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