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  • Writer's pictureMonique Sliedrecht

Between Bouts of Falling Rain

Updated: Jun 9

It is now June where growth and new life are moving at a steady pace.   ‘No mow May’ has proved to be an interesting experiment in my garden, revealing some lovely wild flowers that might otherwise have disappeared into the mowing machine. I wanted to give every plant the opportunity to grow to full potential. The most prominent flowers are the buttercups which have filled one area with a yellow dotted carpet of colour.  Mixed in with this are mayflowers, tiny white daisies, and the occasional red campion and cow parsley (aka Queen Anne's lace).

And most surprisingly are the small purple orchids, which seem to be popping up in a variety of places.  I believe the ones I have spotted are early marsh orchids.  Apparently they are widespread but not particularly frequent, and fairly scarce in the far north.  

Of course now I need to decide which areas of grass to cut, and which to keep ‘wild’.  Growing the grass was partly to help the bees, but also to map out sections of lawn and machair (meadow) to leave alone.

While at times the ‘unkemptness’ of the garden has felt somewhat disorientating, it will only be due to wondering what any visitors passing by would think. Otherwise, I find it quite interesting to see what grows and flourishes if left on its own, and the variety of other creatures that visit.

Before cutting the grass and in between bouts of falling rain, I picked some of the buttercups and orchids to keep in vases. They provide such beautiful splashes of colour on what have otherwise been somewhat grey and wet days so far this June. 

Normally I would not pick the orchids, but as I thought they would be cut in certain areas of lawn anyway, I put a few in a ceramic cup and sketched them.

In the morning a friend placed some cow parsley she picked earlier in a beautiful rose coloured glass vase by the window, as well as a card, before departing with her husband. The simple flower display along with her written words warmed my heart, especially on such a windy wet day.

It can be hard saying good bye to friends especially after such rich times together.  There is a feeling of sudden vacancy, as I felt when a group returned to North America recently having spent a full week in the north of Scotland. But the flowers and notes provide some solace in the space.

I decided to sit down to create a blog. Writing for me helps fill the gap and allows opportunity to reflect on these visits and focus on some of nature that has been flourishing around me.  

Such gifts!


More Than Enough

The first lily of June opens its red mouth.

All over the sand road where we walk

multiflora rose climbs trees cascading

white or pink blossoms, simple, intense

the scene drifting like colored mist.

The arrowhead is spreading its creamy

clumps of flower and the blackberries

are blooming in the thickets. Season of

joy for the bee. The green will never

again be so green, so purely and lushly

new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads

into the wind. Rich fresh wine

of June, we stagger into you smeared

with pollen, overcome as the turtle

laying her eggs in roadside sand.


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