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Orchid in the croft (actually just outside our bedroom window!)

Growing Things

The machair is the Gaelic name for the area of grassland that lies behind the sand-dunes. It is formed by the combination of the lime-rich shell sand and the acidic, peaty soil of the islands. 

In summer this area becomes a fragrant flowery meadow and in Uig you can expect to see ( but if you are like us not able to always identify!) lady’s bedstraw, plantains, harebell, clover, silverweed, red rattle, devil’s-bit scabious, frog orchid, marsh orchid etc, etc.

Besides having names that frequently sound as if you should be making an appointment at the G.P’s – “Doctor, my red rattle just doesn’t seem to be clearing up” or “ Please, could I have some cream for that unsightly devil’s-bit scabious on the end of my nose?”; the sight and smell of the machair in bloom is something not to be missed.