Selecting wildflower bulbs
Native Wildflower bulbs provide a useful and easy way to establish wildflowers in shaded areas and existing grasslands. Generally bulbs fall into 2 categories:
Woodland Wildflower bulbs such as Bluebells, Snowdrops, Aconites, Wood Anemone, and Ransoms (Wild Garlic) are suitable for planting into bare areas of soil rich in leaf mould and with plenty of shade.
Spring meadow Wildflower bulbs such as Star of Bethlehem, Wild daffodils, Wild tulip, and Snakeshead fritillary can be used to establish a Wildflower bulb meadow and are suitable for planting into grass.
How to Plant Wildflower bulbs
Wildflower Bulbs are best planted out in late October/early November whilst fully dormant. If the weather prevents planting, they should be stored in a dry, cool shady place until things improve. Stored carefully in this way, most Wildflower bulbs should keep for at least a week or 2. A hole approximately 3 times the length of the bulb is required when planting. If the soil is especially heavy then the addition of a little sand can help. Wood anemone rhizomes are planted up to 1” below the surface and as with other Woodland wildflower bulbs, they will do better in a rich soil containing leaf mould in a shady position. Other bulbs e.g. Wild daffodil, Star of Bethlehem, Snakeshead fritillary, and Wild Tulip can be planted in grass by removing and then replacing a section of turf
Planting density for Wildflower bulbs
There is no specific recommended planting density, however some Wildflower bulbs, e.g. Snowdrops often look best planted close together in clumps of between 10 to 100.
When trying to create large swathes of Bluebells, then the use of seed is recommended. Bluebell seed will take several seasons to mature into flowering bulbs but is often the only cost effective solution for large areas.
For further reading about Bulb Planting please click here