It’s bluebell season here in Scotland, when the forests grow a carpet of luminescent azure.
The only phenomena to which I can compare it is the bluebonnet show in my second home state of Texas each spring. But, like everything in Texas, that show is on a much bigger scale, with the cerulean wildflowers spreading over huge swathes of countryside, dotted pink with Indian Paintbrush. Here, the bluebells are more subtle- hidden in ancient woodlands, usually along the banks of a burn or spring- but no less breathtaking.
The ferns are just coming out and haven’t taken over yet, and the effect among the bluebells is one of a fairy cottage garden. No wonder bluebells are associated with the fairies!
This is my second spring in Scotland, and the bluebell show is even more spectacular than last year, I suppose due to our mild, wet winter. Every day, sometimes more than once, I stroll down to a series of small waterfalls and sit amongst the profusion of bells- my happy place. Photographs don’t really capture the experience- the flowers are nestled among the greenery, and are best appreciated while knee deep in them.
True Blue: Unusual bluebell facts (according to The Woodland Trust)
- In the Bronze Age, people used bluebell glue to attach feathers to their arrows
- The Victorians used the starch from crushed bluebells to stiffen the ruffs of their collars and sleeves
- Bluebell sap was used to bind pages to the spines of books
- According to folklore, hearing a bluebell ring is a sign of impending death!
- Legend also says that a field of bluebells is intricately woven with fairy enchantments
- Bees can ‘steal’ nectar from bluebells by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell, reaching the nectar without pollinating the flower.