Today I have been enjoying one of my favourite spring flowers - the bluebell.
Here are my English bluebells, which I deliberately bought, next to some Spanish bluebells which have appeared all over people's gardens. I am not entirely sure if they are the Spanish or the English-Spanish hybrid, but they are bigger, upright, with thicker stems and huge leaves. They are more strongly scented than the delicate English ones, but maybe because there are more flowers on the spike. In the language of flowers, bluebell means constancy; if only there was such constancy when identifying bluebells in Britain! The Natural History Museum has helpfully put together some information to help people identify the bluebells they see. The museum is also collecting information from people who have logged their sightings.
I can see why florists prefer to use the stronger Spanish bluebells in their work, but I love the thin stems and drooping heads of English bluebells.
My question is: which bluebells did Winston pick for Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four?!