Gardening at home with Sarah | A walk through the bluebell wood

Gardening at home with Sarah | A walk through the bluebell wood

There’s nowhere better than a bluebell wood in April, this absolute, incredible blue carpet just pumping out that very subtle but totally unforgettable scent and this is really why we live at Perch Hill, because 25 years ago we were looking for somewhere and we looked at various other places but we came down here in the middle of April and it was looking just like this and that was the deal done. You can imagine, it’s completely irresistible, and I’ve always loved wild flowers anyway because that’s how I got into gardening really, my dad used to take me to bluebell woods, we used to go to the Savernake Forest in fact and it was always bluebells that kicked off our botanising year.

In our wood, you always get the bluebells on the higher, drier ground and then the ransoms, the garlic in the wetter lower ground, and we’re on clay so these really thrive here, and one of my favourite recipes for April is to pick the leaves and then blitz them in a food processor with pine nuts and parmesan just like you would do a normal pesto, and then I partially bake a baked potato, scrape out the flesh, mix it with a bit of extra cheese and then put it in a really hot oven and it goes all crunchy – absolutely delicious – and of course the flowers are edible too so they’re really lovely in salad.

Bluebells would certainly have to be in my top 10 flowers, I just love their delicacy, I love their colour, I’m a blue girl myself, and I also love their scent, it’s very soft and gentle but it’s really there and in Britain we have them better than anywhere else in the world.

I’m taking care to follow a deer path through here because ideally I don’t want to tread on the pristine carpets partly because of how beautiful they look but also by compressing the bulb and the foliage you can compromise them and you can actually kill the bulb.