1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Snowdrops and Bluebells

Discussion in 'Herbs and Wildflowers' started by Paul Blackburn, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Paul Blackburn

    Paul Blackburn Gardener

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    183
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +42
    We are trying to create a wild garden area at the bottom of the garden and are planting several types of flowers.My wife would like some bluebells and Snowdrops.Can we get bulbs for these and is there still time to plant them.is it possible to plant them so they can come up in clusters ie plant several bulbs together.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

      Joined:
      Oct 16, 2012
      Messages:
      3,590
      Gender:
      Male
      Location:
      West Cornwall
      Ratings:
      +7,649
      Hiya Paul
      Yes to both snowdrops....but them now "in the green"......and bluebells. Buy now and plant now. English/ native bluebells of course :)
      Buy online :)
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
      • redstar

        redstar Total Gardener

        Joined:
        Aug 6, 2008
        Messages:
        5,750
        Gender:
        Female
        Occupation:
        Full time-Service Director -Human Services.
        Location:
        Chester County, PA, USA, Plant zone 4 & 5
        Ratings:
        +7,200
        I prefer planting all my bulbs in the Fall, like October or November. Says person with over 1,000 of snow drops and blue bells. and 100,000 other bulbs that come up continually starting now till July.
         
        • Like Like x 2
        • Friendly Friendly x 1
        • redstar

          redstar Total Gardener

          Joined:
          Aug 6, 2008
          Messages:
          5,750
          Gender:
          Female
          Occupation:
          Full time-Service Director -Human Services.
          Location:
          Chester County, PA, USA, Plant zone 4 & 5
          Ratings:
          +7,200
          I do believe to plant them now in green means she has to find them in pots somewhere. rather than wait and buy them just in bulbs the later is cheaper, much cheaper.
           
          • Friendly Friendly x 1
          • Selleri

            Selleri Gardener

            Joined:
            Mar 1, 2009
            Messages:
            330
            Location:
            North Tyneside
            Ratings:
            +385
            • Like Like x 1
            • redstar

              redstar Total Gardener

              Joined:
              Aug 6, 2008
              Messages:
              5,750
              Gender:
              Female
              Occupation:
              Full time-Service Director -Human Services.
              Location:
              Chester County, PA, USA, Plant zone 4 & 5
              Ratings:
              +7,200
              I have tons of woodland anemones also. I can get 100 snowdrop bulbs for $24.00.
               
              • Informative Informative x 1
              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

                Joined:
                Oct 16, 2012
                Messages:
                3,590
                Gender:
                Male
                Location:
                West Cornwall
                Ratings:
                +7,649
                Perfect Selleri......always in the green for me :)
                 
              • silu

                silu gardening easy...hmmm

                Joined:
                Oct 20, 2010
                Messages:
                3,374
                Gender:
                Female
                Location:
                Igloo
                Ratings:
                +7,281
                I grow 1000s and 1000s of Snowdrops and Aconites. Both can be planted now "in the green" but Aconite top growth is a bit brittle. Snowdrops can be planted in the green but it is not that vital. What is vital is that the bulbs have not been out of the ground for a long time and dried out, I think this is why people choose to buy Snowdrops with their leaves showing to ensure the freshness of the bulbs. I also grow Bluebells which is not my choice. They are the ghastly Spanish ones which once you have them you will never get rid. Unfortunately despite over 10 years of trying to rid myself of them I still have A LOT:wallbanging:. I think but not sure that it is illegal to sell Spanish bluebells but sure some ..... will do so. Just be careful to buy from a reputable seller.
                The 1st photo below shows Snowdrops which I planted 3 years ago which were too small to be flowering. i have sold flowering sized Snowdrops for a charity before and when I dug the clumps up there were as always small ones which I replanted. It is good to split big clumps up every now and again. Within 3 years the vast majority of wee bulbs were big enough to flower.
                You are much better to plant the Snowdrops in clumps of say minimum 5 but looks best with say a minimum of 15 odd. They look much more natural this way. They really don't fuss much about depth of planting it's more they need it not too dry when in growth. Under deciduous trees are a great spot for them. Photo 2 is showing them planted under a big Cherry tree and the ground is on a slope. The area is bone dry from about the middle of May until leaf fall but both the Snowdrops and Aconites are quite happy there.
                003.JPG
                008.JPG
                005.JPG
                 
                • Like Like x 8
                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

                  Joined:
                  Oct 16, 2012
                  Messages:
                  3,590
                  Gender:
                  Male
                  Location:
                  West Cornwall
                  Ratings:
                  +7,649
                  I am sooooo envious silu. So much space and that natural planting :)
                  I oversee a friend's 6 acre garden and both snowdrops and english bluebells have been planted in her wild, woodland area. Daffodils too of course. No aconites so need to rectify that :smile:
                   
                  • Friendly Friendly x 1
                  • "M"

                    "M" Total Gardener

                    Joined:
                    Aug 11, 2012
                    Messages:
                    18,608
                    Location:
                    The Garden of England
                    Ratings:
                    +31,822
                    Good evening, Paul.

                    Yes, you can get bulbs for these and yes, it is possible to plant them so they come up in clusters.

                    There are two schools of thought on this:-

                    1) "plant them in the green!" which actually means, buying them *now* while the flower has faded, but the "green" foliage is still evident. That is great, if you can locate somewhere selling them in that condition ;)
                    My personal experience is this: The very first "snowdrop" plants I bought were from a £shop place, in the Autumn (e.g. *not* "in the green") and I have had great success with them.
                    My second experience is this: dug up some snowdrops "in the green" last year; this year they are doing fine!
                    Take from that what you will ;)

                    2) English Bluebells: There are specialist suppliers of these. To dig them up from "the wild" is against the law, so, you do need to find someone who sells them and can authenticate their origin ;) I say this because, I was sold some "bluebells" and assured they were "English"; however, months later, the reality hit: they were Spanish! :wallbanging: Supplier scarpered :rolleyespink:

                    Planting Time: anytime now is good and yes, you can plant them in clumps. Over time, those clumps will get bigger and bigger and need dividing (assuming you give them ideal growing conditions).

                    Go for it! :dbgrtmb:
                     
                    • Like Like x 1
                    • Informative Informative x 1
                    • redstar

                      redstar Total Gardener

                      Joined:
                      Aug 6, 2008
                      Messages:
                      5,750
                      Gender:
                      Female
                      Occupation:
                      Full time-Service Director -Human Services.
                      Location:
                      Chester County, PA, USA, Plant zone 4 & 5
                      Ratings:
                      +7,200
                      Have lots of English Bluebells on my slope in my back garden. they multiply quickly.
                       
                      • Like Like x 1
                      • Agent Orange

                        Agent Orange Professional Amateur

                        Joined:
                        Aug 7, 2015
                        Messages:
                        74
                        Gender:
                        Male
                        Occupation:
                        Instrument Technician (retired)
                        Location:
                        Teesside
                        Ratings:
                        +124
                        Great to see lots doing good things with native flowers. Here is what I call my "woods". 3 years ago when we moved in it was zillions of immigrant bluebells. Now cleared the snowdrops are established. Flowering soon will be sweet viola and oxlips grown from seed. The taller daff like plants in the foreground arent daffs, they are tall snowdrops. Cant remember their name but they flower the same height as daffs and later. A few cyclamen are poking through further round and the stinking iris hopefully will flower this year.IMG_0536.JPG
                         
                        • Like Like x 5
                        • Verdun

                          Verdun Passionate gardener

                          Joined:
                          Oct 16, 2012
                          Messages:
                          3,590
                          Gender:
                          Male
                          Location:
                          West Cornwall
                          Ratings:
                          +7,649
                          Looking good Agent Orange.....look forward to seeing those taller snowdrops too :)
                           
                          • Agree Agree x 2
                          • BeeHappy

                            BeeHappy Total Gardener

                            Joined:
                            Feb 19, 2016
                            Messages:
                            4,316
                            Occupation:
                            Mother Nature's Garden Apprentice
                            Location:
                            Happy in the Garden of W' Eden ;)
                            Ratings:
                            +6,119
                            @Agent Orange I have these in my garden too- Originally I did just think they were leggy snowdrops reaching for the light ;) till a gardening chum said how pretty my Leucojum's were :dunno: - didn't know wat on 'earth she woz referring too ...till she pointed them out :heehee: One thing I can say is that I knew they weren't flowering garlic as they didn't smell like them Your woodland plot is lovely, and will look so pretty with all your oxslips and violas in bloom :blue thumb:
                            I also JUST love the combination of the yellow and lilac of those plants in my own garden:wub2:

                            Hope you and other GC members enjoy the link info ... HaPpY gardening :thumbsup:

                            Leucojum

                            7 April 2016, by Miranda Kimberley
                            Leucojum

                            Snowflakes feature dainty white nodding flowers similar to those of snowdrops but are taller and look more robust, says Miranda Kimberley.

                            [​IMG]
                            L. aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’

                            Leucojum are like the bigger brother of snowdrops, still with dainty white nodding flowers but taller and more robust looking. Unlike snowdrops the petals are all the same size and have a more waxen texture, while a distinctive feature is the yellow or green spot at the tip of each petal. There are early-spring, late-spring and autumn flowering species.

                            There are around 10 species across Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, but there are only two species commonly grown in UK gardens. L. vernum Award of Garden Merit (AGM) is the first to flower, usually between February and March, hence known as the spring snowflake. It is around 20cm high and does well in moist soil and shade, reflecting its natural habitat. Coming in around three times as high is L. aestivum, confusingly referred to as the summer snowflake but usually flowering in late spring, between April and May. They form nice clumps for the herbaceous or mixed border.

                            Another variety, L. autumnale, flowers in September, is shorter than L. vernum AGM and needs quite different conditions — full sun and sandy soil. It suits being planted in a warm, sunny spot at the front of a border, in a rock garden or along the edge of a path.

                            There are a few other smaller, delicate species that hail from drier habitats. These include L. nicaeense, L. trichophyllum and L. roseum. There is debate over whether these smaller species with narrow leaves and unmarked flowers should be returned to the genus Acis, but for the purpose of fullness I am including them here. They need well-drained conditions, protection from winter wet and a hot, dry dormant period in summer, so are best grown in the alpine house or a bulb frame, but they can be tried in a hot and sunny position outside.

                            The bulbs of the two most commonly grown species, L. vernum AGM and L. aestivum, should be planted in autumn, about 10cm deep and 8-10cm apart. Because both species come from moist or wet habitats, they naturalise well in damp grass. L. aestivum in particular thrives in moist, rich soil and alongside water sources. Like all bulbs the leaves should be left to die back completely before being removed. To increase stock, collect seed, sow in containers and place in a cold frame in autumn or remove offsets once the leaves have died down. Pests to watch out for are slugs and narcissus bulb fly.

                            What the specialists say

                            Neil McCulloch, proprietor, Bulbs Galore, Manchester

                            "Both L. vernum and L. aestivum are robust, hardy bulbs that can increase well once established. L. aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’ is an excellent variety that is taller and more vigorous. It was found in William Robinson’s garden, Gravetye Manor in West Sussex.

                            "Another nice form is L. vernum var. carpathicum, which has the yellow tips on the petals instead of the green.

                            "I’m not really an expert on the smaller species — sometimes classified as Acis — such as autumnale, roseum and trichophyllum, but I love the look of autumnale with its slender reddy/brown scapes and nodding flowers on slender pedicels. L. roseum show off that lovely pale-pink striping too. If grown in pots their delicate beauty can be appreciated more than in the garden, where they may not thrive."

                            In practice

                            Stephen Graham, planteria manager, Woodlands Garden Centre, London

                            "We generally sell the Leucojum bulbs in autumn, between September and November. We tell customers that they do best in a moist soil, even by ponds, and like full or part shade.

                            "Customers are sometimes confused with snowdrops but we explain that the snowflakes are quite a lot taller and more robust. They have a delicate fragrance that has been likened to violets, so that’s a good selling point, as are the nice markings on the petals of L. vernum and L. aestivum."

                            Species and varieties

                            ? L. aestivum, or the summer snowflake, produces glossy, deep-green strappy leaves and leafless stems bearing green-tipped, white, bell-shaped flowers in late spring. Height: 50cm.

                            ? L. aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’ AGM (H7) is a robust, vigorous form of the summer snowflake that is taller than the type. It also produces glossy, deep-green strappy leaves and leafless stems bearing slightly fragrant, white, bell-shaped flowers, each segment tipped with green. Height: 90cm.

                            ? L. aestivum var. pulchellum is smaller than the type and flowers approximately two weeks earlier. Height: 20cm.

                            ? L. autumnale, the autumn snowflake, produces slender green to red/brown stems topped with nodding white flowers flushed pink at the base, from late summer to autumn. Pale-green leaves follow the flowers. Increases well by offsets. Height: 16cm.

                            ? L. nicaeense has narrow, deep-green to glaucous leaves that can curl and start to emerge in autumn, and one-to-three flowers on short pedicels with a slender style, coming later in the spring. Height: 15cm.

                            ? L. roseum has narrow, deep-green leaves that come with or after the flowers. The flowers, produced between summer and autumn, are white with a lovely pale-pink stripe down the median line of each petal. Height: 15cm.

                            ? L. trichophyllum produces slender scapes topped with two-to-four flowers on slender pedicels. The flowers, which come during winter to spring, are white or flushed pink to purple. Height: 25cm.

                            ? L. vernum AGM (H5), the spring snowflake, has glossy, dark-green, strappy leaves and erect stems with broadly bell-shaped, green-tipped white flowers. Flowering time is February to March. Height: 20cm.
                            ? L. vernum var. carpathicum is a form of the spring snowflake with yellow tips to the floral segments. It is less inclined to build into large clumps but spreads by seeding when happy. It comes true from seed and strong bulbs often bear two flowers on each scape.
                            ? L. vernum var. vagneri is a vigorous variety that is twin- or three-flowered with green tips. The petals are narrower than the type, giving a spidery appearance. It increases well and comes true from seed. Height: 25cm.

                            Thank you to Floramedia, which supplied the images for this article from its photo library
                            www.floramedia-picture-library.com
                             
                            • Informative Informative x 4
                            • Like Like x 3
                              Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
                            • NigelJ

                              NigelJ Total Gardener

                              Joined:
                              Jan 31, 2012
                              Messages:
                              1,458
                              Gender:
                              Male
                              Occupation:
                              Mad Scientist
                              Location:
                              Paignton Devon
                              Ratings:
                              +4,569
                              Yes: you can get the ordinary snowdrop both double and single in the green now, there are many mail order suppliers who sell by the 100 or more. Many suppliers also offer other snowdrop species, bluebells and wood anemones in the green. This is a reliable and quick way to get numbers of these bulbs going. Also these bulbs are UK grown not wild collected.
                              More specialist snowdrop varieties can also be bought now from nurseries in pots, these are best left in pots until the leaves die down and then planted out. Buying prepacked snowdrop bulbs in the autumn can be less successful as they don't take kindly to being dried out. Specialist nurseries lift and ship in summer and ship fresh bulbs in slightly damp packing, typically peat.
                              I've found that in my garden by August, September snowdrops are beginning to produce roots so I tend to lift and move by the end of August.
                               
                              • Like Like x 2

                              Share This Page