The fragrance of bluebells is still in the wood, but it is getting harder for the sun to reach the flowers. The bluebells are in the shade most of the time, the sunlight on them getting more scarce. Many of them are still in their buds, as they only had a very short time this year to enjoy the light and the warmth. The canopy of the beeches is covering them almost fully now. Fortunately, the young beech leaves are still transparent, and the wood stays enchantingly beautiful on a sunny day. Meanwhile, a lot of spring flowers are flowering: lords-and-ladies with its mysterious inflorescence, graceful herb-paris, conspicuous garlic mustard along the paths, greater stitchwort with its split white petals, Solomon’s seal with its discreet hanging flowers and yellow archangel with its gaping yellow flowers, welcoming pollinators.
The beautiful time is coming to an end. A lot of bluebells start withering. The beeches get more and more leaves as the days go by, leaving less and less space for the sun to reach the flowers. The bluebells start turning pale. But the wood will still be enchanting for the next few days, nice to walk and to relax, do not wait too long to come and enjoy it if you have not been yet. The fresh green transparent beech leaves give a soft diffuse light. In the damp, calcareous valleys, ramsons is flowering abundantly, which is earlier than in previous years. Pendulous sedge with its graceful hanging inflorescence is flowering, as well as sweet scented bedstraw with its fine white flowers, but it is rare in the wood. This weekend is the last weekend of the free shuttle-bus, from Saturday up to and including Tuesday 1 May. More information.
The edges of the valleys have now turned purple-blue. But some bluebells still have some flower buds. They will not get a long time to spread their pollen and to be pollinated. On the plateaus where the bluebells started flowering first, they start withering. The sun reaches the flowers less and less. The canopy of the beeches is filled with young, transparent leaves. The wood is now in pastel colours.
Bluebells carpet the woodland floor, the sun and the shadow puts them in a different light all day long. Young, almost transparent, fresh green beech leaves ensure a soft, diffuse light in the wood. The deep purple-blue sea of flowers gives the wood a fairy-tale-like allure. Even the edges of the valleys are getting their purple-blue colour. In the moist, calcareous parts there is the garlic-like smell of Ramsons, which starts flowering. This year’s late cold spell brought about a late growth of spring-flowers, which, due to last week’s extremely hot temperatures, has seldom progressed this quickly. The beeches as well are getting leaves extraordinarily quickly. They were brown last week, now their green canopy fills the sky above the bluebells.
The forest is gorgeous now, with the pleasant aroma of bluebells. The light green transparent young beech leaves above the deep purple blue sea of bluebells have a restful effect. So far, the sun can still reach the flowers. The light alternating with the shadow on the bluebells, creates all shades of blue and purple. The summery temperatures are ideal for walking and enjoying. The downside of these extraordinary high temperatures is that the beeches are getting more and more leaves and that the canopy is getting denser. These unique spring colours will stay for the next 5 to 6 days for sure, but this most wonderful time will not last long this year. Saturday 21 April there is the yearly ‘bluebell jogging’. Weekdays are more quiet in the wood than weekends. This weekend there is the free shuttle bus. More information. Do you want the wood to stay beautiful? Then protect it and take pictures while always staying on the paths.
The purple-blue fairytale-time has begun. The most beautiful of spring is to be experienced now. But it goes quickly. The parts of the forest with oaks, are already filled with fresh green leaves. The summery temperatures have caused the high beeches to come into leaf. Hopefully this will not happen too quickly, so that the bluebells in the valleys also have the chance to flower. The purple-blue flower carpet gets more dense day by day. Enjoying this wonderful spring, seeing the light on the flowers and smelling their fragrance will be a great experience the next ten days, it might last until 1 May. Week days are more quiet. And do stay on the paths, please! Let us keep it nice.
The wood anemones keep flowering beautifully. In the parts of the wood where wood anemones and bluebells grow together, the purple-blue patches are getting bigger. The edges of the valleys stay green for the time being; but wherever the sun can reach the bluebells all day long, the purple-blue bluebells are growing out from the green carpet of leaves. The wood is slowly getting that magical atmosphere. Unfortunately, the first traces of destruction are seen from visitors that step on the bluebells to take pictures, what a shame! Some high beeches are already coming into leaf, due to the sudden summer temperatures. More hot days are forecasted and so, everything may happen very quickly. Hopefully all bluebells get a chance to flower before the beech leaves take away most of the sunlight. The next ten days, the wood is going to get more beautiful by the day, getting a purple-blue flower carpet. Along the path, lesser celandine keeps flowering. In the shadow of the pine trees, wood-sorrel is flowering. Lords-and-ladies is ready to flower.
The forest is more beautiful by the day. The wood anemones are flowering magnificently and at times they fill the air with their fragrance. There are a few flowering bluebells, but the next days most bluebells will still be in their buds, still waiting to start flowering. The first graceful fern curls are unrolling. You can follow a signposted bluebell walk with two options: a 5,1 km walk from Achtdreven (purple sign posts), or a 4,8 km walk from Hogebermweg (purple sign posts with a white line). These two walks are two loops that get together along Tranendal and as such can be combined. The route from parking 11 at Houtveld, towards Achtdreven, is also signposted (1,6 km). The walking map is handed out for free the coming weekends by Bluebell-volunteers, it can also be downloaded here.
It is a rare sight to see the wood anemones flower as beautifully as they do now. The wood, on a sunny spring day, is magnificent. Every day there are more flowering wild bluebells. In the warmer areas of the wood, a hint of purple-blue appears above the deep green bluebells’ leaves. We will not yet see the bluebells at their flowering peak this weekend, but every sunny day is a wonderful spring event. From this weekend onwards, the special traffic arrangement starts, with the free shuttle bus. The Vlasmarktdreef is closed, except for the shuttle bus, for buses and drivers who have an identity document for the disabled. More information. If you prefer to enjoy spring in the wood in a quiet way, come on weekdays. The late afternoon is also a nice time to walk in the wood.
The wood anemones are in full bloom now. Their white petals, yearning for the sunlight, give a wonderful spring atmosphere. Hidden between the wood anemones, dwarf periwinkle has been flowering for some weeks. The fragile, rare belgian gagea is a magnificent spring flower, which forms an exceptional amount of flowers this year. The first wild bluebells attract some curious insects. It will take some time before the bluebells turn the wood into a purple blue sea of flowers. The nuthatch keeps renovating its nest. Yesterday, the first chiffchaff’s call was heard in the wood.