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Planting a bluebell wood


By Sparkly

Cumbria, United Kingdom Gb

I want to establish a bluebell wood with proper English bluebells. The site in question is lightly wooded but the whole area is covered in ground elder,brambles,nettles etc. Would we have to clear the area first? Also we have some of the spanish bluebells (although I am trying to get rid of them), would they destroy the native ones? Also plants or seeds?



Well, you' d have to clear an area if there's ground elder. It would choke your bluebells, I'm afraid. Spanish ones do cross-fertilise with the English ones, so they'd have to go. I reckon some clearing is needed - sorry!

The best way to plant bluebells is 'in the green' like you do with snowdrops - ie. buy them by the hundred while they have leaves. They will settle in well - planting the bulbs in the autumn is never as successful. There are many companies that specialise in this.

Two options - look in the small ads in gardening magazines, or I'll tell you a good and reasonably priced Nursery I can recommend (by Private message).

3 Mar, 2009


i agree with spritzhenry on the ground clearance and planting technique. the spanish ones are freely promiscuous with our more delicate species. there is national concern about this.

3 Mar, 2009


There is an article in this weeks Amature Gardening magazine. Out today £1.80.
The article is on pages 40-43, and it is all about Blue bells , Hyacinthoides non-scripta (English ones) and the type of woods the flourish in i.e. 20 years old, broad leaf, along with a specific fungus Mycorrhiza arbusculus.

Where as the Spanish blue bells are not so choosy and therefore take over as well as hybridise.

Blue bells do naturalise over time and do look good though.
You can buy them in bulk but you must make sure they come from a reputable source and are not just pinched from the wild.

Have fun and let us know how you get on.

3 Mar, 2009

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