B is for Bluebell

When I signed up for the revised A to Z challenge I had a photograph of a flower for B.  Then I decided to use it under another name for a letter later in the alphabet. You’ll have to wait and see where it appears!

Bluebells
Bluebells

Being in an exposed location in the North of England, our bluebells flower later than those farther south or lower down.  There are wonderful swathes of bluebells mostly in woods in the county where I live.  The first photo I used as a profile picture on Facebook was taken in a bluebell wood.

Not all bluebells are the same.  Here in the UK there are native bluebells and invasive foreigners – in this instance, Spanish ones.  Some bluebells may be pink or white.  That is an oxymoron (or a contradiction in terms).  I was disappointed to learn yesterday, that our garden ones – in the first picture – are Spanish.

Hyacinths are similar to bluebells, but with much bigger blooms.  Planted in the garden, they may flower for many years, but become smaller.  They begin to look more like bluebells.

In my childhood, when car ownership was less usual, people were not able to visit the countryside easily from towns and cities.  Country children and visiting townies used to pick wild flowers.  In Britain this is now illegal.  Picking or digging up wild plants is not allowed in order to protect them from extinction in their natural habitat.  The country code includes “Take nothing but photographs.  Leave nothing but footprints.”

Bluebells were growing in our garden before we lived here.   Wild flowers are propagated by many means.  Birds and animals spread the seeds.  Bluebells go to seed, but they also have bulbs.  Plants with bulbs or corms often produce new ones underground.  Bluebells certainly spread easily.  I usually cut the dead flowers off before the plants use lots of energy making seeds.  The foliage dies back later in the year and is more likely to nourish the bulbs.  In any case dead-heading is a relaxing occupation.

Bluebells in a wild flower garden
Bluebells in a wild flower garden

At present there are other plants in flower beginning with B.  The blackthorn has been flowering for a few weeks.  Later there will be sloes in the hedgerows.  Buttercups are beginning to bloom.  Blossom of all kinds is brightening the view.  Bumble bees and other insects are busy pollinating them.  Bees are fascinating.  We  have had bees living in the garden previously.  They set up house underground.  I wonder whether they’ll return this year.  I know at least one beekeeper and have written about bees in posts on Sue’s Trifles.

My photos are of a clump of bluebells in our garden and some in a more natural setting not far from here.

Do you find the natural world fascinating?  What about creepy-crawlies?

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4 thoughts on “B is for Bluebell

  1. Lovely … we also have bluebells in the garden: I must say I do tend to restrict them a bit or they’d try to take over, in partnership with the Lesser Celandine and buttercups, which are making a bid along with some nettles which graciously allow to grow, near the fence, (in order that a day-flying moth’s caterpillars can feed on them) – these plants are making a bid to change the garden into a wood! No, each plant can have space but not take over in true wild style. I do also want to grow clematis, lupins, and other cultivars!

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      1. Yes, I’m not surprised. I love butterflies and their whole life cycle is interesting (though I am not fond of caterpillars!!) At least one Peacock pupated in our garden shed over the winter, & popped out on a warm spring day. The day-flying moths are something I don’t remember from childhood or even when the kids were young, but in recent years they’ve been very noticeable: do you have them? They are Cinnabars. Red, navy, and with a yellow spot sometimes. Fortunately this area is great for nettles, in every wild space around.

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      2. I have seen cinnabar moths here, I think. The first time I saw them was in my childhood in the N.E Surrey area. They are quite spectacular. We have noticed different butterflies in recent years. Sometime it seems to be a question of being in the right place at the right time. Sue

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