Beautiful bluebells are a sight for sore eyes
PUBLISHED: 12:43 16 May 2012 | UPDATED: 21:24 20 February 2013
Beautiful bluebells are a sight for sore eyes, writes gardening columnist Jacqui Brocklehurst
I look forward to the month of May with eager anticipation for this is the time when the woodlands and hedgerows are at their very best. The fecundity of nature is all around. Hawthorns, or mayflower, are laden with blossom providing food for hungry bees. But for me the best displays are in the woods, where the wild things are.
Several years ago I happened upon a small area of woodland in the heart of Cheshire. Scrambling over a low stile my heart skipped a beat as I gazed, wide-eyed at the spectacle before me. A sea of bluebells carpeted the ground, interrupted only by a babbling brook weaving through the forest like a silver ribbon. Fronds of filigree ferns reached out to touch the hazy sunlight filtering through the canopy of fresh green leaves.
Its easy to create a woodland edge in our own gardens by mimicking the way plants grow in the wild. If you have room plant a selection of small trees such as rowan, maple and bird cherry. Where space is limited a solitary white birch or crab apple will suffice. Beneath this canopy plant shade tolerant species such as lamium (deadnettle), ferns and foxgloves. Now scatter bluebell bulbs liberally across the ground and plant them, 6/8cms deep, where they fall. A wild area at the bottom of a suburban garden not only looks great, it will also become an invaluable habitat for wildlife in your area.
In the kitchen garden salad leaves and lettuces will be romping away and will soon be ready to harvest. For a continuous supply of salads, beetroot and radishes, it is best to sow seeds little and often. Once all danger of frost has passed plant out courgettes, pumpkins and squashes and direct sow French beans into the soil.
To experience the magic of bluebells why not visit Sue Beesleys two acres of woodland? Its at Bluebell Cottage Gardens, Lodge Lane, Dutton, Warrington WA4 4HP. The gardens and nursery are open Wed-Sun 10am to 5pm and refreshments are available.
You can follow Jacquis gardening blog at jacquibrocklehurst.wordpress.com