18 Apr 2016

It’s bluebell time again – what a treat

Oh! roses and lilies are fair to see;
But the wild bluebell is the flower for me.
Louisa A. Meredith. The Bluebell. (1922)

On visiting a place that is set in fabulous grounds, I saw that in the week since I was last there, the  bluebells have all burst forth in flower.  We’d commented last week that they were just emerging and would soon be at their peak, so were thankful that the sun was out this time and I walked the last few hundred yards so that I could both enjoy them and take some photographs.

Forget-me-nots and primroses nestle at the base of this tree.
Forget-me-nots and primroses nestle at the base of this tree.

Over the last couple of visits we have enjoyed very good patches of primroses at the edge of the woodland and whilst many exposed patches are now passing their peak, with faded flowers, some in shady spots are just at their best, now snuggled up in the fast growing grass with bright blue forget-me-nots and a few pink primulas.

Whilst summer tends to offer up blousy, vibrant and colourful blooms, designed to make the most of the insects that are most active in warm sunny weather, I am personally very fond of the more subtle, diminutive blooms of spring.  Those little delicate things that have to time their peak in that niche of time between improving weather, longer days and warming sunshine and the time when the trees gain their foliage, blocking out the light to the woodland floor below.

A gorgeous carpet of bluebells spread through deciduous woodland.
A gorgeous carpet of bluebells spread through deciduous woodland.

Bluebells are perhaps some of the more obvious woodland flowers at this time of year, because their spreading carpet tends to look at its most intense when glanced from a distance, where perspective foreshortens the distance between the blooms, deceiving the eye into thinking that there are more than there probably are.  You can see that illustrated in my photographs, especially on the left, where there seem to be many more in the distance than the foreground, but in reality they’re evenly spread.  When you get close to bluebells growing, they’re often quite thinly spread out, but en mass at a distance, they’re much more impressive.

There are few sights that would gladden my heart as much as a carpet of bluebells amongst deciduous trees, illuminated by the glow of warm spring sunshine, it feels like such a treat – and one that is often hidden and you have to seek out to enjoy.  They seem to be early too – it was over a month later last year when I made a similar post about bluebells – those photographs being taken on the 23rd May.

 Mini Gallery:

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