After a pretty cold but fun day watching the second day of the test match between New Zealand and England at Lords on Friday, I was happy to catch the train to Dorset to meet Ben in time for lunch on Saturday and spend the rest of the sunny afternoon melting into the lawn. It was unexpected sunshine, I was happy that we had little to do other than enjoy it. I’m always spoilt when I go to visit Dorset, when Ben asked me if I’d like to do anything, I said that I really wanted to see a Bluebell Wood.
A friend was recently telling me about the one he walks through of a weekend and I realised we’ve been having this conversation at the same time every year for about the last six years and every year I think it sounds amazing and every year I fail to do anything about it. I’ve had an awareness of Bluebell Woods since I first arrived in the U.K. 12 years ago. I had landed my first job at the perfumers, Penhaligons. They have a Bluebell perfume and every time someone would try it they would close their eyes and say ‘Oh, isn’t just like being in the middle of a Bluebell Wood? It’s extraordinary’. ‘Yes, isn’t it?’ I would blankly reply, ‘available in 50ml & 250ml, soaps, talc, bath oil….’ I had NO IDEA what a Bluebell Wood was, I’d not seen one Bluebell in New Zealand let alone a woodland of them, I don’t even think we have woodland in New Zealand I think its bush. I have a couple that pop up in my garden every year and every year I pull them out, I find them ugly on their own and not really at home in my London garden.
I really liked the smell of the perfume (the Queen’s personal fave BTW) when I worked at Penhaligons and couldn’t grapple with the notion that nature could replicate it for real (I mean viceversa). It was the weekend I was in the countryside, it was THE weekend of the Bluebell I did not want to miss out. Miss out I did not. Ben had been told about an RSPB reserve at Garston, it was five star rated (I love it) and it was breath taking.
The first part we walked through had a lot of flowering wild garlic mixed through the Bluebells, the further we went into the reserve the denser the Bluebells became.