I love wild flowers and despite the failure of my own wild flower meadow I am still mad about them so I am always on the lookout for examples of how and where they grow.
Island Eddy is a tiny little peninsula near where we live in Galway, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
ISLAND EDDY – CAUSEWAY
The island is not normally accessible except by boat.
However, there are two occasions per year when, for two hours, the island can be accessed on foot, as you can see above.
In March and September the spring tides uncover a causeway.
Every September the locals in our area of Kinvara and Ballinderreen celebrate by walking, or swimming from the tiny harbour at Killeenaran out to the island and returning to enjoy a barbecue party on the pier.
We decided to join the locals and visited the island with our two dogs, Sheba and Eppie. Generally speaking, last summer was a bit of a washout but we were lucky that on the day of our walk the rain stayed away and the sun shone brightly.
The sandy beach is sprinkled with beautiful shells.
The sea, sand and even the air smells fresher than any other beach I have walked on in recent years.
It must be because it is so unspoilt and nature has been allowed to take its course.
While we were exploring we came upon this lovely lilac plant you see below.
We watched as bees fed from its beautiful velvety flowers. I can’t describe how beautiful this was.
I had no idea what this amazing plant was, but friends on the Ireland Plant Identification Forum later identified it as Dipsacus fullonum or wild Teasel.
Researching wild Teasel on Wild Flowers of Ireland told me that Teasel is considered very wild life friendly.
It attracts, bumblebees, butterflies and birds, especially goldfinches.
Wild Teasel leaves collect water and act as a little watering spot for wildlife.
It is a biennial plant and in its second year each plant can grow up to two metres tall.
I also discovered that in the autumn the flower heads are filled with up to 3,300 seeds.
So hopefully when we repeat the Island Eddy walk next September I will be able to collect at least some seeds. I would dearly love to grow wild teasel in my own garden.
We spent so long exploring the island that the causeway disappeared back into the sea.
Bye for now.
For more wild flowers from the Wild Atlantic Way click here.