Welcome this holiday Monday, well, it’s a holiday here in the UK.
Blooming Lovely Monday is a back after a couple of weeks out as I was touring with my Marked for Magic release. I do like touring but it is draining. I have taken a couple of days out since the last post to deal with some happenings here and recharge a little.
I’m glad you dropped by today and I hope you’ll visit again this week as there is some sparkly new stuff coming up. Two new covers for you, a new blurb to hopefully interest you and a guest or two.
My post today is one I have looked forward to writing, as the Bluebell is one of my favourite flowers. I do hope you enjoy it.
These exquisite perfumed flowers are something I wait for each year,some years they appear at the end of April and other years in May. Whatever time they bloom they announce spring has truly arrived. Their delicious and powerful fragrance is among the most beautiful in the flower world, and to stand and inhale in a bluebell wood is a magical experience I wish everyone could enjoy.
I have searched for this post to see if I could discover a collective noun to describe the rich wealth of bluebells I have seen in the woods but no collective noun seems to exist. I wonder if a collective might be, a mist of bluebells or a haze of bluebells. I like both of those and think they conjure the wonder of seeing many of these delicate blooms together.
Scientific name: Hyacinth ides non-script (L.) Roth. Habitat: Woodland, hedgerows, shady banks, under bracken on coastal cliffs and uplands. Common name: bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, fairy flower, bell bottle.
It is the common name of bluebell that gives the key to many beliefs about this flower. They are known to be indicators of ancient woodland as they take a long time to spread to create the magical carpet of colour when they open in the spring warmth. Even if the trees are not very old, the fact there are bluebells around can indicate that there has been a wood on a site for a very long time. If there are no trees there at all, bluebells show there was woodland site in the past. A member of the lily family the bluebell has a clever way of surviving under the dense shade of woodland. The green leaves emerge early in the year, well before the leaves of the trees open. This means that the bluebell does most of its growing with plenty of light and so replenishes the nutrients stored in its bulb. The flowering bit is really the end of the cycle and the leaves die away until the following year. In flower lore bluebells stand for constancy, gratitude and humility. They are also said to be the bell by which you can call the fairies, literally by shaking the little blooms like a door bell. In ancient tales those courageous enough to call the little folk often didn’t profit for their act. The strangest thing of all is that no one seems to know what sound a bluebell bell makes. Another ancient lore warns that if children played amongst the fairy thimbles as bluebells are sometimes called, the youngsters are likely to disappear. There is a darker name for bluebells, Dead Men’s Bells which perhaps comes from this association with disappearances. This might also be based on the habitat bluebells prefer, the dark shadowy woods where in centuries past it wasn’t always safe. Yet another tale says anyone who wears a wreath, maybe a flower chaplet, made of bluebells can only tell the truth, but I’ve not found a record of this being used in any legal type of situation. It is said if you are nimble fingered enough to turn a bluebell inside out without breaking its fragile petals you will eventually win the love of the one you admire. As with many spring flowers ancient wisdom tells it is unlucky to pick bluebells or take them indoors. They don’t do well as cut flowers and droop very quickly. To my mind I agree with the ancients and think the flowers are best left where they are. Some more interesting facts about bluebells: In medieval times, fletchers, those who made arrows, used the gummy sap from bluebell bulbs to glue the flight feathers on the arrow staves. This sap was also used by the Elizabethans who used the sticky stuff to starch their ruffs and cuffs. Yet another use was found for this lovely flower as the sap was used in book binding. Being toxic, which the sap is, it guarded the books against insects that could damage the precious pages.
All the information is interesting and I’m glad I found it but to be truthful not a word of it matters when I stand in a bluebell wood. I let the scent fill my senses and help make me part of the seasonal turning of another year.
I hope if you get the opportunity to enjoy a bluebell wood you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading. Daisy Banks
Image credits. “Bluebells in Narrow Wood, Wadborough – geograph.org.uk – 781186” by Philip Halling. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bluebells_in_Narrow_Wood,_Wadborough_-_geograph.org.uk_-_781186.jpg#/media/File:Bluebells_in_Narrow_Wood,_Wadborough_-_geograph.org.uk_-_781186.jpg “Little Chittenden Wood – geograph.org.uk – 1861070” by Oast House Archive. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Little_Chittenden_Wood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1861070.jpg#/media/File:Little_Chittenden_Wood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1861070.jpg