This first image shows the nice curved hip-end of a cottage in County Wexford. The blue walls are a striking contrast to the new reed roof. If you look closer you will see part of the old straw base under the eave.
The second image is of the cottage with straw thatch prior to coating with reed. The third image is the cottage finished. Notice the addition of a gabled roof over the entrance porch?
This roof had several layers of straw on it. The straw base was repaired and prepared and was then coated with a layer of water reed. The reed was fixed onto the straw base with scallops (a staple-like nail made from hazel or willow). It is important to keep old base-layers on older cottages as it preserves integrity of its heritage. It is not always possible to do this but in most cases it can be done.