Our bluebell-hunting adventures have become something of an annual tradition and one I look forward to each May, safe in the knowledge that Spring is well and truly upon us, with the promise of Summer days on their way. Here in Scotland we can be weeks behind the growing season in the South, so the bluebells were still in the process of emerging when we visited but already looked resplendent in the dappled Spring sunshine. Suitably attired in a bluebell-hued Laura Ashely dress – a new vintage acquisition from a recent fair, I adore its retro smock cut, ruffled collar and bow detail – we wandered for several happy hours, snapping as we went and stopping for a restorative flask of tea. I’m hoping to hunt for more bluebells this weekend before they disappear for another year; there’s something about getting back to nature, especially in Springtime, that’s so good for the soul. I’ll leave the pictures and the beautiful poetry of Anne Brontë to do the talking – her words capture the nostalgic magic of bluebell season and the healing power of nature better than I ever could.
‘A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.
Yet I recall not long ago
A bright and sunny day,
‘Twas when I led a toilsome life
So many leagues away;
That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed. […]
But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower,
A single sweet bluebell.
O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood’s hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,
Those sunny days of merriment
When heart and soul were free,
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
That loved and cared for me.
I had not then mid heartless crowds
To spend a thankless life
In seeking after others’ weal
With anxious toil and strife.
‘Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
That never may return!’
The lovely floweret seemed to say,
And thus it made me mourn.’
The Bluebell by Anne Brontë.
Have you found the bluebells near you?