.......is an area of woodland just over the Gloucestershire border into Oxfordshire. It was once the site of an Ancient Iron Age hill-fort - a defended settlement established in 600 BC. The fort originally had two banks strategically placed above one another on the highest ground in the area. Parts of the outer defence were flattened in the 18th Century, and there is now little evidence remaining. The area is particularly known today for its wonderful beech trees and beautiful bluebells that blanket the woodland floor each spring. Having never visited before we were not exactly sure what to expect. But as we reached the top of the gently slope leading into the woods the sight that greeted us by far exceeded anything that we could have imagined - a stunning magical deep blue carpet of bluebells, stretching as far as the eye could see.
Over the years we have visited dozens of bluebell woods around the country, but none have come close to the breath taking beauty seen on Badbury Hill.
This beautiful ancient woodland is filled solely with our own exquisite native Hyacinthoides non-scripta - bluebells. They appeared to be far taller and more robust than usual, and their delicate perfume, reminiscent of hyacinths, filled the air. It is unusual to see just one species holding domination throughout an entire woodland, but here, the bluebells were in charge, this was their domain.
British bluebells have:-
1. cream coloured stamens and anthers.
2. sweet scent.
3. narrow tubular bells with tips curling upwards and hang down one side of a purple nodding stem.
4. they are a deep blue occassionally white or pink.
2. Pale blue flowers often pink or white.
3. Conical open bell flowers with no scent.
4. Long broad strap leaves.
5. Flowers all around a straight stem.
Wonder of wonders...I am so glad you shared these photos of the beautiful bluebells woods. It must have been breath taking to see them, and their scent as well!ReplyDelete
I could not believe my eyes when I first saw them.Delete
As my friend Krista would say "Das ist ja eine Pracht".Thank you for sharing. As always, your photos are sensational.
In der Tat waren sie großartigDelete
Oh! How Magnificent! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and the gorgeous countryside you live in and visit! It is a treat for Anglophiles who can't get over there any more. Those bluebells with the beech trees are truly a treasured sight.ReplyDelete
I am delighted to know that you enjoyed seeing them Daydreamer.Delete
Wow, Rosemary - what a beautiful, beautiful sight! A sea of such dark blue bells - I would give a lot to see that, and make a hopeful notice in my calendar - maybe next year? And I want to smell it - I didn't know that they have a scent.ReplyDelete
And I learned something about British an Spanish bluebells, thank you - of course I prefer the dark blue scented British ones!
I do hope that you may be able to visit Badbury Hill Britta. If you have visited the wonderful water gardens at Buscot Park, then it is a few miles away from there - these bluebells are a really unforgetable sight.Delete
What a great show that is! I don't think I've ever seen bluebells so totally dominant on the woodland floor.ReplyDelete
It was a first for me John - we could not believe that there were no buttercups, dandelions, or any other wild flowers growing in the wood - simply bluebells.Delete
Oh, those bluebells just take my breath away! So gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Mine too DebraDelete
I have seen many spectacles of nature during my life and I think that an English woodland filled with bluebells rivals any of them.ReplyDelete
They were certainly a sight that will stay with me forever David.Delete
Great photos. That's the best and thickest carpet of bluebells I've seen as well. I used to live close to a very mature beech forest, trees well over 100 years old and the canopy overhead didn't allow any light in at all, like a natural cathedral with the same amount of bare ground space under them so I wonder if they will still persist if the trees grow taller and spread out more.ReplyDelete
This what the NT say about bluebells and why they grow in ancient Beech woodland - Once beech trees have come into leaf, the beech woodlands become very shady, and the woodland floor is characterised by dense carpets of fallen leaves and beechnut husks. These conditions prevent most woodland plants from growing, so only specialist shade tolerant plants can survive beneath a beech canopy. One of these specialists is the bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), which overcomes the problem of excessive shade by completing its growing and flowering season before the beech trees come into leaf in May. For the rest of the growing season, the bluebells survive as bulbs, dormant beneath the surface.Delete
Well what a gorgeous show these bluebells put on. I'm sure we have the English ones in our garden, will take a better look in spring when they are in bloom..ReplyDelete
You must show a photo of your bluebells when they are out and then I will be able to tell you whether or not they are.Delete
One word! WOW!ReplyDelete
Love from Titti
I uttered the same word Titti when we first saw them all.Delete
What an utterly breathtaking sight!! I gasped when I saw your photos, thank you. You could not have had a more spectacular day to witness the bluebell carpet, Rosemary, and, like Britta, I'm going to mark the date for a future English bluebell holiday!ReplyDelete
This was the best woodland for bluebells that I have ever visited Pip - as I was slightly ahead of my husband when we entered, I turned back to him and said "you will not believe what you are about to witness."Delete
Rosemary, thank you for sharing that wonderful woodland.ReplyDelete
Oh how wonderful Rosemary - your first photo of the bluebell wood made me gasp with astonishment. What a special place, and your series of pictures are a delight to see. How I would love to visit the Bluebell wood. Maybe, one day... Thank you for sharing with us.ReplyDelete
Moments like this really do lift the spirits.Delete
we have the native British bluebells here in the ancient woodland and also wood anemone, the Spanish bluebells are pretty too but not as small and delicate or intense in colour. You have some wonderful pictures there.ReplyDelete
The trouble with the Spanish bluebells is that they are stronger and more dominant than our native ones and hybridise with them. If allowed to do this our native ones will be no more.Delete
Hello, Rosemary. Every year I look forward to seeing woodlands of blooming bluebells. They seem to have bloomed in such profusion than ever. I wonder if it is only in your place or in general in the UK due to the weather from winter to spring. I love beech trees with sprouting leaves, and withh blooming bluebells at their feet is perfect sight. My Spanish Bluebells, which I could recognize thanks to your explanation in the past, are almost over.ReplyDelete
The bluebells in general are particular good this year Yoko. However this particular ancient woodland is quite unique as the whole of the area is completely dominanted purely by bluebells. It is more usual for the there to be other wild flowers scattered amongst the bluebells e.g buttercup, primrose, Anemone etc. That is why this woodland give the inpression of having a wonderful carpet of blue.Delete
The bluebells are a gorgeous sight.ReplyDelete
They were really uplifting to see.Delete
What a magnificent sight, Rosemary. My jaw dropped as I scrolled through your gorgeous photos. What joy! Here, it's just Spanish bluebells, still pretty, but not as dramatic. That ancient woodland is just stunning.ReplyDelete
I will never forget my first glimpse of this really stunning ancient woodland floor Lorrie.Delete