The Bluebells are in full flower now.
We have both English Bluebells and Hybrid Bluebells which are often pale blue or pink. Today I noticed that there are more pink flowers than usual. What’s going on?
Closer inspection revealed a swathe of the beautiful wild flower Red Campion.
Can you believe that this is a British wild flower? It’s so beautiful and unusual with it’s checkerboard markings. Wild meadows supporting this plant have almost vanished here in the UK which is a shame because their early flowers provide nectar for our pollinating insects. Bees love them!
The BBC has not sent Monty Don and his chums for a four month holiday as I previously thought. When Gardeners World vanished from our TV screens in November I wondered what the planners were thinking. Gardening is one of the top hobbies here in the UK and it struck me that gardeners or would be gardeners are not really catered for in the same way as armchair sports fans or would be bakers, antique collectors, interior designers or even property developers come to that.
Did you know that you can collect seed from many popular garden plants? In fact it’s often better to collect your own seed. Then you can choose plants that you know and love. If you time it just right you’ll find green seeds for sowing now or dry seeds to store for sowing next year. It’s good to be able to see the parent plants and choose the best specimens to gather seed from.
A visit to the national Wildflower Centre at Liverpool has more to offer than wildflowers. A wall of insect homes has been created from old building materials, timber and cardboard. It’s been there a while and has been colonised by plants too. Some of the plants are grown for the insects, or more accurately for their larvae. For example wild hops are food for the caterpillars of the Peacock butterfly.
The driveway to our home is a narrow gravel track lined by an old hedgerow. The predominant species is hawthorn and there’s also holly, ivy, honeysuckle, ash, elm, roses, sycamore, flowering currant and hazel.
There is nothing quite like the sight of an English woodland full of Bluebells. So beautiful it takes your breath away.
May is the best time to see Bluebells in full flower. You can grow them in your garden…however they can spread rapidly and may quickly become a nuisance in small spaces…