Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Interior Design

Evening in an Irish Cottage…

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The sun has set into the west, far out on the Atlantic Ocean and the night draws in.

DSC09709The candle is lit in the kitchen window, a soft light to welcome the night, while on the far side of the room a small lamp illuminates the dark. 

DSC09712“I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see
The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.”
Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal 

DSC09711The Blackbird has sung out the day and in the night, as it flies around it’s territory, marking out it’s boundary in song.

DSC09708“Inhale and hold the evening in your lungs.”
Sebastian Faulks, Engleby 

DSC09717“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.”
William Cowper, The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper 

DSC09713The time between blue and black is quiet, almost timeless.

DSC09715There is an ethereal glow that conjures night.

DSC09716And slowly, slowly, the hush becomes night.

DSC09714Goodnight from Bealtaine Cottage…goodnight.

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Eco-Living, Eden, Garden, Gardening, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Permaculture Ireland, Uncategorized

As Evening Descends…

Towards the end of a perfect day at Bealtaine Cottage. The gardens are looking well tended as the evening descends. Strawberries have been potted up in hanging baskets and seedlings rescued from the gravel around the cottage and potted up. These will make fine plants for the Summer ahead! And…all the while…the birds sing!

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Christmas, december, family and friends, holiday, midwinter, Permaculture, season

Moving with Orion Towards Midwinter

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The signs are everywhere…

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Nights drawing in…

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Unexpected sunshine on frosted mornings.

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The bare beauty of trees silhouetted against clear winter skies. 

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As Orion strides across the evening sky, we draw closer to the Winter Solstice and the darkest, stillest, nights of the year.

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Winter Solstice celebrations begin on the 21st of December, a time of hope and joy for all, regardless of belief or religious observances.

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Magical Midwinter!

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Ancient tribes all over the world observed rituals around Solstice time.

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We too can  celebrate Winter Solstice, integrating it into our own traditional celebrations.

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A chance to step outdoors and observe the night sky.

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An opportunity to nurture and develop connections to family and friends.

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From this day, there are 22 days to go before the descent into the Midwinter Solstice.

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Yes, the coldest days precede the Spring, so January rarely feels like the prelude to that beautiful season!

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But, here in the West of Ireland, with Imbolc on the first day of February, the signs are there for all to see, as new life emerges from the frozen earth.

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Posted in Bees, Cottage, Ecology, Garden, Gardening, Gardens, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, photography, Summer, Trees

Gardens in Early May

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Growth in the gardens has really taken off!

Kanzan Cherry and Purple Beech
Kanzan Cherry and Purple Beech

I was away for the weekend in Belfast and returned last night.

Euphorbia and Purple Beech
Euphorbia and Purple Beech

Making coffee and doing my early morning stroll of the gardens, coffee in one hand and camera in the other, it was a revelation…everything has grown and spread since Friday!

Fuchsia, Poppy and Lady's Mantle
Fuchsia, Poppy and Lady’s Mantle

No wonder, as a mix of rain and warmth has created the perfect conditions for plants.

Clematis, planted last year on the north-facing wall of the cottage...ready to bloom!
Clematis, planted last year on the north-facing wall of the cottage…ready to bloom!

It’s always a pleasure to walk out on a May morning.

DSCF1441It is primarily because of the growth as we ascend towards Midsummer.

By the east gable wall this morning.
By the east gable wall this morning.

The days continue to stretch before us and the promise of Summer holds sway.

Aqilegia under Fuchsia
Aqilegia under Fuchsia

Nights are shorter and days grow longer…

DSCF1460Enjoy the rest of the pics!

Blessings XXX Colette

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It's easy to believe in Fairies...isn't it?
It’s easy to believe in Fairies…isn’t it?

 

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Birds, Christmas, Country Living, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Thrift, Uncategorized, Winter

Kandinsky, Stars and Solstice Preparations

Bealtaine Cottage, Midwinter 2012

As the winter moves towards the Solstice and Midwinter festivities grow closer, cleaning and painting the cottage is taking up most of my time.

Doors have been painted, along with window frames and furniture.

Bealtaine Cottage PantryThe thing is, once started, painting just goes on and on, as more things look grubby alongside freshly painted wood!

This is the newly decorated pantry…with a piece of art on the wall by Kandinsky, one of my favourite artists.

Bealtaine Cottage Shower roomThe shower room, (I don’t have a bath), was also given a complete makeover, including some stencilling on the walls.

The stencil was cut out of cardboard for free.

Bealtaine Cottage VerandaThis morning here in the west of Ireland is filled with sun, clear skies and frost.

The weather has been frosty, but mild enough to keep the blooms on the Geraniums.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture midwinter 2012It’s the kind of day that should be bottled and sold as perfect Midwinter weather!

I have just started putting out food for the birds, in the form of rolled barley.

Barley grows here in the British Isles, so there is little transportation involved.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture midwinter 2012The birds love this and one big sack from the farm store costs less than 10 euros and lasts all winter.

There is plenty of food in the garden, but this is a supplement as many small birds use Bealtaine Cottage as a food stop.

Posted in Bees, biodiversity, Birds, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

Rosa Canina keeps the Bees Buzzing into the Night!

Walking around by the front of the cottage this evening at 10pm, I noticed there was quite a lot of activity even at this hour from the Bees…lots os work being carried out by them as they pollinated the Wild Roses, Rosa Canina, or The Dog Rose.

(Fuschia above)

I went back indoors and fetched the video camera, so you can have a look too!

It’s quite late as I upload this blog and video, but it’s so worth sharing, especially as the rain has poured down all day and everything looked a bit miserable.

(Rosa Canina, above)

It’s a fine soft evening here in the West of Ireland.

I’m hoping to continue working on the raised bed tomorrow, but I shall see what the day brings.

The ascent towards the Summer Solstice is well under way and there is hardly any darkness here in the West…the birds sing late into the night and are singing as I wake, even if that is really early!

This is a joyous time of year, it really is!

This evening’s video…enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knybP5Yc1tk

Posted in Country Living, Earth, Ecology, Garden, Permaculture, photography, Spring, Uncategorized

The Stunningly Beautiful West of Ireland

Today at Bealtaine Cottage and the weather was ducking and diving in and out of early Spring! I dashed outside and snapped these pics as it appeared to be early Spring.
It’s late here at the cottage, but I’m posting them to this blog, just to share!

Can you see the low cloud moving up the valley, cutting Ballyfermoyle off from the Arigna Mountains?

How’s that for dramatic?

The stunningly beautiful West of Ireland!

The beauty of bare trees reflected in a barrel of pure rainwater.

I rinse my clothes in this to make them extra soft…

Photinia washed by the soft Atlantic rain…

The beginnings of another willow basket waits for me on the veranda…

Moss clings to the thin slates on the cottage roof. I never clean this off as I think it looks so very beautiful and anyway, the roof manages to hold up well in face of the Atlantic storms that swoop in off the ocean!

Posted in Autumn, Ireland, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Uncategorized

A Life in the Country ~ Garden Video and the Sun is Shining!

It’s been a beautiful day in the west of Ireland! The sun has shone for most of it and the rain has disappeared! good thing too as the rivers are full to the brim and many have broken their banks, gushing over fields and roads!

I have wandered around the gardens, soaking up the autumn sunshine and attempting to catch a little of it all on video…enjoy!

Posted in Angels, Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Christmas, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Food, Gaia, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, Smallholding

A Life in the Country ~ In Love with the Green Earth…

I am in love with the green earth   ~Charles Lamb

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Living in the country is a never ending adventure in Nature…

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I love writing about this life in the west of Ireland…

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However, everyone who lives on this beautiful Earth has a deeply rooted connection with it’s spirit.

The spirit of Gaia!

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The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase
these things with money.
                                                                                            – Plautis

And this is true for all!

Bringing in the harvest, bit by bit and cooking it, bottling it, freezing it,  jamming and pickling it… And the thing is, there is a huge harvest in the hedgerows this year due to the brilliant Spring we had here in Ireland…so there’s food for all, just waiting…

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The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is
to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone
with the heavens, nature and God.

Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and
that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple
beauty of nature.  I firmly believe that nature brings solace
in all troubles. ~Anne Frank
                                 


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This is a good time to divide and plant up house-plants…they make fantastic Christmas/Yuletide gifts and are imbued with all the love you have given them! What better gift?


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Sunlight floods in…I love mornings like this!

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A certain simplicity of living is usually necessary to happiness.
                                                                                       – Henry D. Chapin

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The less clutter around the better life you find, especially in the simple things…at least that’s what I’ve found to be true!

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Find peace and joy and contentment in the Natural World! Go out walking…

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GROWING THE BEALTAINE PROJECT ONE UPLOAD AT A TIME…

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please support…

 

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Gardening, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Life, Orchids, Organic Garden, Permaculture, PermaGoddess, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Summer, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Vegan, Wild Flowers, Wine

Saturday Morning at Permaculture Cottage, Ireland.

Mum sleeps, guarded by Flo!

Mum celebrates her 81st birthday this month and is staying with us for a holiday. Flo is on permanent holiday! mum loves the animals to be close-by and finds great comfort in them. So, she sleeps contentedly on the bed, watched over by Flo, the rescue babe…it’s a joy to see them both in their shared happiness. Long life to them!

Dog Daisies, regarded as a weed, are blooming all over the west of Ireland at present. This is a clump of them near the back of the cottage. Allowed to grow each year, they will begin to form a little colony and eventually become a part of the flowering season, like these!

The apples have all set really well. These are young Bramley Cooking Apples. The recent rains will allow them to continue to grow and prosper.

Eating apples in the orchards this morning…James Grieve. So far, eleven apple trees have been planted at Bealtaine Cottage, with plans for more this year…dependant on visitors bringing presents!

Blackcurrants ripening…soon time to begin harvesting…cordials and wines will be on the top of the list to make from these this year. Since becoming Vegan I am aware of the importance of good quality food and drink and am developing a fondness for cordials. The Elderflower cordial at the moment is being snaffled by visitors, so am having to step up production! I have yet to make Blackcurrant Cordial, but am looking forward to learning and doing!

Here is the recipe for the Elderflower Cordial

It’s so very simple!
Elderflower Cordial
50g flowers
30g citric acid
1 litre water
1kilo sugar
Coll boiled water. Add Elderflowers & citric acid. Leave for about 48hours, strain, add sugar. Dissolve sugar, keep stirring. Bottle.
This recipe was given to me by a Permaculture Visitors to Bealtaine, Derek and Mary, who left me a bottle of the cordial and I was well impressed! It keeps for a year and more…if you have that much willpower! I use glass bottles, the screw top kind

This beautiful little Orchid appeared on one of the paths and I noticed it this morning.