My Back Pages: Bluebells in “Rebecca” (and at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden)

bluebell wood

This week I made a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Bluebell Wood, just in time to catch the bluebells before they start to fade away. This corner of the garden always reminds me of Manderley in Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca.

“Too early yet for blue bells, their heads were still hidden beneath last-year’s leaves, but when they came, dwarfing the more humble violet, they choked the very bracken in the woods, and with their colour made a challenge to the sky.

He never would have them in the house, he said. Thrust into vases they became dank and listless, and to see them at their best you must walk in the woods in the morning, about twelve o’clock, when the sun is overhead. They had a smoky, rather bitter smell, as though a wild sap ran in their stalks, pungent and juicy. People who plucked bluebells from the woods were vandals, he had forbidden it at Manderley…”

Continue reading “My Back Pages: Bluebells in “Rebecca” (and at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden)”

Advertisement