Boggy Brae daffodils are getting going at last.
5 February 2019
The first few wind and rain battered Lesser Celandines are showing at the western edges of the flood plain of the McAuley Burn near where it enters the Gare Loch. This was also the first day I heard Song Thrushes this year. The same date as last year. In 2011 and 2016 that date was 4 Feb. In 2009 and 2010 it was 10 Feb.
The wildflower Red Campion has a long flowering period and often flowers well into October even this far north. There have not been any flowers on the Boggy Brae plants for some weeks but this week, in spite of the wind battering and rain, hail, sleet hammering it has had, this plant put forth two new flowers.
These are the seed pods and tiny seeds of what I think is the Northern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella). I was surprised at how small they were; I had expected them to be bigger, maybe like bluebell seeds. We usually get a few (2-4) in the Boggy Brae garden each year. This winter I’m going to see if I can find out how to propagate a few more using the saved seed.
For the last few years we’ve also had a Southern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa), just one, reappearing in the same place on a north-east facing bank each year. This year it did not do so well as usual, possibly because it was a relatively cool and wet summer even by Argyll standards, but also because self-seeded Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) is growing near it and reduced the available light. We are quite far north for these to appear though apparently they have been recorded in Norway. Pics below are from July 2013.