A really lovely sunny spring day, finally. But as to the Bluebells, they have passed their peak of flowering. The Bluebells that have been blooming for a month are starting to wilt, the ones that have been pollinated now have visible swollen ovaries. What is beautiful now is the fresh green, transparent ‘stained glass window’ of young leaves on the trees. But these also prevent the sunlight to fully reach the forest floor. The higher temperatures have caused bumblebees and hoverflies to appear; but it is nog certain if they can still assure much pollination for the Bluebells. Bear’s garlic is now blooming beautifully.
The Vlasmarktdreef will remain closed for cars until Sunday 07/05/2023, opening again on Monday 08/05/2023.
Every day there are more leaves on the trees. Within a few days, sunlight will no longer be able to penetrate the canopy up to the forest floor. Hopefully the sun will be out in the coming days so that the colourful fairytale time in the forest will continue for a while.
The Vlasmarktdreef will remain closed to cars until Sunday 7 May, opening again on Monday 08/05/2023. Car parks 2, 3 and 8 will not be accessible by car then. Tomorrow and on Monday, the free shuttle bus will run between Halle station and the forest (to car park 2 at the forest museum) from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cold, but wonderful weather for a walk. Ideal for enjoying a forest in spring colours. The persistent low temperatures slow everything down a bit. The Wood anemones are wilting, but slowly, and in some places they still form a flower carpet of white solar panels that do not lose sight of the sun. The tall beeches are getting their leaves, but slowly. A few high beeches already have young leaves. But it is mainly the low, thinner beeches that provide a fresh green stained glass window above the purple-blue carpet of Bluebells. The low temperatures keep the pollinators away, bumblebees, bees and hover flies. The sweet hyacinth scent is not in the air yet. But the flowers do create a fairytale atmosphere. Especially where the sunlight reaches the flower-filled forest floor, it creates all possible shades of blue and purple with the shadows of the trees. Meanwhile, Greater stitchwort, Herb Paris, Garlic mustard and Yellow archangel are also blooming. If it doesn’t get warmer and the high beeches don’t get their leaves out of the buds in the coming days, you will certainly be able to enjoy the fairytale forest until the middle of next week.
Update 28/04/2023: the Vlasmarktdreef will remain closed for cars until Sunday 07/05/2023, opening again on Monday 08/05/2023.
The weather forecasts from last Saturday have now turned completely the other way. No higher temperatures but lasting cold northeasterly wind. Fortunately with a lovely sun, great walking weather to go into the woods. The advantage is that the Bluebells can fully enjoy the sunlight and continue to bloom. Even the flanks of the valleys turn more purple-blue every day. But due to the cold weather, there are also few pollinators, bumblebees and hoverflies, flying around. That’s not so good, because Bluebells reproduce mainly by seed. The flower buds of Bear’s garlic and Herb Paris are gradually opening. Here and there a tall beech is already in leaf, but most wait for slightly warmer days to open their leaf buds. The silver hairs of the leaf margins that are emerging, stand out in the sunlight.
A wonderful day to enjoy the spring atmosphere in the forest. The sunlight easily reaches the forest floor while the trees are still bare. Wood anemones and Bluebells colour the forest white and purple-blue. At the edge of that sea of flowers, Common dog violet and Moschatel are also blooming. Only the four leaves and the flower buds of Herb Paris are visible for the time being. The Bluebells on the flanks of the valleys will probably not bloom until next week. The higher temperatures next Monday will also affect the trees: the buds will start sprouting, first on the low, dominated trees and then on the tall trees. Little by little, a green transparent screen of young leaves will fill the canopy. The play of light and shadow over the purple-blue sea of flowers will then completely transform the forest into a fairytale forest.
The April whims don’t make it easy for the Wood anemones with alternating rain and sun. They take full advantage of the sunny moments to point their white petals towards the sun and let them warm up to attract pollinators. Where Wood anemones and Bluebells grow together, they provide a white-purple sea of flowers in the forest. On the flanks of the valleys where only Bluebells grow, flowering lags somewhat behind. For the time being, only their narrow green leaves reveal that a blue-purple sea of flowers will probably also give the forest a fairytale atmosphere in the course of next week. The first fresh green Beech leaves appear in the forest between the bare trunks. Many Bluebells have yet to bloom. The higher temperatures next week will certainly help and the forest will colour a deeper blue-purple every day.
A lovely spring day in the woods. Sun from the morning, almost windless. Perfect weather to enjoy the budding spring in the woods. The Wood anemones are now in full bloom. And on a sunny day, their white flowers transform large areas of the forest floor into a snow-white carpet of flowers. Along the paths, the yellow star-shaped flowers of Lesser celandine add a yellow edge to that sea of flowers. Most Bluebells have yet to bloom. Certainly the flanks of the valleys are still completely green, filled with the countless narrow Bluebell leaves. The plateaus where the sun can heat the soil all day long, are already getting a blue-purple hue. When peace returns to the forest at dusk, with a bit of luck, an encounter with a Roe deer can be a nice end to a spring walk in the woods.
Practical information about the organization of the Bluebell Festival can be found on this page.
The Vlasmarktdreef will be closed to traffic from Saturday April 8th. It is recommended to use Parking 11 Houtveld and Parking 1 Hogebermweg from then on.
It is now ‘wood anemone time’ in the forest. On a sunny day, all flowers are open and facing the sun. In large parts of the forest there is a sea of white flowers. On the plateau of the ‘Tranendal’, the first wild hyacinths (bluebells) provide the beginning of a purple-blue carpet of flowers. The flanks of the valleys will remain ‘green’ for the time being. Due to less sunlight per day, flowering always starts slower there. Along the edges of the paths, the Belgian gagea will bloom for a while. The ‘yellow suns’ of Lesser celandine are much more and will also give color to the edges of the paths for longer. The pointed inflorescence appears between the large leaves of the Lords-and-Ladies. Wood sorrel flourishes on acidic soils and in the shade of coniferous trees. The next 8 to 10 days you can enjoy the Wood anemones. Flowering bluebells are added every day.
The flowering of the wild daffodils is past its peak. On a gloomy day they remain the most striking spring bloomers in the forest. But the wood anemones are ready to transform the forest into a white flower carpet as soon as the days get sunnier. The beautiful delicate sheath Belgian gagea blooms. Its fine yellow stars hardly noticed between the somewhat larger flowers of Lesser celandine. Both mainly grow just next to the path. Dwarf periwinkle is also in bloom. And the first purple-blue flowers of the bluebells appear, but it is mainly the elongated, grass-green leaves of the hyacinths that give color to the forest floor. Blackthorn blooms in the forest edge, its white flowers stand out from afar.
Snowdrops continue to bloom. Not all Lords-and-ladies have black spots on their leaves. The kidney-shaped leaves of celandine appear in the sunny edges along the paths. Leaves of wild daffodils and bluebells poke through the carpet of arid beech and oak leaves. The beginning of a flower bud can be seen here and there in the daffodils. There is still no trace of the wood anemones. However, at a certain point they will ‘overtake and overtake’ the bluebells and provide a white flower carpet for the bluebells to color the forest purple-blue. The scroll-round, gossamer-thin, basal leaves of the Belgian gagea appear in the edges of the paths. It is fortunate that they are often in bundles, otherwise they would not be noticed at all. The hazel and yellow dogwood bloom in the forest edge. With the hazel it is a bit of a search for the tiny female flowers with their red stigmas. The male yellow catkins stand out from afar. Because there are no leaves on the bushes and trees yet, now is the ideal time to observe birds in the forest. Meowing buzzards and whirring and hammering woodpeckers attract attention.