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          Snowdrops, Aconites and Bluebells in the Green, from the Clare Bulb Company 

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A typical bluebell wood, this being Badby Wood in Northamptonshire, photographed on May 10th, when they were close to their peak in terms of flowering. These snowdrops are growing in a hedgerow. We planted about fifty bulbs five years before this picture was taken, this showing how snowdrops  gradually increase in number. There will be a couple of hundred now.
Double snowdrops have bigger and more intense white flowers, which are multi-petalled, (i.e. double-flowered). They flower slightly later than the single-flowered varieties.  A nice mixture of aconites and snowdrops growing in perfect harmony.

Many people prefer to plant snowdrops, aconites and bluebells in full leaf, i.e." in the green". What this means is that the bulbs are lifted in February until early May, whilst in full vigour of growth, and are then carefully wrapped by us to preserve moisture and quickly dispatched to customers, who should plant them as soon as possible after their receipt.
It is argued that this method of planting is more likely to achieve the desired result than planting dry bulbs, as one would buy in the autumn.
Click here for a picture of snowdrops, bluebells and winter aconites being prepared for delivery in our packing shed, with further information about our business.
Please note that we sell bluebells, snowdrops and aconites as "dry" bulbs in the autumn, as shown on our autumn price-list, which can be accessed by clicking here. Scroll down to the Woodland Bulb section to find them.

The English Bluebell:  The bluebells we sell are Hyacinthoides Scilla non-Scripta, which are the native variety. These are characterised as having flowers on just one side of the flowering stem. They are choosy growers, and much prefer soil rich in rotted leaf-mould, from which they obtain the necessary trace elements and nutrients for growth. These conditions are typically found in old-established deciduous woodland. Too much shade however is detrimental to their growth. The ideal setting is coppiced woodland, or where the leaf cover is relatively light as one finds in beech woods. They flower at the end of April, being lightly scented.

The Spanish bluebell, which is known by various names, including Scilla Campanulata and Hyacinthoides Hispanica, are nice enough flowers in their own rights, and grow readily in a wide range of soil types and conditions. They are very invasive, and seemingly grow anywhere. We have come across them growing out of walls. They come in various colours, including pink and white. The problem is that they are often sold as "English Bluebells", and if planted will in due course supplant the native bluebell, as they hybridise with them, becoming the dominant strain. Click here for more information on Spanish bluebells. They are characterised by fleshy mid-green leaves and a range of colours. They flower a month or more earlier than the English variety.

The English bluebell is on the left of the picture, the Spanish-type on the right. Spanish bluebells are taller, a paler blue, with more flowers per stem. Can be pink or white. 

Establishment: It should be noted that English bluebells can take several years to establish themselves after transplanting. It is not unusual to have only leaves in the year following transplanting, even if the plants are in flower when received from us. This is because the bulbs are re-establishing their root systems, and do not divert strength to producing flowers. Snowdrops are not so affected, but nonetheless can take a year or so to produce a good show. Aconites are in fact corms, so behave differently to bulbs. They tend to seed themselves over time, and if they like where they are will spread very readily.

Where to Plant: In planting bluebells it is wise to remember that they are woodland bulbs, and appreciate growing in shady areas, preferably with leaf-mould in the soil. They prefer damp soil conditions. Snowdrops are more tolerant of full sun, mainly because there is not much strength in the sun in January and February, which is their flowering period. Aconites grow just about anywhere, but should be left undisturbed after planting. They are very useful planted up against tree trunks and under hedges, where not much else will grow.
Bluebells should be planted as deeply as possible, 4 ins being the minimum, and more if possible. In nature they are often found over a foot beneath the surface of the soil. Snowdrops should be planted between 2 and 4 inches deep. Aconites can be planted virtually on the surface of the soil.
When bulbs are received from us one can see at what depth at which they have been growing, as that part of the stem that has been in the soil is very pale, in fact nearly white. 

A lovely picture sent to us by a customer. Not only are the snowdrops from the Clare Bulb Company, but so is the Labrador, Betty! We have her father, Billy.
Click here
to know more about our Labradors.

Wild flowers: If you are interested in growing wild flowers, try this link, www.wildflowerlawnsandmeadows.com, as you will certainly find what you want there.

Main price-list: Click here to connect to our main on-line ordering page, which offers a wide range of spring and early summer flowering bulbs. 

Home page:
Click here for the Clare Bulb Co home page.    

    Clare Bulb Co, Riverside House, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8NS
                                       Tel: 01787 277441 email: sales@clare-bulbs.co.uk                                      

Quick page links Home page On-line shopping site Ordering by post or phone Bulbs in the green  Useful information Garden pictures Contact us