It would be fair to say that this week has been a rather grim one, but there has been one hopeful act of faith amidst the madness here at least. Wildflower seeds have been scattered in the meadow, a little later than ideal (that would be early Autumn before the first frosts creep in) and within each and every tiny little speck, the magical possibility of flowers for us and food for the bees and butterflies next year, the latter of which have been noticeably and alarmingly absent this summer. So, if the elements align and allow, there should be a few new residents here in the years to come: Devil’s Bit Scabious, Betony, Lady’s Bedstraw, Ragged Robin, Wild Angelica, Cowslip, Meadow Cranesbill, and, if we’re very lucky, that most alluring and illusive of plants – the orchid (Common Spotted in our case). And if they do deign to put in an appearance, one of their well-established local neighbours will be Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra). Common it may be, but its’ fluffy purple flowers are no less beautiful for it.