It can sometimes seem a long haul through the darkness of winter, but come the early spring, my spirits start to lift as nature begins to stir. From the first primroses and snowdrops onwards, there’s something to look forward to, and one of the most eagerly-anticipated is bluebell time.
“There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.” – Anne Brontë
The English bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, comes in variable shades of pale or mid-blue to almost lavender, and is wonderfully scented and delicate in habit. (Its more thuggish competitor, the Spanish bluebell, Hyacinthoides hispanica, is much stiffer and stouter, stripier, and not nearly as fragrant.)
From mid-April till May, the woods and hills of West Dorset and East Devon must be one of the most beautiful places to be on Earth. All one’s senses are pleased in a bluebell glade – the sight of the rolling blue carpet under brilliant green leaves, the sound of all the woodland birds proclaiming their territory, and the scent of the flowers drifting on the soft breeze as it ruffles one’s hair.
At this time of year, the wildflowers are still pristine and fresh, ferns are unrolling their fronds, and the trees are at their best. Every year I try to visit at least one of my favourite spots or find a new one, so my back catalogue has lots of images to choose from.
(This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on the Bridport Cottages web site.)