In September 2013, my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Bealtaine Cottage gardens, in Keadue in North County Roscommon.
These are three acres of beautiful, natural cottage gardens brimming with plants and trees.
This amazing place was all developed over the past nine years by Colette O’Neill.
Colette has worked the gardens herself from scratch. She has done this by closely observing and learning from nature itself.
All her plants and trees were grown naturally and without the use of sprays or unnatural products and in keeping with the principles of permaculture.
She is totally tuned in to the importance of trees and with Ireland now having the lowest amount of trees in the EU. We need more people like Colette.
The more I learn about permaculture the more I want to learn.
My own imagination is so caught up with the idea it seems to me that permaculture and our stoney grey soil might just be an ideal match.
I am so glad I went to see Colette’s cottage garden.
Reading about permaculture is great but this was the very first time I have ever seen a real live permaculture garden and seeing it was something else.
It was very inspiring for me to see gardens alive with bees and butterflies and so wonderful to enjoy the scent of herbs and flowers.
Permaculture in practice is not just a sustainable way to garden but it is a truly natural, and beautiful way to garden and a wonderful way to live.
I write full-time and spend too much time indoors, hunched over the laptop lost in thoughts.
For me personally it brought home the importance of spending at least part of my life outdoors, being silent and losing myself in the beauty of nature.
Bealtaine Cottage garden has beautiful ponds and a maze of willow arches which form natural tunnels.
It is an easy place to get lost in – happily lost in.
Given the abundance of fruit and vegetables you could probably stay lost for a very long time and survive in very good health too.
Collette O’Neill has done a fantastic job developing and loving this place.
If you need some inspiration – definitely go visit – Bealtaine Cottage gardens,