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The English bluebell appears with the soft-green beech leaves as spring take hold - producing one-sided arching stems of warm-blue bells - quite unlike the wishy washy Spanish imposter.
- Position: partial shade
- Soil: humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: April and May
- Hardiness: fully hardy
- Bulb size: 6/8
English bluebells are much loved for their stout spikes of bell-shaped, blue flowers in April and May. They are perfect for naturalising in a partly shaded woodland garden or underneath the canopy of deciduous trees. They quickly spread to form large clumps, so if you want to keep the numbers down in herbaceous or mixed borders, it's best to remove the faded flowerheads to prevent the plant from becoming invasive.
These are sold as bulbs from seed raised plants, which are grown in Norfolk from a licenced breeder.
- Garden care: Plant in naturalistic drifts 10cm deep and at 10cm intervals. Where bulbs are planted in grass do not cut the grass until after the leaves have died back.
- Harmful if eaten
Do you want to ask a question about this?If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
Q:I want to plant some native bluebells in a semi shaded wooded area. The surrounding trees are a mix of deciduous and evergreen and there are also some rhodenendrons coming through that have been cut back. The soil is quite acidic. Will this be too acid for themAsked on 18/6/2014 by woody from Cockermouth, Cumbria
Hyacinthoides non-scripta are tolerant of most soils, so will grow in acid, alkine or neutral soils.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 19/6/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Native plants for a grave.....
Hi, I'm looking for some UK native plants for my friends grave. It's a woodland cemetery, hence the native. Preferably something that won't spiral out of control without excessive upkeep. What can you suggest? Thanks, JoAsked on 24/3/2010 by Jo
A:Hello Jo, There are a couple of things that I think would be lovely - here are some of the best. Hyacinthoides non-scripta (bluebell) Anemone nemorosa (wood anemone) Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff) Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) Galanthus nivalis (snowdrop) Polypodium vulgare (common polypody) I hope this gives you a few ideas, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 25/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Will the bulbs grow in ericaceous soil?
Dear Sir I am looking to order some bulbs to put in containers - likely Narcissus, Crocus, Bluebells, Snowdrops, Fritillary. May I ask if any of these are uitable for ericaceous soil? I have two potss (for Camellias). If they are not, might you recommend alternatives bulbs? Many thanks and best wishes KarinaAsked on 23/10/2009 by Karina Lynn
A:Hello Karina, All of the bulbs you mentioned will flourish in ericaceous compost. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hello, I would like to buy my Mum something lovely to plant in her garden as a thank you gesture for putting up with me while I've been doing my degree. I have no idea where to start. I saw in an article about pink daffodils and thought that sounded lovely - is this the right time of year to buy them? Ideally I'd like to get her something that will last a long time, something that she can nurture, and also looks very pretty. Can you help me please? I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Many thanks, KatieAsked on 30/8/2009 by Katie Bowkett
A:Hello Helen, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. As you open the back door there is a small decked area and she has a few small plants dotted around.The lawn, which is half moon shaped, and has a few different sized conifers and red geraniums. around it She likes planting things in terracota pots, As for the soil type, I really don't know. Best wishes, KatieAnswered on 2/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello Katie, There are so many lovely plants it is difficult to know where to start. It would help if you could give me an idea of what type of garden your mum had, if she has a preference for a particular style of planting scheme, how large the garden is, the soil type and aspect etc. I have checked our stock and unfortunately we are not selling the pink daffs this year, but we do have lots of other bulbs, many of which are good for naturalising, so she could leave them in the ground and let them spread over the years. I look forward to hearing from you soon. There Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 1/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello again Katie, I think the bulbs would be lovely, but they do make it hard to have a perfect lawn as after they have finished flowering, you should not cut them back until they have died right back - there is also the issue of digging them up to plant them. If however
you think she would love it, then you could plant a combination of the following - just click on the links to go straight to them.
snowdrops (flowering Jan-Feb)
Alternatively, perhaps you should opt for a nice pot and a flowering shrub like a Camellia
http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.rhododendron/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 1/9/2009 by Katie Bowkett
A sanctuary of peace and tranquillity with an overwhelming sense of calm, a woodland garden is an ideal place to get away from it all with natural shade and privacy. Based on a simple grouping of trees or even a single, multi-stemmed specimen, a woodland-Read full article