Bluebells are the undisputed spring highlight. At their peak, around this time of year, they form an unearthly blue haze through the woodlands. A winding path in the wood passes through swathes of dainty blue flowers. Here, the air is laden with a delicate perfume and birds sing happily in the background. Tall trunks of ancient trees emerge randomly and the light filtering through the canopy gives a different hue to the blue carpet every few minutes.
The perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends, chatting and taking pictures, desperately trying to capture the image of what it feels like to be there, frustratingly aware that it’s impossible.
Half of the world’s population of bluebells are here in the UK.
Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects feed on the nectar of bluebell. Their flowers provide an important early source of nectar. Field of bluebells are intricately woven with fairy enchantments.
The blueness of the bluebells is nearly purple. It reminds me of this poem by Jenny Joseph and my big purple coat.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.