Sunday, 6 May 2018

A Promise Fulfilled

On Friday morning I saw a swallow - was that a good omen? But then I recall Aristotle said 'one swallow doth not a summer make'. 
The spring weather has been mercurial, however, there's nothing I can do to change it. I have made a promise to show some English bluebells to a blogger? one who has travelled all the way from Australia - everything should be well as long as it doesn't rain.
 The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
 That waves in summer air; 
Its blossoms have the mightiest power 
To soothe my spirit's care....Emily Brontë 
Once you know what to look for it is easy to recognise a British bluebell from the rather ubiquitous Spanish ones, which are a hug threat to our native bells.
As British bluebells mature their stems become distinctly blue and droop to one side from the top, Spanish ones stand upright and are green. Our bluebells are a rich blue, Spanish ones are a paler shade of blue. British bells have cream stamens, Spanish ones are blue. The bells on the British flowers are long and narrow and softly curl at the their ends. Spanish ones have wide open bells which do not curl. The problem arises when Spanish bells, which happen to be much more vigorous, hybridise with ours. Hybridised bell flowers contain a mixture of both bells making them difficult to identify and they are even more vigorous than the Spanish ones.
I feel passionate about protecting our bluebell woods from the Spanish threat, once they are gone, they will be lost forever.
Let's continue through the wood and see a bit more blue magic.
Bluebells are mainly found in broadleaved woodlands. The trees newly emerging leaves create the perfect dappled shade that bluebells love without preventing the sunlight from filtering through.
Bluebells are a good indicator that you are walking in ancient woodland 
That's mission accomplished without any rain. The weather is so topsy turvy - now we have a heatwave!
Here's Wendy a happy blogger. 
We spent a really lovely day together.

74 comments:

  1. Wonderful - I just love bluebell woods. There is one an hour north of us - I think they are the Spanish ones. Must try and remember to check when spring comes around again.

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    1. I would be surprised if they were Hyacinthoides Non Scripta - the English bluebells. If they have open bells not slim and curling at the bottom, along with blue stamens then they are the Spanish ones which appear to thrive in various parts of the world.

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  2. Aren’t they gorgeous? I’m glad they were out in time for Wendy’s visit. Ours have only just started opening. I’ve probably mentioned before our predecessor planted very many of the dreaded Spanish.. right next to our ancient wood with the native English! I rue the day and am gradually eradicating them, but oh what a job. You’re right. The Spanish are really vigorous. I pull out their foliage every year and still they return.

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    1. Yes Jessica - I love bluebells too. If your Spanish ones are too vigorous to remove then it is best to cut off the flowers before they can be pollinated by Mr. busy bee and friends.

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  3. Now you have got me thinking about the bluebells in our woodland. I’m going to have a closer look. Beautiful photos as always. B x

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    1. I hope that you discover everything is correct within your woods Barbara and that they have not been invaded.

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  4. Super photos of the bluebells. One of the many things about this country which its own people rarely appreciate.

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    1. I seem to end up showing bluebells each and every year. This year I had decided that I wouldn't, that is until the request from Wendy came along.

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  5. Oh I'm longing to your country. There is no place on earth where bluebells grow so wonderful.

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    1. It is thought that we have more than half of all the bluebells Hyacinthoides Non Scripta growing here and that they were deposited in the British Isles during the end of last Ice Age. The rest are scattered more sparingly in various other northern European countries. I suspect that you must have some of them too.

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  6. I love the scent of a bluebell wood, it is an aroma that takes me back to my childhood.

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    1. That is a memory that I have too, along with poppies in the cornfields and scarlet pimpernel in the hedgerows.

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  7. They look really great, so fragile!

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    1. They are a delight to the eye at this time of year.

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  8. Hello Rosemary, Spring does not now seem complete with a report on your English bluebells--such enchanting carpets they form. In America we have several invasive species. Some are quite attractive until you realize the damage they are doing.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I think that this will be my last bluebell post. I decided last year to draw a line under them until this request arrived from Wendy.

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    2. We really do enjoy seeing the bluebells. They remind me of annual early springtime walks in the woods; of course in Ohio there are other flowers. Please don't stop abruptly--perhaps you could feature a few bluebell photos in a more general spring flower post. --Jim

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    3. I will bare that in mind Jim - thanks for letting me have your thoughts.

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  9. I plead guilty! I am now growing Spanish bluebells, BUT only because English ones (the Springtime love of my Devon childhood) just don't grow well here at all. The few I have that were planted years ago, prior to learning of the Spanish ones, but they fall over flat - leaves and stems - and never multiply. Perhaps our winters are often too mild, and then the summers far too hot/humid, perhaps they just prefer ancient British woods - who wouldn't?

    Your pix are delightful Rosemary - make me really homesick - and I can picture you lying down, camera in hand, in the
    fragrant woodland setting to capture them. I thank you. I'm sure your friend Wendy enjoyed them too - and that's a great photo you took of her with the blossom background - and I'm sure an interesting old building with leaded windows.

    Happy Springtime dear Rosemary.

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    1. I would be the same as you Mary if I was living overseas. Don't worry you are allowed to have Spanish bluebells, they are no threat to us here.
      I didn't have to lie down, I think that I would have a job getting back up again if I did!!! There was a bank in the woods covered in bluebells with the trees behind them, so I only had to crouch down a bit.
      The picture of Wendy was taken in the local churchyard just after we had visited to a local restaurant for lunch.

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  10. Always a thrill when you see a patch of bluebells.

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    1. There are actually acres and acres of bluebells in this wood. Wendy was really surprised at just how many there were.

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  11. Wild bluebells were common on the Canadian prairies when I was a kid and were always a favourite of mine. But ours sound more like the Spanish variant. Or perhaps we have our own unique kind in Canada, I don't know.

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    1. The bluebells that grow on the Canadian prairies are Harebells - Campanula rotundifolia. They are absolutely lovely, and no threat whatsoever to our British bells. We also call them Scottish bluebells as they grow prolifically in the Scottish Highlands.

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  12. I have a bunch of bluebells on my kitchen table and used your excellent description to determine that they are, in fact, Spanish bluebells, as I'd suspected. I don't know that I've ever seen the English ones. What magnificent photos you took of the bluebell woods. I'm glad that Wendy was able to visit them with you. Happy Bluebell Days!

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    1. Thanks Lorrie - I am pleased that you found my description sufficient enough to identify your bells. Two things that are easy to remember are a narrow bell as opposed to a wide bell and cream stamens against blue stamens.

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  13. The bluebells are so beautiful. I have always wanted to see those in bloom. I am so glad you are protecting them from the invasion of the Spanish ones.
    How nice you had the chance to meet Wendy. Over the past nine years that I have been blogging, I have made so many friends around the world. I am happy to say I have met several of them.

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    1. I can readily see the appeal of wanting to visit a bluebell wood and see it for real. May you have the opportunity to do so one day Catherine. Come to England at the beginning of May one year and I will take you to our local wood.

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    2. Thank you for your kind offer. ;-) There is nothing I would like better then to meet you and see that. XXX

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  14. I have received a comment via email from Wendy as blogger will not post one for her.


    "Thank you so much Rosemary for showing me your lovely bluebell woods. I know how to tell the difference between the English and Spanish bluebells now thanks to you!
    You and 'J' were so generous and gave me the warmest of English welcomes. I so appreciated getting a personalised "behind the scenes" look at the English countryside and having you both share your love and enthusiasm for your beautiful part of he world. It's so lovely to have locals show you places that you wouldn't know how to access otherwise. It was such a wonderful and magical day with you both which I will always treasure.
    Your photos have come out beautifully Rosemary!
    Thanks again."

    Thank you Wendy. It was also a lovely treat for us both to have the pleasure of your company for the day.

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  15. You look to be a couple of weeks ahead there as they are not out yet up here. Bluebells, Wild Garlic, Cherry and Apple tree blossom are always spring highlights. The little singular Harebell of the upland slopes is another favourite and they like chalk downs I seem to recall. Not surprised your friend liked the Cotswolds- great area.

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    1. I love those little Harebells Mike. They are not quite so common around here as in Scotland even though we are on chalk.

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  16. Dearest Rosemary,
    Lovely Bleubell photos you showed all your blogger friends here!
    So glad it worked out for a visitor from Down Under with opposite seasons.
    I've sure missed admiring ours this spring as I avoid walking on my crutch through the garden... Not wanting to risk a fall or any misstep.
    Enjoy your lush spring, going into summer very fast!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    I've used my down time so far very well by scanning our loved ones' letters from all those years. I had them neatly bagged up per year. Got 25% of all the years DONE and Pieter enjoys reading letters from his late Mother, his two brothers and others. Better than any book and later I will enjoy reading them too. Safely filed away by date and per year and on iCloud. By June 12 when I can retire my crutch it will be all done...

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    1. Dear Mariette - how very industrious you have been even though indisposed. That is a great job that you have been doing and I am sure that Pieter appreciates all of the hard work that you have done. You must be looking forward to the day when you can throw away those crutches and walk under your own steam once again.

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  17. Beautiful are those bluebells, what lovely photos of the 'bush'..
    Wendy, yes I remember after visiting her blog..

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  18. Dear Rosemary,

    The Bluebells are so gorgeous and how wonderful to see your photos.
    Always great to catch up with a blog friend and lovely that you and Wendy were able to spend time together.
    Happy Spring days
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. It is lovely the way that we make so many different connections all around the world. Glad that you enjoyed the photos Carolyn.

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  19. What pretty shots of the bluebells. I envy Wendy getting to meet you.

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    1. I would like to meet you too Janey - come over some time.

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    2. What a fabulous sight , even the word 'Blubells' sound so seductive to my ears :-)

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    3. Glad you enjoyed seeing them Jane

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  20. I have walked into bluebell woods this weekend, the one this morning reminded me of your wood and I thought of you teaching me the difference between the Spanish and native bluebells. The smell in the woods was incredible! It must have been wonderful for Wendy to experience one of the highlights of the English countryside. Sarah x

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    1. Wendy was really surprised at just how vast the bluebell woods are. It is quite special to observe someone seeing bluebells for the first time.

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  21. What a good description you gave of the English Blue Bell. That, along with the excellent photo would allow me to identify one, I am sure! We have lots and lots of Spanish Blue Bells here. The other blue in the fields right now is the Camas, a native flower, but as beautifully blue as the blue bell.

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    1. I too love the pretty blue starlike flowers of the Camas and have some in the garden.

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  22. Beautiful photos Rosemary. I love the scent of bluebells. Thank you for the info, I need to check out the ones in the wood nearby and in my garden.

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    1. Thank you Polly - hopefully the ones in the woods will be fine, but often the ones in gardens are the rogue Spanish ones.

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    2. Sorry for the delay Rosemary, it is as you predicted, rogue ones in my garden, good ones in the wood, all gone now.

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    3. It is quite frightening, isn't it Polly? when you realise just how many rogue Spanish bluebells are hybridising with our native ones.

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  23. Hi Rosemary,
    Spring show all its color and beauty.
    Wonderful shots
    Hugs
    Maria de
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

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  24. Rosemary, I put the answer to what I used on my blog :)

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  25. Beautiful to see the bluebells flower everywhere. Happy to know about bluebells:)

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    1. Thank you - glad you were interested to learn about the bluebells.

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  26. Lovely bluebells, and the forest looks so nice with them.
    I believe it was wonderful time to be outside together with a friend.
    I love your photos.
    Hugs

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    1. Thank you Orvokki - hope all is well with you - this is a lovely time of year.

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  27. So lovely! A blue heaven...
    Have a happy weekend, take care!
    Love from Titti

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  28. Beautiful! and so English. I'm sure your Australian friend would have loved your day together.

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    1. Walking in a blue bell wood was a long held ambition of hers, so she was very happy.

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  29. How I love to see this bluebells. It's so beautiful.
    Have a wonderful sunday Rosemary

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    1. A little bit bit of blue joy which I look forward to seeing every year.

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  30. I love to look at English Bluebells on your blog once a year, Rosemary. I really love the blueness of English Bluebells. Not only bluebells but also new green leaves are tenderly beautiful. Carpets of flowering bluebells under the fresh verdure is perfectly lovely! My Spanish Bluebells, which stand upright, are going to be over.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing them again Yoko. I had decided not to show them this year until Wendy asked me to take her there to see them, and then the temptation to photograph them was too much.

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  31. QUE HERMOSURA DE FLORES!!!!
    PRECIOSAS FOTOS,
    SALUDITOS

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  32. It is always a delight to see your English bluebells Rosemary, and I enjoyed them very much. I think I missed this post during our weekend of family business. Glad I found it, and how lovely that you met Wendy, whose blog I have also followed. She looks so attractive and I'm sure you had a wonderful time together.

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    1. We spent a lovely day together Patricia, and Wendy was thrilled to be in a bluebell wood.

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