Where I come from in Yorkshire the old name for Bluebells was Fairy Flowers. There was a legend that fairies would use bluebells to ensnare small children who tried to pick them. It was considered bad luck to bring them into the house. We are lucky in the UK to have some wonderful bluebell woods and when I was a child despite this superstition, everyone used to bring huge armfuls home from the woods to put in a vase. The very idea of this is appalling today, when we are all so concerned to preserve our precious flora.
We have a heritage of such wonderful bluebell woods. Where there are carpets of bluebells and a great diversity of other wild flowers, it is usually a sign of ancient woodland.
There are several, beautiful old woods in Suffolk which are remnants of ancient forests. Sometimes, as in the wood in the Stour Valley Nature Reserve there are carpets of Wood Anemones, Anemone nemorosa as far as the eye can see.
As you carry on through the wood, fallen trees and roots make wonderful patterns.
You are pursued by the constant repetitive call of the chiffchaff. If you are there as evening comes on, you may here the nightingale’s beautiful song.
Suddenly the view opens up and the Stour estuary with all its marsh birds come into view. We were lucky enough to hear the haunting call of the curlew, but I was not quick enough to photograph him.
Last year I did a post on a special beauty which grows in a wood near here, the Early Purple Orchid, Orchis mascula or ‘Long Purples’ as Shakespeare called them. Each year I look forward to these wonderful blooms.
All these lovely flowers make the woods a delight in April but I think we all have a special place in out hearts for the lovely native bluebell.
So my vase this week has to be bluebells. My garden has masses of them and each year I dig them up in a vain attempt to get rid of them. They are Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica which are pretty in their way, but they don’t have the dainty elegance of our native bluebells. Worse still, they are putting our native bluebells at risk, by the readiness with which they hybridise. Britain holds one third of the world’s bluebell woods and these Spanish thugs are threatening them.
I think they look good in a simple rustic pot, with a bit of green Tellima grandiflora.
I also quite like them in this pretty vase.
To be honest, I think I should be quite sorry if they all disappeared from my garden, they are such a cheery sight.
Do join in with the meme at the Ramblinggarden ‘In a Vase on Monday’. Cathy was last heard of somewhere in the Outer Hebrides, clutching some dandelions, but her loyal followers are still joining in and showing us some lovely vases.