top of page

Bluebell Magic

This is one of the best times of the year. It's the time to find a new bluebell wood, to guess where they’ll be and get it right.

It goes like this. You’ll see, from a distance, from within the thicket, an unworldly cerulean glow. Your strides will lengthen, and, inhaling deeply, you’ll catch their scent: it is a more elegant hyacinth, has rosewater, sugared almond, strawberry leaves and wet earth. There is it is, perfect blueness, curled coyly around and between the trees, as far as you can see, at which moment you will skip and wave your arms about and, quite probably, sing a song of your own devising. And the word blueness will seem to have been washed out by the sky and you’ll breathe life back into the forgotten word blueth.

I have never grown accustomed to bluebells. They seem always to come suddenly, and to be from some other place of grand display. They are excessively real. The obvious conclusion is magic. They tell us where our ancient woodlands were. Their sap was used to bind our first books. If you hear a bluebell ring, so I’m advised, you’ll not tarry much longer in this world. And bluebells are, so all the authorities agree, protected by fairies. You must never pick a bluebell. If you do, the fairies will carry you away to their under-hill revelries and you shall dance with them without rest for 100 years, before being cast back out into the world again. Tempting, isn't it? But I am sworn to uphold the Countryside Code.

Some worry about the Spanish bluebell, which escaped from English gardens to seduce our English dainties, producing new European offspring. I’m no botanist. Blueth is blueth, and half of the world’s blueth is here.

Thanks for the pic to Chief Bluebell Scout, Tony Gaitskell

bluebell woods

bottom of page