While Roland Keates the director of the “Druids Pilgrimage” visited The Grey Ladies stone circle in Derbyshire for the “Druids Pilgrimage” he was told a story about the place which was visited by fairies. Travellers had seen from the road, tiny lights of the fairies dancing around the circle at night. One legend passed down by the local farmer speaks of a farmhand who was bailing hay in the fields one summers afternoon, when, by the stone circle he found a small clay pipe.

Photograph of The Grey Ladies, Stone Circle, Derbyshire. Sometimes known as Nine Stone Close Stone Circle. Taken with an Infa Red camera
Sitting with his back to one of the stones, he filled and lit the pipe. As soon as the tobacco smoke rose to the music of the bluebells, the fairies started to dance before his eyes.
The farmhand watched the dance and as soon as he drew the last piece of tobacco from the pipe it turned to dust and the fairies vanished forever.

Popular beliefs

In popular beliefs, the bell flowers are linked due to their shape to the bells that ring of death. In mythology the bells were inhabited by evil fairies; therefore the lawn where they grow would be linked to spells.

Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire - Photograph taken by Roland "Roly" Keates
Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire – Photograph taken by Roland “Roly” Keates

 

Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire – Photograph taken by Roland “Roly” Keates

Just about all flowers have special meanings whether joy, love, longing or jealousy. For every mood and every occasion, there is the right flower. Many know what roses, tulips, and carnations mean in the floral language and delicate, small-flowered beauties and wildflowers have their place in the flower-greeting world.

Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire - Photograph taken by Roland "Roly" Keates
Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire – Photograph taken by Roland “Roly” Keates

Floral language

While the floral language was still prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries, today it has mostly been lost. At that time, the symbolism of elegant bouquets served to communicate feelings that were strictly forbidden by etiquette. Today, flower arrangements and bouquets are chosen primarily for their looks and less for the meanings of the flowers. If a carnation in the buttonhole used to be a political statement, it would be worn today at weddings. 

Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire – Photograph taken by Roland “Roly” Keates
When we look at wildflowers, we only look and never take away as it is the garden way of not shaving for a week or a month. The beauty isn’t lost because the seeds are given freely by the birds and never planted. 

In February 2001, the bellflower, often called the bluebell in the UK was named perennial of the year. One would not know there are 300 species of bellflower or Campanula flowers in the world.
Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire – Photograph taken by Roland “Roly” Keates
In the 16th century, the plants were named Campanula which means bell. The wild beauty of the bluebell flowers has certainly inspired poets and storytellers. Fairies and elves are often depicted with the flower bells as a headdress; or the ringing of the bells that warn away trespassers wandering the fields or woods. 

Schaffstein’s Blue Ribbon “Flowers and Trees”


I have found a sweet short story in a 1916 booklet entitled Schaffstein’s Blue Ribbon “Flowers and Trees,” fairytales and legends from the plant world

“How the bluebells came about.” 

Once the mice were in great need; because the cat caught and killed all who could be seen. Then they came together and advised how they would protect themselves from the cat. However, good advice was expensive, and the most experienced mice thought for a long time in vain. 

Finally, a young little mouse got up and said: “We buy a bell, we hang it around the cat’s neck, then we will hear it when it comes!” 

Everyone shouted gladly: “That is a good suggestion; we want to do that!” They immediately put all their money together and bought a bell. 

Now they discussed further and said: “Who wants to hang the bell for the cat?” Then they all shouted: “Not me!” 
“Neither do I!” 

There the beautiful bell lay useless, and a quarrel arose among them. 
One mouse said, “It is your fault I spent my nice money!” The other one shouted, “No, it is your own fault!” 

Lastly, a meadow-catkin bought the cute bell and gave it to a beautiful flower in the meadow. 

So since then, there are bluebells. 
Bluebell Woods, Derbyshire – Photograph taken by Roland “Roly” Keates

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