Bluebells – wordy Wednesday

(This was inevitable. I just cannot be Wordless, and following a suggestion from Julie, aka wife, mother, gardener, and encouraged by Harriet, I’m starting being Wordy on some Wednesdays instead.)

This isn’t quite about my garden, either. Oh well.

One of my friends suggested I join her on the daily dog walk this weekend, and took me into my favourite woods. It’s been busy, I’ve been busy, and I’d not paid one of my regular visits. I’m so glad she summoned me, because I would have missed this:

The scent hit me as soon as we were through the gate.

This is Coed Cors y Gedol, the wood of Cors y Gedol. Cors y Gedol itself is a very old house; the oldest existing part dates back to 1576, though there was a notable house on the site before that, and it was one of the main centres of poetic patronage in mediaeval Wales. A few more bluebells, and their heady perfume when they are present in such numbers, and it could be so again.

Above the house, the fields are filled with archaeological remains (I trained as an archaeologist), and there are marked traces of structures in the woods, though they are difficult to make out. Some, I’m sure, are recent; some are much older. The wood is a mixture of beech, oak and old hazel coppice, with all sorts of other bits and bobs, some of which is of ancient origin. The air is so clean that ferns often grow on branches, especially on the larger trees down by the river, the Ysgethin.

When you go through the gate, you see a hint of what is to come off to one side.

Through the second gate, and they line the path, leading you on:

The bright green of the new leaves and the astonishing colour of the bluebells are wonderful together, and as you move on, you see more and more. I have never been in the middle of such profusion, and I’ve been to some good bluebell woods; I think it must be an exceptional year (well, I have had two in the meadow, and that counts as a result).

In some places, they almost seem to be growing out of the stones (and these particular stones are the remains of one of the more recent structures, I think – certainly something with straight sides, unlike the lumps and bumps of what may have been an Iron Age roundhouse – oops, archaeology creeping in again).

One thing that surprised me was that we were alone. It was a bank holiday weekend, the weather was perfect, this is an area that’s popular with tourists – and most of the campsites were full – and it wasn’t even six in the morning.

People were missing a real treat:

(Even the dog seems impressed, though I actually think he’d found an interesting smell, probably not bluebell, ahem.)

Three days later, and they’ve almost faded. The scent has gone for this year. But there are still some in other places – for the moment. I’d always associated bluebells with woods, but the main requirement is actually humidity and ‘continuity of habitat’, and there’s another great display in the pass above Dinas Mawddwy where the A470 climbs up and over towards Dolgellau. The steep sides of the hills on the seaward side of the pass are so covered with bluebells that they look almost purple.

Still, there are other things to enjoy now the bluebells have almost gone. For one thing, there’s a lot of wild garlic:

I’ll really miss that, too, in a couple more weeks!


16 thoughts on “Bluebells – wordy Wednesday

  1. Christina

    Thank you so much for the bluebells. I’ve enjoyed everyone’s posts about them. It’s been like being able to walk in the woods and see them for myself. Bluebell woods are one of the few things I miss. We have wild garlic here too but I’m sure its actually something different. Christina

    1. kate Post author

      I’d miss them too, and I grew up in an area without many… I think it’s been a really, really spectacular year, and it’s a shame there’s no way of including the scent in a post too – wow.

  2. Harriet

    Love the bluebells – are they better this year than for ages? – and the words! Here’s to Wordy Wednesdays! Shall try and follow suit next week.

    1. kate Post author

      Yo on the Wordy Wednesdays! Yup, I’m convinced the bluebells are better, but maybe I’ve just missed them at their best in the past… a couple of days out, and they’re not as wonderful…

  3. Janet/Plantaliscious

    Really beautiful Kate, thank you, brought back happy memories of my own bluebell woods experience. I love wild garlic too, pretty, edible, and fragrant, I’d love to grow some if we ever move to somewhere with more space.

    1. kate Post author

      Thanks – glad to know you’re also a wild garlic addict, too. I know some people say it’s difficult to establish, but not in my garden, at all, spreads like, well, weeds – so perhaps you’re wise to wait!

  4. Joan

    Oh how wonderful to see bluebells AND walk the Coed Cors y Gedol tracks with you on this one. Next year we can both go and then I will get the scents too.

  5. Janet/Plantaliscious

    Kate, I’ve just realised, is this the Coed Cors y Gedol that is near Dyffryn? And Llanbedr? I used to work just up the coast from there in my hols when I was a student, its my favourite bit of North Wales, and where I would love to end up living some day. How wonderful.

    1. kate Post author

      It is, absolutely — that’s the one; I can walk into the woods from my place – just up and over. Next time you’re in the area you must make yourself known!

      (I knew you were a woman of discrimination — I’ve got more C y G photos on Flickr… if you’re in need of a fix… Not a lot, though, because I don’t use Flickr as often as I should. I’m about to put on the rest of the bluebell shots.)

      1. Janet/Plantaliscious

        *happy sigh* – have just added you as a contact on Flickr. I don’t use it as much as I should either. I put links to some of them on my blog in the hope that it would make me use it more. Ah well!

        OK, so let me get this right. You are living in my favourite part of North Wales, in a house with the kind of garden I dream about. You even have a weathervane on your Ty Bach. I think you may have stolen my life 😉 Or I may steal yours…

        1. kate Post author

          I’m not a great Flickr user either (as you may have gathered) but I’ll try to be better – many thanks…

          After this morning (Big Planting Day – 63 bean plants, 15 mangetout, 8 squashes, 12 Brompton stock, a tray of calendula) you can certainly have the garden. But only if you also accept several ants’ nests, a huge number of giant orange slugs – I’ll try to get a shot – and the dog who needs nappies (she nearly got her owner again this morning, but at least it was Himself who almost stepped in it, and not me).

    1. kate Post author

      They’re really difficult to photograph, aren’t they? I was amazed that my little point and almost-click Canon A95 managed it, while I’ve had problems with my lovely Leica… just goes to show, the bluebells must have wanted to be photographed!

  6. amanda

    Lovely, lovely photos Beangenie (fab name). And where’s the leeks? I forgot to post mine in the update….I thought I was missing summat. You’re in Wales….they should be sprouting everywhere 😉

    1. kate Post author

      Thanks — and yes, where indeed are the leeks? It says leeks on the packet, I definitely planted something, but what I’ve got is soil. My winter kales are fine, my purple sprouting broc is doing well. Not a leek to be seen….


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