Country mouse – Mark Hedges

None of our gardens planted, lovingly tended and admired compare with our bluebell woods. For a few weeks at this time of year, nature trumps all gardeners. The vista of bluebells under a canopy of hazel trees is the crowning glory of the countryside at its most brilliant best in late April and May. This year, the bluebells are already out in many southern parts. The nodding azure bells, together with their heavenly scent, are best appreciated as the sun sinks, sending shafts of light through the bright green new leaves of the hazel canopy. It is the time of day that sets nature’s garden on high.

It’s not only the bluebells in the wood that make this, for me, the greatest garden of all there is also the accompanying orchestra of wood anemone, wood sorrel and ramsons, each with fragile white flowers that seem designed to add highlights to the blue blaze. And here and there, patches of primroses add touches of greeney yellow to the visual feast.

While you’re out admiring them, pick some ransoms or wild garlic leaves and stuff a free range chicken or a freshly caught trout with the leaves, and you’ll have a feast with which to salute our wonderful bluebell woods