Friday, 9 May 2014

The final weekend

Don't miss out on this years blue magic - make haste to your nearest bluebell woods
If you live in the UK and have not visited your local bluebell woods then this weekend could be your last chance to see the flowers this year. Time is running out - their colour is fading rapidly and seeds are already beginning to form within the flower heads.
Most bluebells are found in ancient woodlands where the rich habitat supports a whole host of species.
Some of the woodlands are even remnants of the original wildwood that covered Britain after the last Ice Age
In the Middle Ages, bowmen used bluebell sap to glue feathers onto arrows
Bluebell sap was also used to bind pages to the spines of books
The Victorians used the starch from crushed bluebells to stiffen the ruffs on their collars and sleeves
Legend tells us that a field of bluebells is intricately woven with fairy enchantments
Bees sometimes 'steal' nectar from bluebells. They bite a hole in the bottom of the bell and reach the nectar without pollinating the flower

62 comments:

  1. Bleubells are verry beautiful...but you are right...it is almost over...here also.
    Have a nice Weekend Rosemary.

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. Dear Inge - it is sad that the bluebells are almost finished for this year, but they will be back again.
      Hope your weekend is sunny.

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  2. Hello Rosemary, Your photos call to mind the old song Blue Bell:
    Goodbye my Blue Bell, farewell to you
    One last fond look into your eyes so blue
    'Mid campfires gleaming, 'mid shot and shell
    I will be dreaming of my own Blue Bell.

    This was popular in WWI, but is actually from 1904 (what war was taking place then anyway?)
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - Apparently it was a classic Boar War song which I have never heard before, so thank you for the introduction - having just found it on Youtube I am about to listen to it.

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  3. So much that I never knew about bluebells!! What a fascinating post Rosemary. Thank you! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy - it is surprising how many of our wild and gardens plants used to be used for domestic purposes.

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  4. One of my favourite flowers and favourite Flower Fairies! I have some in my garden which may be a left over from woodlands of the distant past.

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    1. I am sure you know that there two types of bluebell - the English and the Spanish ones. It is very easy to check whether you have English ones by the colour of their stamens. English are cream and Spanish are blue.

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  5. We are lucky enough to have bluebells here and I have been walking amongst them just today. This year they have been more fleeting than ever.. barely a week. I heard on Gardeners World tonight that I must collect the seed and cast it in other parts of the wood to spread the carpet even further. Sounds like a good idea!

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    1. I was surprised when I visited our local wood yesterday just how far over they have become. Last year they still had another couple of weeks to go at this stage.

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  6. Such pretty little blue bell flowers, like dancing skirts - no wonder they feature as a bluebell fairy Rosemary. I have never seen a bluebell wood, but I know I would be enchanted by such a vision! Must go to England in April some year...

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    1. Apparently 50% of the true bluebell population live in the UK not to be confused with the Spanish bluebell.

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  7. I just love bluebell woods. Apparently there is one about an hour's drive from here. Must try and remember to visit in the spring. Thanks for the post.

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    1. I would love to see your bluebell woods and hope that you do visit it.

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  8. Must be great to see this blue bell fields in real. They are not in our forrest helas.
    Have a wonderful weekend Rosemary

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    1. Fleetingly, it seems, they are with us at this time of year, but I always love to see them.
      You must be off to your Greek Island any day. Have a wonderful holiday.

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  9. I don't live in the UK and I can't come over :-(
    but we have blue bell in our garden :-)
    I love them, very beautiful but it's nice to see
    them on your pictures in the woods !
    I hope I didn't write to much mistakes ?
    Have a nice weekend
    greetings Kathy
    housebythewaterhole

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    1. Thank very much for your visit Kathy - it may be that your bluebells in your garden are Spanish and not English. It is easy to check them out - English ones have cream stamens, Spanish ones have blue.
      Your writing was perfect - hope that the sun is shinning for you.

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  10. So beautiful! One day, I absolutely want to visit UK, when the bluebells are blooming. Happy weekend, Rosemary!

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    1. There are bluebell woods all over the UK, but you need to ask the locals where they are and they will point you in the right direction.

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  11. En masse bluebells are enchanting - except in my front garden border where they are a blooming nuisance. Interesting bluebell facts that I didn't know. And as for the bluebell boy - have you ever seen such an effeminate fairy! It is so hard to capture the true blue of a bluebell but your pictures are glorious - shame we can't capture the scent as well.

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    1. I suspect that the bluebells in your front garden are Spanish - as I have mentioned on other comments it is easy to check, English bluebells have cream stamens, Spanish ones are blue.
      I did notice that the colour of some of my bluebell macro photos were far too blue which I discarded.

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  12. So beautiful! You know how much I adore blue flowers. Next year I will have to time/extend my spring visit so I can enjoy them. I've been visiting the UK twice a year for almost 20 years and have never seen these bluebell woods. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Dear Loi - sometimes it is difficult to get the timing right to see the bluebells - this year they are fading rapidly now, but last year they were still around for another 3 weeks. I hope that you get the chance to see them at some time on one of your trips over.

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  13. Dear Rosemary,

    Your photographs of bluebell woods do suggest that they could be inhabited by fairies!

    I didn't know anything about bluebells, and the most surprising information (for me) is that such a dainty flower would have such a strong sap. I'm also surprised that the sap would be processed as late as the Victorian era.

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    1. Dear Mark - the woods certainly do have a misty blue magic about them for a few weeks in April/May.
      The sap comes from their very fleshy stems which oozes out as soon as you pick them. I remember this from when I was a child, people used to pick big bunches of them, but today they are protected.

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  14. They are certainly colourful in mass. I didn't know what you wrote about them, so from you I learn. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you glad that you enjoyed seeing them.

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  15. Dear Rosemary such beautiful flowers!Fields full of those preety bluebell,flowers!Wow!Gorgeous pictures!
    We can't find them here!And i like them so much!
    Wishing you Happy Mother's Day!!
    Dimi...

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    1. Thank you Dimi - Happy Mothers Day to you♡
      Glad that you enjoyed seeing the bluebells which are now sadly nearly finished for this year.

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  16. Your photo´s are just great Rosemary...and I love the blue flowers!
    I wish you a lovely weekend, take care.
    Love Titti

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    1. Thank you Titti - I am keeping a close eye on the poppy seeds, and think that they have just started to emerge - I am crossing my fingers♡

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  17. A fascinating post about bluebells with some lovely photos. I think the bluebell 'season' is always over too soon but every year I'm stunned by their beauty in the ancient woods here (and I love their gorgeous scent)

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    1. I was sad when I visited the woods yesterday to see how the bluebells were getting past their peak. I have looked at a bluebell post I did last year which is dated over a week later than this one and they still had not fully opened, but Spring was very late last year.

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  18. Hello, Rosemary, I sighed on the last year’s post of yours and this year on this post, too. Natural woodlands with bluebell carpet, this is a dream landscape of mine. My English bluebells started with only three bulbs and have increased twice as many as and grown taller than last year, which makes me look forward to next year. I want them to be invasive.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - you can help your bluebells to spread by scattering around their seeds around when they are ripe. Do you have the English bluebells or the Spanish? The English have cream stamens and the Spanish blue?

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  19. I love bluebells, I saw a few at Speke Hall yesterday but we have not managed to pop over to see them in our local wood this year.....maybe if this rain stops later!

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    1. I visited our wood last Friday and was surprised at how far over they were already - last year they were still around for another 2 - 3 weeks.

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  20. Fascinating facts and beautiful images.

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    1. Thanks Suzie - it is a shame that they are already going over for this year.

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  21. As usual, I have been educated while thoroughly immersed in beauty....
    Enjoy your week ahead Rosemary....
    I would love to lay down in a field of bluebells♥️
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. That is exactly the feeling you have when wandering in a bluebell wood - lie down in them, close your eyes, smell their sweet smell, and let the sunshine filter through the leaves onto your face - perfect.

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  22. I adore bluebell woods, but sadly we don't have any near us, so i really enjoyed your lovely photos, Rosemary. Here there are bluebells in some roadside verges which are still flowering merrily, but we haven't had much sun to take them past their best. Sigh...

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    1. This is our nearest local wood but it is not a patch on the woods that we lived near in Hertfordshire. I had forgotten just how wonderful they were until I called in and saw them again last year.

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  23. So glad I got to see them this year. I think they were quite early. Might have been an earlier blog post by you which reminded me. I love those Flower fairies - the original ones, I mean. Used to have a set of the original books which are rather nicer than the reprints.

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    1. I used to have flower fairy books too - I wonder now what happened to mine. They were definitely some of my favourite bedtime reading.

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  24. Hi Rosemary,

    WOW! They look so pretty.
    Bea Cupcake

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    1. Hello Bea - nice to hear from you - give me a Skype sometime♡

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  25. The ancient forests of England are a precious heritage. Near my old home is a section on private land. The remains of a monastery lie at its heart. I try to feel the current of long ago daily life resting in the ancient walls and forest paths.

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    1. Dear Susan - it would be lovely if we could be a fly on the wall and go back in history to see what happened in the places that we love to visit.

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  26. Hello Rosemary,

    Thank you for posting all this bluebell deliciousness. This is something we very much miss living in our adopted country. These azure carpets are so wonderful and, when coupled with the fresh green of newly opening leaves, they make such a magical sight. Perfectly lovely......until next year!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - sadly the blue magic is almost over for another - it still takes my breath away when I first see them each year.

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  27. What a very beautiful post. I cannot remember the last time I saw bluebells; I actually had to make an effort to remember the name in French....

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    1. Is it la jacinthe des bois, or la campanule, or something else?

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  28. Thank you for your lovely blog - just found you via Loi's Tone on Tone. Really enjoyed reading it and your beautiful pics. sbw

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    1. Thank you for visiting and your kind commenting - do call again.

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  29. The bluebells have been amazing around here this year we seem to have quite a few weeks of enjoying their beauty and smell. Sarah x

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    1. It is sad that they are almost over Sarah - anyway nothing is more certain than the fact that they will be back again next year.

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  30. So beautiful, Rosemary. I wonder if I've ever seen Blue Bells in real life? I can't remember if I ever did. You must live in an enchanted forest. :)

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    1. If you have ever seen bluebells in the States then I would suspect that they are Spanish ones which are quite different from English ones. The English ones are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act meaning that it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs from the wild.
      Incidentally they are easy to tell apart - the English ones have cream stamens and the Spanish ones have blue stamens.

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  31. This morning I went for a walk with my dog, Rocky (the chihuahua who thinks he is king of the universe) and happened upon a very small group of what I think may be bluebells just up the street from me. I'd always noticed them and thought how lovely they were, and though they appear every year exactly at this time it never occurred to me that they might be bluebells. (I know, DUH!) They look exactly like little trumpets. Not like yours And they have rounded leaves.. So maybe they are of the Spanish stripe. :) They're already changing and will be gone soon. Next year I'll take pix and hopefully by them I'll finally get over my fear of posting pix online. Something my brain seems to be blocking. :) Isn't it odd that you, Rosemary, across the world from me, have (maybe) identified a few little flowers from across the street from me. Small world.

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    1. Dear Yvette - love the sound of Rocky, perhaps I shouldn't say it, but, I think that the same thing applies to small men too.
      Wish you could post your local blue flowers, get your daughter to show you how to do it. Once you have learn't you will wonder why you couldn't put them on before. You are the Queen of changing the format on your blog, you should find it a piece of cake.
      Last year I did a bluebell post which you can find here:-
      http://wherefivevalleysmeet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/blue-magic.html
      On the post I show a Spanish bluebell which may help you with your identification.

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