Bluebells at Badbury Clump
The highlight of May for me has been seeing the fleeting beauty of carpets of Spring bluebells. I went for a lovely run starting at Badbury Clump at the beginning of the month. The Clump forms the remains of an Iron Age hill fort from about 600 BC and is famous for its beech trees and bluebells. They really were spectacular.
I also enjoyed a lovely evening with my local running group, Abingdon Athletics Club, running through the woods at Cothill.
A couple of years ago Mr Smiles and I had a holiday near Sissinghurst in May and the carpet of blue flowers in the woods was equally lovely.
We have also had quite a display of bluebells in the garden this year. This got me thinking about the difference between native English bluebells and Garden bluebells as they clearly aren’t the same.
My Garden Bluebells
I really enjoyed the process of painting two types of bluebell in watercolour. I found the process helped me see the differences botanically.
Spanish Bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica
Leaf Width: 20 – 35 mm (broader)
Stem: Upright and chunkier appearance. Less dainty.
Flowers: No scent. Dark blue/pink/white. Petals are shorter and form a wider open bell-shape.The tips flare outwards rather than curl. The flowers are spiralled around the stem.
Our Native Bluebell woods are threatened by the more vigorous Spanish bluebells. Hybrid Bluebells result from cross pollination. The Hybrid is somewhere in between the two with broader leaves, little scent and flowers all around the stem which droop slightly. The petals are shorter and more open like the Spanish. The tips sometimes roll back.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my trips through the bluebells this month.
The Woodland Trust would like to know where and when bluebells have been seen across the country. Why not join the Big Bluebell Watch and help map bluebells across the country?