Spring in England is my favorite season. An explosion of colors and smells occurs thanks to a warmer touch of the Sun. And it rains much less. Every day you can see how the grass turns greener, like a light jasmine, almost pastel, and the leaves develop a similar colour on the trees. The whole world seems to be eager to live. The singing of the birds can be heard everywhere. Winged creatures are rapidly busy preparing nests for their offspring. I don’t want to miss this whole spring impression, so I take my dog for long, vital trips through forests, fields, to the river. I remember before I came to this country, I did not associated England with many colours, only with the grey rainy weather and lilac of heaths. I couldn’t be more wrong, I discovered that Shakespeare’s country is as colorful as the rest of Europe.
Especially in spring time in the forest you can find this wonderful plant Endymion sometimes simply called the Bluebell, because the hanging flowers look like bells attached with a ribbon to a green branch.
Every spring, as soon as the sun begins to shine and warm the earth, the forest grounds are covered with blue carpets, the blue mist surrounds us like magic, enchants all the senses with a spell. According to ancient beliefs, these bells were supposed to evoke the fairies in the green headquarters, but if a mortal heard the mysterious sound his/her days would be numbered. Fairies playing with the beautiful bells do not like it when someone steps on those blue carpets.
The name Edymion comes from Greek mythology. He was a beautiful young man who unfortunately became the object of desire of Selene, the Moon goddess. She didn’t want him to ever grow old and she had put him to sleep forever, she would come to him every night and look at his wonderful face.
When Christianity came, Endymion was “converted” to Saint George and the bells became his symbol. And apparently just on the day of this saint, that is, 23/4 bells begin to bloom in the woods. And as we know, Saint George is the patron of England.
Blue bells are a very “old” flowers, according to the English Woodland Trust, the blue carpets may already have covered the British Isles in post-glacial times. These bluebells are not quite blue, they have a slightly purple hue. In the forests you can sometimes find very bright – bluish varieties which “immigrated” from Spain. Some of them started mixing with the older species and created a new hybrid. They are all beautiful.
Woodland Trust, National Trust http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/bluebell-woods-near-you and other places sometimes organise trails through the forests to find bluebells, however you do not have to look far, I bet that when you go in April to the first forest outside your city you will find rugs of bluebells.
At the end a warning: do not pick up or break the bells, do not risk the anger of fairies because, and this is true, most of them contain poisonous substances that can be very dangerous, they can cause dermatitis to people. Let’s walk among them and admire. Just look, don’t touch!