Whenever I am invited to write a guest blog, such as my recent ‘Teatime Interview’ courtesy of ‘A Woman’s Wisdom,’ I am often asked for a short bio: I nearly always make mention of the fact that my husband and I share a passion for long country walks and belong to a local walking group.
Of course, England is renowned for one thing, this time of year – BLUEBELLS. Which is one of the reasons we nearly always offer up a bluebell walk – and this year was no exception! Together we ventured up to Slindon Folly, to discover a woodland floor which was literally smothered in a carpet of rich purple. It’s such an amazing sight and these flowers sweeten the air with a most delightful floral fragrance.
But English bluebells are sadly, becoming a species under threat as a result of the more invasive and larger Spanish bluebell. It is distinguished from the common bluebell by its paler, larger blue flowers, more erect flower stem, broader leaves, blue anthers (where the common bluebell has creamy-white ones) and little or no scent compared to the strong fragrant scent of the northern species. Wherever you see Spanish bluebells they can cross-pollinated with our indigenous ones – but as the Spanish variety is more dominant, they are slowly taking over. More worryingly, its distribution has also been increasing in woodland areas – the preferred habitat of the UK’s native bluebell and home to some of its oldest populations.
Hannah Briggs from the BBC quotes: “Native bluebell woodlands are one of Britain’s most iconic countryside images and we should make every effort to protect them.” See: www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17597489
All I can add is that we should cherish our native bluebells while we still have them – so visit your local beauty spot where they grow, take photos, publish them on social networks – and if you wish, please share this post!
Lastly, I couldn’t end this post without quoting a small extract from Book 2 VISIONS – since our lovely English countryside is always such a powerful inspiration behind my story writing:
“… Eleanor continued to absorb herself in the splendour of his estate, helplessly oblivious to the unravelling thread of events, about to alter their destiny. As Spring turned into summer, so they witnessed a gradual change in their surroundings; from the last bluebells of May, where a prolific carpet radiated an iridescent purple haze – to the towering spikes of foxgloves, alongside banks of intense blue delphiniums. By June, even the first roses had begun to reveal their beauty – a time when Eleanor had almost forgotten the troubles which had plagued them in the past. Charlie too, became fully immersed in his various building assignments – privileged to be in command of such an exciting restoration.”
For further information on my second novel, Visions, a psychological thriller based in the idyllic English countryside of Kent, check out my link on Amazon.