Yesterday morning I set off across the Linden Field on one of my periodic scavenging missions. I’d found the stash back in the winter when it was frozen into a craggy hummock: too hard to prise open the constituent parts. We’re talking about wood chips here. Last year one of the oaks at the top of the field where it meets the foot of Windmill Hill had shed a large branch. The brash was duly shredded and left in a heap by the boundary fence. And what a sight to gladden this gardener’s heart, though I had to wait for it to dry out, first after the thaw, and then after weeks of rain.
It is amazingly useful stuff. Firstly it’s good to add to the garden and kitchen waste that goes into our hot compost bin. Secondly it makes an excellent mulch for the home flower borders. Thirdly, and mostly, I use it at the allotment where I pile it on layers of cardboard set between the raised beds; this in a bid to maintain weed-free paths. When, after a year or two, when the cardboard has melted and the chippings begun to break down, the whole lot can be added to the allotment compost bins, and the cardboard laying and scavenging begins again.
And so that was my mission – out in the brilliant sunshine and still frosty, frosty air to collect fresh path makings. Of course I always take the camera too, which meant that when I reached the heap, I was at once distracted by bluebells. There they shimmered on the flanks of Windmill Hill, proper native bluebells:
through the light/they came in falls of sky-colour washing the brows and slacks of the ground with vein-blue…
Gerard Manley Hopkins Journal May 1871
28 thoughts on “Bright Glade”
Always an amazing sight, those first bluebells.
Driving over the Edge at the weekend, and the woods in Ape Dale in the first phase of blue.
I always used to associate bluebells with May, but they do seem to appear in April now, or am I misremembering?
I think things are earlier. I noticed a few days ago that the lilac at the allotment was thinking of opening, and I would tend to think that should happen in late May, early June, and definitely not April. The oil seed rape flowering is well ahead here too. All v. surprising with the persistently cold air temps.
When I compare some of my photos from previous years with this then things are definitely slow this year, even the blackthorn has only opened this week. And yet I saw a field of rapeseed this week too! All very strange.
Confusion all round then. I do know it’s flipping cold here today.
What a beautiful wildflower. You are so thrifty and I love the way you use and reuse everything.
Bluebells are among the UK’s top wildflower favourites. They have a very delicate scent too. Nothing like walking through a big bluebell wood.
It’s too bad we can’t communicate the sense of smell as well as the beautiful visuals.
I’ve often thought that too, Marsha. It might help wean people off liking the overwhemingly awful man-made scents applied to every product.
True that. There’s nothing that competes with the real thing. I do love how blogging takes me all over the world, but it’s so limited.
So beautiful every year I wait with anticipation for bluebell season.
I think ‘bluebell distraction’ should be a therapy on the NHS!
Bluebells are always worthy of distraction.
Yay for bluebells 🙂 🙂
I’m guessing you have the ‘Spanish’ variety in Portugal ?
I can’t say I’ve seen many, Tish, but I expect so 🤔💕
Been loving the bluebells here too.
Bluebells. My goodness’, these flowers take me back a few years, don’t they just!
I think they come with an in-built nostalgia factor, Ark.
So beautiful and true what you say about the nostalgia factor. But I do think that walking through a woodland with bluebells in flower in real time is something special?
Congrats on the woodchip scavenging!
Bluebell woods are truly special. There are some fabulous ancient ones in Wales. And the subtle scent of them!
How wonderful to walk in ancient forests. I am trying to imagine the scent of the bluebells …
A very delicate hint of hyacinth – if that helps 🙂
Thanks yes it does, although scents/smells are surprisingly hard to imagine, although nothing is as evocative of past experiences as a whiff of an associated real scent/aroma!