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Are Bluebells really the enemy??


 
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Sunflower
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 65
Location: Galway City

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Are Bluebells really the enemy?? Reply with quote

Hi all,

Thinking about spring already!
Two years ago I planted some bluebells under an ash and a sycamore tree in the corner of the garden and so far I'm delighted to see them come up in April/May - it's a tough shady spot and only two skimmias has survived under these two long established trees (although a hydrangea seems ok with its 2nd summer just gone??).
However, now I'm thinking of planting a lot more in another part of the garden but after doing some reading on them I'm surprised at the amount of anti-bluebell feeling out there.
So will I regret planting them in a few years? are they really that invasive? do they kill other plants - I'll be putting shrubs around them, they'll be the only bulbs? I like the idea of self-seeding plants but do they get out of control or can I let them be - I don't go for the pristine look but don't want to be digging them out down the line...

What are the views on such a lovely flower/pest - any feedback appreciated,
thanks,
Sunflower
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Greengage
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 09 Nov 2011
Posts: 2747
Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you planted these Hyacinthoides hispanica you will have a problem you need to plant these Hyacinthoides non-scripta.
For more info read this http://www.essexbiodiversity.org.uk/invasive-species/invasive-species-plants
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Margo
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Joined: 11 Oct 2010
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Location: Summerhill Mayo Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know in UK the Spanish Bluebell is taking over from the lovely old wood bluebell. Apparently the bells on the stem are different.
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage's link says it all. The Spanish species is more rampant and invasive. H. non-scripta is not: one of the reasons it is an ancient woodland indicator is that is very slow to become naturally prolific. The real threat is that the true native genotype might become hybridised into extinction, never to be regained.
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Eamon
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 29 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know they spread pretty fast, but if you keep an eye on their progress, especially after flowering, you can clip the seedpod before the plant self-seeds, thereby preventing much of the spread so many gardeners dislike. I've done this for a few years now and have been quite successful in keeping the numbers steady. They're such a beautiful flower, it's nice to have them around. Smile
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