A Mast Year at Glen Dye.

The term Mast Year technically applies to trees. It refers to those years in which certain trees produce an abundance of fruit. I think it’s because ‘Mast’ is derived from an old English word meaning nut. It’s particularly widely used when referring to oak and beech, whose crops fluctuate wildly from year to year.

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So, excuse the scientific inaccuracy when I say that we are having a Mast Year for wild flowers at Glen Dye. We have lived here for over 30 years (and I have visited here every year of my life) and we have never seen anything like this. On one patch of wild lawn I counted ten different types within about a square metre yesterday. And the ponticum that much-maligned invasive rhododendron has blossomed like I have never seen. It almost makes me like it.

No one is entirely clear what causes a Mast Year for any tree (or plant in this case) but we’ve just endured the wettest Spring on record after that wonderful summer of 2018. So, well, I imagine that has something to do with it.

Incidentally, should you be interested in creating a wild flower meadow, it seems to be that, assuming you have some wild flowers relatively nearby, the best way of establishing it might be to just let nature run its course thus avoiding expensive and temperamental seeds. 

Fab A