These photographs and short videos of life in the Labyrinth and Secret Gardens of Ash Cottage were taken on a monthly basis during the Covid Lockdown in 2020-2021.
Ash Cottage closed its doors on the 16th March 2020 due to Covid-19
Pear symbolises affection, comfort and inner peace.
Wild Strawberriy Leaves
Strawberries symbolise Venus, decency, and nobility of spirit.
Wild Strawberries symbolise Venus, decency, and nobility of spirit.
Apple symbolises knowledge, abundance, and temptation.
Wild Garlic Flower
Garlic symbolises fertility, good health, protection and overcoming fear
Wild Strawberry Flowers
Wild Strawberry Flowers
Symbolises emotional healing, surviving through difficulties
The Dawn Chorus on Easter Sunday 2020
White Admiral butterfly on the lemon tree in the glass house.
The Butterfly represents transformation, endurance, hope and life.
The Elder Tree represents death birth and rebirth. Associated with carrying out a self assessment of your past life and where you are going, and who you want become.
The Hawthorn is one of the most sacred trees in Celtic Mythology It symbolises love and protection.
Cottage 'Handwriting' Garden in full bloom
Foxgloves after rain
Elderflower Champagne and Wild Strawberries
First of the summer harvest
Marsh Iris, Lower Pond
Garden Bench made from Curragh Bench
'Minotaur'Log in the Lavender Labyrinth
Honesty in seed
Elm and Hazel Tree Pathway
Spider Web Tunnel
Green Shield Bug
Ray juicing the pears
Glass of freshly made Sweet Pear Juice
Ripe apples, ready for picking and making apple juice and aple jelly.
An all time favourite for those who visit Ash Cottage. Hot buttered wheaten bread with Ray’s Apple Jelly.
Making Sloe Gin from locally foraged Sloes.
31st Decemeber New Year's Eve
New Year's Day
The labyrinth walk provides an opportunity to reflect on life whilst at the same time moving forwards towards possibilities for the future. The triple spiral can mean of host of different things. Past, Present, Future; Mother, Father, Child; Birth, Life, Death Cycles; to name but a few.
Ash Cottage’s Celtic Labyrinth needs weeding and a good raking over. These activities provide a regulating opportunity to: contemplate on the challenges last year brought and continues to bring; enjoy the sensory experience of being present in nature; look forward to normal contact with family, friends and having people visit Ash Cottage again.
Ice from the frozen pond
Buds on the Crab Apple tree
Fuchsia flowers and buds
Last of the potato crop
1st of February 2021
St Brigid’s Day or Imbolc the pagan festival to celebrate the start of spring.
St Brigid is the Female Patron Saint of Ireland. It is argued that the saint is a christianisation of the Celtic Fire Goddess of Pagan Ireland. She is the patron of healing, smithing, and poetry. Crosses are still made in her honour out of reeds, straw or rushes. The crosses are hung up in homes and animal sheds. It was believed that if you placed the cross under a thatched roof it would protect it from fire. St Brigid crosses are given as gifts to young couples when moving into their new home to offer protection and wish them well in starting a family. It is also known as Imbolc in the Celtic Calendar. Imbolc represents the start of Spring, fertility,
re-emerging out of months of darkness into hope and new life.
For more information on the Feast Day:
Artist and folklorist Micheal Fortune explores the folklore and customs associated with St Brigid's Feast Day. with interviews of people around Ireland describing the local traditions.
The 'Sleeping Brigid' was carved by local sculptor Claire Sampson
Snowdrops are flowering in the bank of the labyrinth garden where Bridget sleeps. They symbolise hope as they bloom at the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
The Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) Flower are in full bloom. Hamamelis means protection and inspiration.
Hazel is known as the tree of Knowledge in Ireland and in medieval times it was a symbol of fertility.
17th March 2021
It is a year since Ash Cottage had to close its door due to Covid. We have come full circle back to Springtime. The wild crab apple tree is blossoming once again. The furry catkins of the willow are beautifully soft to touch, our forced rhubarb is tender and sweet and wild garlic is appearing in the Hazel walkway. There is real hope now that in the near future we will be able to have family gatherings at Ash Cottage. We anticipate, all being well, that onsite courses will take place again in 2022.