Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do

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The magical machair

Machair Outer Hebrides

Over the past couple of weeks I have been touring the Outer Hebrides - a chain of islands off the West coast of Scotland - camping in some of the most amazing places along the way.

I had expected the Hebrides to be stunning - we have all seen those amazing photos of deserted white beaches with a turquoise sea - but I hadn't expected the flowers to be quite so mind-blowingly beautiful.

We visited when the machair - the flowery plains that cover much of the Hebrides - were in full bloom.

The low fertility means that plants that would tower over me in my own garden are knee height here - but without the flowers being diminished in size.

Machair Outer Hebrides

At the same time pink clover - which visually holds together so many of the meadows, both those on sand and those on saturated peat - is supersized, growing in line with angelica, knapweeds and fennel.

The constant breeze gives the machair a vibrating thrum - waving grasses or reeds blurring the colours so it appears to be a giant living tufted carpet.

Machair Outer Hebrides

I was amazed at how many different flowers made up these plains - clover, fennel, scabious, speedwell, harebells, buttercups, dorindium, knapweeds - my notes go on and on - different flowers for different aspects but all merging to completely cover islands like South Uist and Eriskay.

I am now thinking of how to take the swirling communities of plants, the interweaving colours, the pure heart soaring beauty of this and try to mimic them in my own garden - to try and get a little of that Hebridean magic every day.

But in the meantime I have hundreds of photos like these to look at.

Machair Outer Hebrides

Comments: 3 (Add)

Jenny on August 13 2017 at 21:59

So eloquently described Jane. My gran & grandpa are buried in the cemetery at South Uist (my gran grew up there) and it looks out over the machair.
I'm not a religious person but I have never seen a more perfect spot to have as your final resting place.

Teri on August 17 2017 at 17:09

So beautiful, I've never been but clearly it's now on my list, we are so lucky to have such beauty within our own British Isles.

Holly Nairn on August 27 2017 at 22:07

What a stunningly beautiful landscape. So intricate, extraordinary and inspiring. Thanks for sharing Jane.

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Nettles and docks and tansy and meadowsweet. ⁠⠀
Heather and willow and onion skins.⁠⠀
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The journey through plant colours this year is coming to fruition.  Out of frame is a striped jumper on my needles.⁠⠀
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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