Garden adviser, Ian Wright extols the wonder of the snowdrop and the bluebell.
To me snowdrops and bluebells are ‘the’ iconic flowers of early and late spring.
Barely have we taken the Christmas tree to be recycled then the brave little snowdrop is either well above ground or perhaps even in flower. But what we don’t ever do is ever get down on the ground and really appreciate the tiny snowdrop bud.
I admit that a carpet of white is a spectacular sight but why not this year take a small mirror, get down on your knees, and carefully place it under the snowdrop. Only then will you appreciate the subtleness of this spring bulb – I promise you that the attractive flower with its delicate green, and in some cases yellow, tinges will show itself to you in a whole new light.
Lots of our gardens, particularly Lacock and Trengwainton, have great displays, so go and kneel in honour of this brave little plant the snowdrop.
Then, just as the snowdrop’s light is fading, another favourite is rampaging up through the woodland floor ready to light up the second part of spring.
The bluebell is steeped in mystical folklore. Are fairies really summoned by the ringing of its bells? If you hear the bell does that mean your sudden demise? Or does wearing a wreath of flowers means you can only speak the truth? Even the nineteenth-century Romantic poets Tennyson and Keats were under the spell of the bluebell, believing it symbolised regret and solitude. I say nonsense! This bulb is a true symbol of the fantastic beauty of nature.
Again, you are spoilt for choice as to where to go and get your yearly bluebell fix. My favourite, but keep it a secret, is Lanhydrock. Do the same as with the snowdrop and get the mirror out for new perspective. If you stare hard enough hopefully the intense blue will stay locked in your memory until next year.