Mabon Moon

Much of the day has been spent in the garden, working, head down, cutting back and meditating as I chop and drop. It’s been a long day and tiredness has forced me indoors. This is the first day of a seven day Juice Fast and, as always, my energy levels are high. Working hard enables me to sleep deeply and restoratively.

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There is something incredibly magical about working in the garden during Autumn. It is the scents arising from the earth that trigger memories and feelings. Then the hot tea, so well earned after hours of work.

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There is also the light that seeps into the trees and plants during Autumn. I stood outside last night and watched the full moon shine like a bright lamp onto the trees. This was a Mabon Moon, special, magical, conjuring otherworldliness among the woods that now surround the cottage.

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And the colours…oh, the colours!

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The Stone Circle seemed a fitting place to sit and drink my tea…there is an enchantment within…

 

…and without.

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Indoors there are some of the most magical photographs I have ever seen, framed and ready to hang on the walls. I am pondering the best way to exhibit them. This is all the work of Beth Trepper. I made a video of her work at the Clifden Arts Festival…you may have seen it on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…

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Calendars continue to be available…the link is at the top of this page.

Blessings to all XXX

Colette

A Feast of Spring

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Spring forever appears
the soothing music part
of lyrics unspoken.
It thaws the frozen fears,
mends the wounded heart
that Winter has broken.
~Aarno Davidson

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Tomorrow is the national holiday of Ireland, St Patrick’s Day. As is the norm., the weather is promised cold and a little unpredictable in terms of snow, rain and wind. Here at Bealtaine Cottage the march of Spring continues unabated.

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.

~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

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As always, the mornings here are filled with promise and, usually, sunshine.

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Ribes sanguineum have exploded into a bright pink fuzzy life, enticing the solitary Bees to awaken from hibernation.

IMG_5095Their heady aroma moves through the trees in a binding spell of delight.

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It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, “An Easter Hymn”

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Hazel Catkins add a yellow hue to a backdrop of blue.

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I’ve banished Winter, saith the Spring,
Awake! arise, ye flowers!
Brisk breezes blow,
Bright sunshine glow,
And rouse the young Year’s powers.
~Henry James Slack (1818–1896)

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Despite March’s windy reputation, winter isn’t really blown away; it is washed away. It flows down all the hills, goes swirling down the valleys and spills out to sea. Like so many of this earth’s elements, winter itself is soluble in water…. It is a wet world, winter’s harsh grip beginning to relax…. An outcropping ledge on the hillside sheds its beard of icicles and becomes a seep spring that drips into a shallow pool that feeds a growing runlet.

~”Washing Winter Away,” The New York Times, 1964 March 17th

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Now when the primrose makes a splendid show,
And lilies face the March-winds in full blow,
And humbler growths as moved with one desire
Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire…

~William Wordsworth, “Poor Robin,” March 1840

And so by degrees the winter wore away… and the chill, bitter, windy, early spring came round. The comic almanacs give us dreadful pictures of January and February; but, in truth, the months which should be made to look gloomy in England are March and April. Let no man boast himself that he has got through the perils of winter till at least the seventh of May.

~Anthony Trollope (1815–1882), The Chronicles of Barsetshire

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March brings breezes loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.

~Sara Coleridge (1802–1852)

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I hope you enjoyed this feast of Spring…Blessings X Colette

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€27.00

More titles…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

 

How To Make A Willow Arch For Your Garden…For Free

Go out, go out I beg of you
And taste the beauty of the wild.
Behold the miracle of the earth
With all the wonder of a child.

~Edna Jaques

 

The miracle of Spring is now very close. Birds are beginning to sing and all over the woodland gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, life stirs.

 

I am sharing this post with you all today, as Willow can be collected at this time of year and used to great beauty in the garden.

This is How To Make A Willow Arch…

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Making a Willow Arch for the Lughnasadh Garden…this is a living arch and will provide food for the Bees.

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Take two long lengths of Willow.Any length over 6ft will do! All long Willow is suitable for this project. I used a mix.

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Strip off leaves…no need to do this in winter or early spring.

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Insert each piece into earth on either side of what will be ab entrance…so, 2-3ft apart will do!

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Push each piece of willow in a minimum of 3 inches.

It will soon root!

Wind the tops together over your head.

This will be the finished height, though it will continue to grow!

Next, add more lengths near to the first two and twist around the willow frame…

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Twisting will tighten and strengthen the arch.

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Add more lengths and use each new one to tighten and straighten the arch…pull into shape as you twist.

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If you feel you,re not getting the shape you want, lengths can easily be removed and you can start again…don’t be afraid to experiment!

Now add a second arch about 6-10 ins behind the first.

Once in line, insert some more willow by this new arch and pull the lengths forward to the first one…about halfway up the structure as seen here.

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Do the same on the first arch, pulling the lengths onto the second, so both criss cross.

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You may add some more Willow…but this is the structure safely in place, where it will continue to grow and thicken.

dsc02907 (1)This will form one of the entrances to the new Lughnasadh Garden.

There is a selection of books written by Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, available here…the bookshop supports the entire work of the Bealtaine Project.

 

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€27.00

 

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€21.00

 

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€15.00

 

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€12.00