Ringing in the Return of the Bluebells
Bluebells in my backyard dreamscape
Outside my backdoor in the shade of a gnarled friend, the bigleaf maple
The first time I recall seeing a forest floor carpeted in bluebells was in the movie Howard’s End. In a dreamlike state, Vanessa Redgrave as Ruth Wilcox was drifting through a sea of blue flowers, consumed by the beauty of the moment. The train of her Edwardian dress heavy with moisture from dew, left a wake of parted petals and stems with each step. It’s an image worth remembering and one I can revisit with Netflix or in my own backyard each May.
Apparently there are different bluebell species as the Natural History Museum in London explains quite nicely:
Spanish bluebell, Hyacinthoides hispanica (My backyard species)
English bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Vanessa’s woodland sea)
Hybrid bluebell, Hyacinthoides x massartiana
Bluebell-like plants, examples
They are the most prolific spreader in a shady garden and under trees, peering up with the full force of their beauty en masse, the extravangant display lasting several weeks. They disappear as quickly as they arrived, leaves wither to a yellowy straw color before dissolving into the earth in preparation for their nine-month nap and showstopping return.
Related: BBC video, Spanish Bluebell Invasion
There’s no better place to chew a bone than on carpet of bluebells.