Bealtaine Cottage

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.

Here is her veranda. This will be familiar to any of you who read her blog.. She added this structure on the south side. In summer grapes and roses grow here.

Just off the veranda are her potager gardens, made this year. She put wool and compost right on the gravel, surrounded it with stones from her land and planted. She has made a few of these.

A few geraniums are still blooming,

She has created a stone circle with stones found here.

Her newest cat, Sam, came with us, exploring as he went along.

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

She makes living arches with willow. In the summer they are green.


We headed back toward the cottage.

Another one of her cats on the veranda. Isn’t it lovely?

These geraniums bloom brightly in their sheltered spot.

A view from the veranda. You can see another of her potager gardens.

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. Colette’s words and photos are always Inspiring. She is a wise woman with much to share.

About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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3 Responses to Bealtaine Cottage

  1. wspines says:

    I can’t wait to visit Colette. Your pictures are so interesting and I just adore Sam. She is truly an inspiration to us all.
    Enjoy Claire

  2. It must have been more lovely in person! So happy for you that you made a visit..

  3. What beautiful pictures of Sam…he is a truly a rebel Irish cat. Thank you for posting these and for the beautiful scarf you made me. I so enjoyed your visit. Bless you both X

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