Peatbog Magic (and faeries…)

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Every year, July brings a kind of magic to the croft, in the shape of floaty white faeries dancing across our back fields…..

You’re right, I’m just kidding –  it’s the bog cotton.

I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a profusion as there is this summer and we’re not sure why there is so much of it this year. Hordes, multitudes of them.

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As the land approaches the house and shore, boggy ground transforms into more fertile and arable fields, where the bog cotton, heather and other peat-loving plants are replaced by meadows of wild flowers.

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One of my favourites is the Yellow Rattle, another the Bog Asphodel, which grows in the boggier, back fields, along with the heathers, sundews, grasses and wild orchids.

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In 2011, a botanist friend did an official survey of the flora on our croft. Astonishingly, she recorded 106 distinct species of wildflowers, grasses, ferns and trees here (the trees are few and only clustered along the bottom of the stream, near the sea, apart from those I’ve planted).

While I’ve always found Latin plant names fascinating, I adore the playful, more poetic, common ones and some of those here include Cuckooflower, Blinks, Eyebright, Bog stitchwort, Birds-foot-trefoil, Cat’s-ear, Lady’s Bedstraw, Tufted Vetch, Field Horsetail, Meadowsweet…. I could go on!

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