The Bluebell Trails, Cheshire

by Veronica

In the North of England, bluebells have a very short window of existence and are at their glorious best in the first week of May.

Having a day to myself, I had just settled myself down to a day watching chick-flicks with mugs of tea . Think again; since when did a mum, grandma, business owner have a day to herself. :) This diversion though was welcome. My daughter in law phoned and said her little family were going to the Bluebell Walks at Rode Hall, South Cheshire about 45 minutes away and would I like to go with them. WOULD I ! ? Yes indeed.

Rode Hall, is a large country house and privately owned by a long established Cheshire gentry family. The hall is an elegant 18th C house standing on a little mound.
Although the house is privately owned, the gardens are open to the public from April to September. There is a farmers' market once a month where farmers sell their own produce.

Photos are all my own and taken by me.

the hall
the hall

Rode Hall

Rode Hall
Rode Hall
The  dome on the roof
The dome on the roof

Bluebells

Asparagaceae family

There were literally billions of wild bluebells laid out like a vast carpet everywhere throughout the woods. The scent was beautiful.

There has been an "invasion " of Spanish bluebells in Britain and they have crossbred with the native British variety but there are differences.   

British bluebells have a distinctive scent and are dark blue , occasionally pink or white. Spanish bluebells have broad leaves. They are paler blue again sometimes white or pink  and have no scent.

There were literally billions
There were literally billions
everywhere -  a carpet of bluebells
everywhere - a carpet of bluebells

Bluebells

In the picture above you can see some of the rarer pink bluebells.

The photos show darker blue and pale blue flowers to show how they have mixed. I don't know how the Spanish bluebells have spread so far.

A beautiful sight
A beautiful sight

The lake

Through the woods, the carpet of bluebells lead us down to the lake. Two boathouses adorn the lake side. One was rather quirky and housed a canoe. It even had bluebells growing on top of the boathouse.  

Boathouse

boathouse
boathouse
canoe house
canoe house

Bluebells have grown on top of the canoe house.

 

Wicker animals have been placed around the woods for the children to find. This gives them a focus and something to do. We found seven of the eight hidden in the woods.

this was about 8 ft tall
this was about 8 ft tall

Round the woods

Sensible use has been made of the felled trees as seating and benches as seen here. The kitchen garden was not yet in bloom but it was very large.

The gardener's cottage is pictured here. Although a gardener's cottage it is more substantial than some homes.

gardener's cottage
gardener's cottage
sky-sweeping trees
sky-sweeping trees
log seats
log seats
not just bluebells
not just bluebells

This was a pleasing way to spend an afternoon walking  in the woods and it appealed to the sense of sight, smell and also sound. There was constant birdsong all round us and it was far more soothing than sitting by myself watching repeats of films on DVDs.

white  bluebells too
white bluebells too
Updated: 05/10/2017, Veronica
 
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?
1

Comments

Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
Veronica on 06/06/2017

Oh Derdriu

That is interesting . Care to share a description of Virginia bluebells. I had never heard of these.

As far as I am aware all these noble families were intermarried and inbred ncluding our royal family. The gene pool from which they drew was very small. The chance are they were related.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/06/2017

Veronica, Thank you for including us on your tour and for the explanation about native versus Spanish bluebells since all I have here is Virginia's.
Is the Rode family for which the Hall is named related to the Jocelyn family that holds the earldom of Roden?
It's interesting to me when hyphenated names are used and when they are not since the Wilbraham relatives of the Rode family appear to have owned the property now far longer than the beneficiaries of Edward II's original gifts for service and support.

Veronica on 05/18/2017

Thank you. Of course we all have much to contribute and that makes an interesting jigsaw of experience and expertise. Frank and I are both teachers so we do like to impart knowledge. :)

The inclusion of child friendly activities and searches is a great idea, as a four year old boy will only look at flowers for so long!

blackspanielgallery on 05/18/2017

Wizzley is an amazing source of knowledge, for I have never heard of a canoe house. And, the idea of having something for children to do when they tire of nature is amazing. Well done. You and Frank are among a handful of those adding content other than chef and movie reviews. Nothing against them, I just prefer reading content othrr than reviews. Yjanks for writing.

frankbeswick on 05/13/2017

I have done a bit of research and found that pink and white varieties are found in both British and Spanish bluebells. So without genetic investigation under a microscope we cannot know whether the plant that you saw is a hybrid or not.

frankbeswick on 05/11/2017

By the way, plant genetics are more complex than animal genetics are, so odd things can happen.

frankbeswick on 05/11/2017

The only way to find out is to place one under the microscope and study its cells.

Veronica on 05/11/2017

Yes I was surprised but as the Spanish bluebells have crossed with the English ones it may be a result of that indeed.

in fact my 4 year old grandson spotted the pink and blue on the same stem;- but then... his observation skills are outstanding.

frankbeswick on 05/11/2017

That is unusual. It might be a hybrid, or it might be what is known as a bud sport, which is when a mutation occurs by faulty chromosome replication in only on stem on an otherwise normal plant.

Veronica on 05/11/2017

There was a flower which must have been a hybrid as it had dark blue and a single pink bell on the same stem . It was a very interesting place and only about 40 mins down the A34 from my house.


You might also like

Hare Hill Gardens, Cheshire

After living 7 miles away for most of my life, how come I never knew this mag...

Belfast, Ireland; Botanical gardens

This week I have had a short city break to Belfast. I tried to see things I ...


Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...
Error!