuce in the hanging baskets perked up…

And the strawberries held a promise of fat, juicy, red ripeness for midsummer and maybe before…

And the roses on the veranda drank deeply and opened…

And the logs got wet!

 Oh, Happy Day!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Current Affairs, Ecology, Gaia, Growing Food, Herbs, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized

Monday Morning at a Permaculture Smallholding… Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Roses are out in bloom on the veranda this morning. The air is warm and dry and the drought continues…

Considering the state of the environment in the north west of Ireland this morning, the gripe of no well water is a small one for me here at Bealtaine, for as I write this there are wildfires raging in areas of Ireland, burning tracts of land and causing some devastation!

What has happened in this part of Ireland recently has contributed towards the perfect conditions that have led to these appalling fires taking hold…heat, drought, then intense wind from the east! It is very hard to extinguish a wildfire in these conditions!

The hens are happy…no loss on them at all in this weather. It helps that they have plenty of shade! Visitors to the gardens of Bealtaine yesterday remarked on the way the hens will sit still to allow being picked up…they are very tame!

The mighty Angelica continues its skyward ascent, soaring upwards, taller every day!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Culture, Current Affairs, Ecology, Gaia, Garden, Ireland, Leitrim, Permaculture, Politics, Sligo, Smallholding, Summer, Uncategorized, Woodland

Extreme Weather in Ireland…AGAIN! Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage.

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 010The weather has been extremely dry over recent weeks.

Bush fires are raging in counties Donegal and Mayo as I write.

There can be no more wavering on the issue of climate change…it is real!

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 010There are very low levels of water in my spring well so I have to ration water use in the cottage.

Rain is promised for the middle to end of the week…bring it on!

Colours of the Copper Beech trees are deepening along the bank at the back of the cottage.

Planting deciduous trees like these will ensure that soil is not eroded and the land is protected from monsoon type rains which are becoming more frequent here in Ireland.

May 2011 Bealtaine 013Ireland, once known for its soft rain…

There is a distinct canopy emerging at Bealtaine, a forest garden is taking shape, and with it a magical landscape.

I see permaculture more and more as the only real solution to the massive environmental devastation that is happening across the globe.

The Earth needs to be re-forested…fast!

There are 60 fire engines out across N.Ireland this evening fighting wild fires on the hills.

Some homes in Donegal have already been evacuated.

May 2011 Bealtaine 006It is difficult to come to terms with this freakish weather on May 1…except that extreme weather in Ireland is no longer freakish and more and more the norm., Worrying!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Fairies, Garden, Permaculture, photography, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Woodland

Live Your Permaculture Self-Sufficient Dream in Ireland…

Re-forest Gaia…from monoculture to permaculture!

The tree in the middle is a Purple Beech.

It’s hard to believe that this place was just rushy monoculture land 7 years ago.

Yet, it is just this possible to turn poor land around and re-invest fertility to the soil.

Trees are Nature’s way of doing that.

Permaculture intensive planting is the way forward.

Pots and old bits of pipes filled with Sedums add interest to a little corner.

The Pine tree is only 7 years old, from a seedling and it is giving cones already!

Three acres of poor land have been turned around in a relatively short space of time to create a very productive, edible landscape  and sheltered habitat.Perennials are the ones you don’t have to bother about too much…Michaelmas Daisies on the right, Sedge to the left and a self-seeded perennial coming up in the middle…Birds, bees and insects all benefit from the transformation from monoculture to permaculture. Yellow Loosestrife and Blue Geranium, perennials that push their way into beauty every year, never mind the grass and weeds, they will do their thing regardless!Roses are in bloom on the veranda…it really amazing just what will grow in this once desolate looking place…have a look at the “before” pictures on this blog.

When I first seen Bealtaine Cottage in May 2004, I did not see desolation, I saw abundance…the first step in living one’s self-sufficient, permaculture dream in Ireland!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 500 blogs for you to peruse in the archives

Enjoy your visit to Bealtaine Cottage

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Culture, Ecology, Frugal Living, Herbs, History, Permaculture, Smallholding, Uncategorized, Woodland

Permaculture Zero…My Two Favourite Words! Bealtaine Smallholding West Ireland.

Willow arches, all around Bealtaine, have greened up and may need their first trim of the year…about two trims a summer are enough to keep the shape!Comfrey…this has been planted all over the smallholding. It grows wild in damp, shady places, near streams and rivers. Historically this powerful plant has been used to knitting broken bones back together, hence the names: Boneset, Knitbone and Bruisewort. Interestingly enough, research has discovered that Comfrey contains Allantoin, which actively promotes the growth of new cells! Leaves of the plant are applied to bruises, sprains and broken bones.The rose on the veranda is growing in two tyres filled with home made compost and topped up each spring.Roses about to bloom on the veranda…but we desperately need rain…west Ireland is suffering drought conditions at present!Steps from the vegetable and fruit intensive gardens down into the woodland. These were made from recycled timber boards, hammered into place, then backfilled with compacted ash from the stove. Cost:Zero…love that word!