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Blues and Greens


Bluebells at Ashridge Estate,  Hertfordshire,  May 2017

Ashridge, a 5000 acre country estate and stately home in Hertfordshire, is one of the most popular places in the country for viewing bluebells.

The now serene estate has had it momentous times in history.   Back in the mediæval period it was the location of Ashridge Priory, a college of the monastic order of Bonhommes, but was surrendered to Henry VIII and was eventually demolished during the reign of Elizabeth I.  The famous landscape architect, Capability Brown, worked on the grounds here; the house was home to the “Canal Duke”, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater; during the Second World War the house became a convalescent home for St Albans Hospital; and more recently it has appeared in a number of films including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  

In late April and May, the bluebells call in the crowds.  Welcoming paths meander across the estate beneath patulous trees.  The best area in which to enjoy the full impact of the bluebells is Dockey Wood, where the jazzy shimmer of blue contrasts with the bright green of the new beech leaves.  But wandering and over-zealous admirers have caused much damage to these sensitive flowers.   As a result much of the floral section is now  confined behind woven branch barriers for their own protection.


Dockey Wood,  May 2017



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 4 May 2017

Posted as part of  Thursday Special and Outdoor Wednesday

19 replies »

  1. The bluebells are such a worthy and beautiful subject for a macro, and a special lens!
    Your mention of Elizabeth I made me think of the current Queen Elizabeth. Can’t believe she and her husband are still reigning at their age! Hope Charles still will get a change before he is retiring age!
    Thanks so much for linking up these lovely shots to All Seasons! Have a great week:)

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’d love to do that with you – I’ll look forward to doing it on your blog!
        It’s perfect for bluebells down here at the moment, but I guess you may be a couple of weeks early for up north!
        Ashridge has this weekend marked as peak bluebells – a small charge in place


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