One corner, Corrie Fee, is a site of global importance, which has inspired botanists for centuries, from the Forfar botanists who pioneered plant surveys of the British Empire, to modern Forfar botanist Alan Elliott of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, to Mum, me and forester Andy Heald, armed with a field guide, no Latin names, and not much head for heights.
|Corrie Fee waterfall, Andy being brave, and all we found was a globe flower, but it was a triumphant one!|
This is why in raising the funds necessary to reopen Blair House I decided to create the Great Glen Doll Meadow. Everyone who pledges £10 or more to the crowdfund for refurbishment will receive enough seeds to plant a square metre of wildflowers - poppy, mayweed, bugloss, teasel, marigold, yarrow, knapweed, bedstraw, scabious, campion, ragged robin, vetch and more. You can sow these in your garden or a windowbox or perhaps in a neglected patch outside your office or school. I'd like you to post a photo of your flowers on the Blair House facebook page which I can collate into an album. The seeds are a mix of Scottish varieties from Scotia seeds based in Brechin, not far from Glen Doll.
So thanks to you, Blair House will not only be a place from which to look at flowers: it will also start out as a place which planted flowers, supported bees and other invertebrates, and inspired people with the wonder of the natural world -- before they even arrive. Make your pledge of £10 now, and get your bit of the Great Glen Doll Meadow.
|Bedstraw predominating in a summer riot of flowers and grass above the tree line on Jock's Road|
|Anemone in the deep dark woods; sneezewort on the high mountain pasture.|
|Last April it was still all grey mist, rock, lichen: then I spotted the pink treasures: larch flowers, and high on the grey hillsides tiny purple saxifrage.|
|Little wild pansies, and tiny tiny eyebright: each one painted like delicate watercolours or ladies' eyes, to draw in the bees.|
|Frances hunting the perfect botanical photograph in the woods on the Kilbo Path.|
|My enduring favourite flower is one of the commonest: harebells. They look as if spiders have been constructing an orchestra on principles of gothic architecture from scraps of summer sky.|
|Orchids on the mountain and by the stream. Marching armies, of whirling dervishes.|
|No Scottish glen would be complete without heather and ling. Tons of it.|
|A forget-me-not in the Blair House carpark. A symbol of love all constructed on mathematical principles, like something out of the Scottish Enlightenment.|
|Knapweed, thistles and scabious: so tough, bright, profuse, Scottish.|