The flowers of Low Arvie - an exerpt from The Ladies of Low Arvie
This was my first look at the further points of the farm and, although the grass was high and the going rough in places, due to long years of neglect, I could hardly believe that all this natural beauty was ours. We walked down to where the burn formed our boundary with the Forestry Commission land along the northwestern edge and there we found beautiful water lilies floating on the clear brown water that babbled and gurgled over rocks and stones. We walked across the Bog of Allen and I began to realise that not only had we bought a farm, but it was also a ready made nature reserve.
I made a mental note of the plants that I saw and when I had a spare moment I began a diary of flowers, birds and animals that I have seen on the land or in the skies over it. The list is still growing, as each year I find more and more to add. Among the many treasures we have are ragged robin, several species of wild orchid, both colours of loosestrife and the delicate marsh violet and pink purslane. The burn is decorated at various times of the year, not only with lilies, but with mimulus and water violet, and we always know that spring is on its way when the pale mauve flowers of lady's smock and the bright golden ones of marsh marigold peep out from between the rushes.
In the Bog, heather and erica, bog asphodel, heath bedstraw, milkwort and bog myrtle all flourish amongst the wetter patches of sphagnum and dicranium. Down there, also, we found several areas where the peat had been cut for winter fuel in years past, and I was pleased that our fuel is now delivered by tanker! However, I did cast a slightly envious backward glance at those days, remembering the sweet smell of burning peat that filled the evening air on my visits to the Outer Islands and, just for a moment, wondered if .........