Blue-bells, more even than roses, are the flower I associate with England. There is magic in walking under a woodland canopy among the delicate blue bobbing bells as they carpet the ground for weeks.
When I grew up, holidays were spent with my grandmother at her aunt’s (only seven years between them) on a farm in Derbyshire. I was free to wander through the woods for hours and remember the wonder of those flowers. I tried to pick a few and bring them home to put in a jam jar, but soon learned that they wilt when picked and are better left where they grow.
They also had a shed in the garden which I adored. It was painted pistachio green and had windows with ‘leaded’ diamonds on them. For me it was a cottage and I used to arrange the random garden chairs and boxes into a place to sit and feel happy.
Those holidays were a reprieve from a rather stressful home life, and blue-bells have lost none of their enchantment.
The last memory I have of such a hyacinthine tapestry was when spending a few months living with a friend of the family and my brother in deepest Devon. I went for a run along a labyrinthine lane, and came across this sun-dappled paradise.
‘Look at those blue-bells. They’re like the sky fallen down.’
Source: Elizabeth Goudge, The Runaways (London: Hesperus Press, 2013), p.93
Photo credit: Oldiefan at pixabay.com