Lifting the Spirits

Midwinter is over. For many the celebration of Christmas has begun. Last minute frenetic shopping today and tomorrow… The days here at Bealtaine are beginning to lengthen. Not tangible as yet, but optimism for more daylight has taken hold and sometimes that is enough…simply knowing that the darkness has passed. The cottage remains in a post-midwinter party state, with chairs pushed back and floor-space revealed. It may be a day or two before this is sorted, for I want to escape outdoors, despite the stormy weather! The lush greenery on the mantelpiece will stay in place for as long as…

Keeping Good Health This Winter with Dracula!

TRADITIONALLY, WHOLE BULBS OF WILD GARLIC WERE PLACED UNDER THE THATCH OF IRISH COTTAGES, JUST ABOVE THE DOOR, TO KEEP AWAY EVIL!

A Most Formidable Woman…

The stretch in the days is quite tangible…it remained light until after 5:30 today. Yesterday I wrote about the frogs in the lower pond and the frog-spawn therein…so, yes, Spring is creeping in! I lit the stove here in the sitting room earlier as I intend to curl up with a glass of home-made vino and a book… I am reading all about the reign of Elizabeth 1st…a formidable woman who lived in dangerous times in a world dominated by man! This biography is the best to date that I have read…it’s alive! Just two oranges remain from the Christmas…

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Benefits of Tea

Evening turns to night at Bealtaine Cottage. The bats have emerged from their home and are flying low around the cottage. Lots of activity today at Bealtaine, especially around the Tunnel and Nursery beds. Many of the Blackcurrant seedlings are now in bigger pots and moved to the plants area, where they will stay until planted out. The nights are verging from warm and balmy to quite chilly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see early frost, as the weather has become unpredictable. Tea…the cup that cheers, especially at the end of the day. In 2010, researchers found that people who…

Permaculture Cottage ~ Oregano, Hippocrates and Herbs

The hips of the Rosa Rugosa are yet to turn red. Rugosa rose is widely used as an ornamental plant. As a seaside plant it is invaluable as it can tolerate the salty wind and storms really well. The sweetly scented flowers are used to make pot-pourri in Japan and China,  where it has been cultivated for about a thousand years. This grows well here at Bealtaine Cottage. The other rose growing abundantly here at Bealtaine is the Rosa Canina, or Dog Rose. During world war two, the shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables was having an adverse effect on the nation’s…

The Permaculture Daily Photo-Blog from Ireland

Nasturtiums  in bloom this morning. These are the trailing variety and will grow well in poor soil. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible and add a spicy taste to a salad. These are growing from a pot on the veranda. Swathes of colour dot the driveway to the cottage as the Valerian, Dog Daisy and Dog Rose all come into bloom. The Dog Rose, Rosa Canina, will go on to produce rosehips that are packed with vitamin C and are good for making syrup that is traditionally fed to babies and toddlers. Yellow Flag Iris grows by the…