Daffodils are cheerful, cherry blossom is delightful, primroses are adorable and tulips are wonderful, but bluebells are my favourite spring flower of all - indeed, perhaps my favourite flower full stop. They're understated where daffodils are brash, dainty where tulips are bold, and their delicately frilled trumpets, demurely downcast, give them a shy demeanour that makes even cherry blossom look extrovert.
One of the things I've been most looking forward to about living in England - and one of the main reasons why I wasn't sorry to leave Thailand this week - was a walk in the bluebell woods. We went to Arlington Bluebell Woods, near Eastbourne.
Isn't it just lovely? And the woods are filled with their sweet scent. Bluebells make me very happy.
Apparently it's been estimated that maybe half the world's population of Hyacinthoides non-scripta bluebell plants are in the UK, but they are becoming rarer and are now a protected species. They're endangered by habitat loss due to the destruction of ancient woodland, and also losing ground to a hybridised version of the Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica), which is often used as a garden plant, but being hardier than the native variety frequently ends up usurping it where they come into contact.
I ended up with a slightly birdy theme in my outfit, with my favourite bluebird dress (one of my first 'serious' vintage purchases), dove necklace and swallow earrings! I did my hair in victory rolls, then promptly covered them with the beret.
Early 40s bluebird dress, ebay; Beret, Accessorize; Cardigan, estate; Gloves, can't remember (either ebay or boot fair); Belt and Swallow earrings, Thailand; Tights and shoes, M&S. Bluebell print by Sheila Mannes-Abbott.