Cre­ate Your own mini blue­bell Wood

Period Living - - Gardens -

● Blue­bells need sun in win­ter, then dap­pled shade, and soil needs to be rich in rot­ted leaf-mould.

● Plant drifts of na­tive blue­bells, Hy­acinthoides non-scripta, un­der de­cid­u­ous shrubs or trees.

They will nat­u­ralise to form a dense car­pet.

● They do best un­der na­tive beech or horn­beam and look won­der­ful un­der or­na­men­tal cher­ries.

● Plant some ferns (Dry­opteris) with blue­bells, to give a nat­u­ral feel. They will un­furl at the same time.

● Make a mini path through them.

● Never take blue­bells from the wild, as they are pro­tected by law. Many nurs­eries now stock them, but do check they are la­belled Hy­acinthoides non-scripta and where they were sourced from.

● Plant bulbs in au­tumn, or ‘in the green’ in spring.

● If you have a blue­bell wood nearby, don’t plant Span­ish blue­bells in your gar­den as they may in­vade the wood­land and take over the na­tive English ver­sion.

● For more in­for­ma­tion and to learn how to pro­tect our na­tive woods, take a look at Plant Life’s web­site (The Wild Plant Con­ser­va­tion Char­ity), plantlife.org.uk.

● Add some other blue bulbs in the gar­den or in con­tain­ers. Try Mus­cari ar­me­ni­acum, Scilla siber­ica, Chion­o­doxa forbe­sii, Anemone coro­naria, Ipheion uni­flo­rum and Iris retic­u­lata.

● Ex­panses of blue give the il­lu­sion of more space.

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