If we go down to the woods today. . .

It’s that time of year, if you are lucky and live near a bluebell wood, to go strolling through one of Mother Nature’s more enchanting realms. Delicate English bluebells form carpets of violet-blue beneath deciduous trees tinged with the palest of lime green.

I remember several childhood ‘bluebell’ walks. A couple were through the woods near Little Baddow, in Essex and another was an occasion when my family visited the woods near Butley Priory in Suffolk, decades before the remaining gatehouse was restored into a wedding venue.

But what if you live in the middle of a town?

A glade of bluebells, Holywells Park, Ipswich

Well, Holywells Park, Ipswich, does it again. The wooded area of the park may not be vast nor the ‘Bluebell Walk’ exactly long, but they are there, delicate, bluebells nodding gently in the breeze.

The Woodland Walk, Holywells Park

The Woodland Walk partly runs along one side of the park. On the other side of the high, brick boundary wall there’s Bishops Hill, also known as the A1156, busy with traffic. Yet as you walk on down into the peace and quiet of the park you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the middle of a large country estate complete with a wildlife pond.

White Water Lilies

Nymphaea Caroliniana NiveaBy August the pond water is now warm enough for a succession of flowers from a somewhat shy water lily – not very floriferous my fault not the plants as it isn’t in full sun for long enough each day.

Nymphaea Caroliniana NiveaWhite water lily

When I started planting up the pond, along with the necessary green oxygenating aquatics, I wanted a white water lily. I can only have one water lily as the pond is quite small. After some hunting through the catalogues I eventually found a medium sized variety, Nymphaea Caroliniana Nivea. The flowers initially look cup-shaped, but then open fully into a pure white star-shaped water lily with a centre of yellow stamens.

white water lily