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…

Old Year’s Night…Celtic Samhain

Between two worlds, that of Summer and of Winter, rests Samhain.  Samhain, (pronounced “Sow-when”) is the most important time in the Ancient Irish (and Celtic) Calendar. The time of Samhain starts at dusk, when the light and dark are in balance. This was never regarded as a time of death, but a time of incubation for Mother Earth. It was the onset of Winter that allowed the Great Mother to get ready the seed for Spring. Samhain is the Celtic New Year’s Eve. It is at this time, between worlds, that the veil is thin. A time of possibilities. A…

Easy Seeds and Cuttings to Grow

A video of what seeds and cuttings are easiest to grow, as proved in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage… Come and have a peak at what’s growing… The website link is    https://bealtainecottage.com/2016/03/05/sunshine-and-cuttings/    

Celtic Ireland~Imbolc Rising

And so the wheel turns towards Spring and its tentative beginnings in the West of Ireland as the sun rises tomorrow morn. With the rising of the sun comes Imbolc! Oftentimes it does not look or even feel like Spring, but the light has changed…something that animals see, feel and react to before we do. The understanding of the changing seasons grew from the deep connections between us and the natural world, as can be seen in the word itself, for “Imbolc” refers to sheep’s milk in Old Irish. During ancient times, lactating ewes represented one of the first signs…

Seed-Saving, Kindling and Butterflies

Here’s the evening podcast from Bealtaine Cottage… Talking kindling, pizza dough and what to do in the garden… The Seed Site on Bealtaine Cottage has been updated today and now includes Willow. I will be adding to the site as more and more seed becomes ready to be packaged. Seeds and Willow   https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/ Podcast   https://soundcloud.com/bealtaine-cottage/seed-saving-kindling-and-butterflies _____________ Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs. Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth…

Little Pots of Magic…She Stirs…

The decision, once made, gathers energy and slowly, slowly begins to move…like a baby discovering it can crawl! And so it begins…the first small movements of the Forest of Bealtaine, barely perceptible, but felt and experienced. The Forest of Bealtaine is emerging through seed…seeds collected, saved and sown into pots of Bealtaine compost, that will travel with them, to their final destination, here, somewhere, in Mother Ireland. Where in Mother Ireland I do not know, but, somewhere on this land bereft of the comfort of cover and canopy, open to the growing harshness of rain, that once fell soft like…

Permaculture Gardens

The growing season has begun, with Rhubarb sending forth strong pink stems despite the storms of recent weeks. Meanwhile, down in the Fairy Wood, ferns have kept their green in the shelter of the dell. Mosses grow bright in the sunlight and ivy twists and twirls around the Goat Willow. Lots of Goat Willow has been coppiced over recent months, and although it takes a year or so to season, it makes excellent logs for the stove, giving out masses of heat for free! Further down the gardens, Pine, laurel and Great Western Cedar all grow happily together and appear…

The Closing Chapter

Summer began to melt into Autumn at Bealtaine Cottage amidst a flurry of bees and butterflies, more than ever witnessed in the permaculture gardens. Harvesting began and the kitchen was a place of jam jars and bottles, all waiting to be filled and labelled. The glut of blackcurrants became wine, jam and chutney, with even more added to the freezer. Open days and workshops seen a steady stream of visitors to the cottage and gardens. Kindling for the winter stoves continued to be collected and stored in the barn. And the Potager beds kept growing! The recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney…

Midwinter in an Irish Cottage

Rain is falling, softly, silently, onto a warm land. The air is still. Birds sing out loud. A touch of Spring is in the air as Midwinter approaches. It often happens this way, birds singing in the still air near Solstice. The cold is saved for January…the biting winds that bring the snow. I have spent much time indoors, making cards and packaging seeds. This is a quiet, yet productive time, a chance to reflect as work proceeds. Yesterday was the last day for posting abroad in time for Christmas. I am already thinking of the New Year, as I…