Yesterday was very special for me. I visited Colette O’Neil at Bealtaine Cottage. I stumbled upon her blog last February while searching for information about permaculture in Ireland. I have been an avid follower ever since. Colette has taken a derelict cottage and three acres of rushy fields and created a warm and cozy home surrounded by amazing gardens. A sanctuary. She has done this using permaculture, intuition, determination and creativity. She really is quite inspirational.She also welcomes visitors. And since I was in Ireland I decided to visit.
It was very strange when I first arrived. After seeing pictures of the cottage and gardens for months, suddenly I was standing there. Then Colette came out with her welcoming smile and warm laugh and we were chatting merrily away. We went inside for tea. Her cottage is even cozier in person than in her photos. It all looked so familiar! I felt so at home.
After tea we went outside into the gardens.
This is a pond she created. When she first came to Bealtaine Cottage the land was very wet. She had these ponds dug to drain some of the water. She also discovered a spring well. You can hear the sound of water running from this and it is delightful. Sam was very interested in the duck in this pond. It looks real but it is not.
As Colette showed me some of the over 700 trees she has planted here, Sam explored some more. She has planted many different kinds of trees. They provide food for her, for the birds and for the bees, fuel for her stove, a windbreak and great beauty. Apparently also good for climbing
After more tea and another good conversation it was time to say good bye to Colette and to Bealtaine Cottage. But I will be back some day.
It was a wonderful visit. If you are ever in Ireland you should make the journey. You can also visit anytime at her blog. http://permaculturecottage.wordpress.com Colette’s words and photos are always Inspiring. She is a wise woman with much to share.