For all the rare and unusual pants that we grow at Aberglasney there is still something special about our bluebell woodlands. Bluebells are a British native that are dear to most people. With good management they make an excellent native plant display in most woodland but in Beech woodland they are especially good.
At Aberglasney we try to keep as many as possible and integrate them with our woodland plant schemes. This does often mean that we have to lift and transplant large numbers when they spread too far. You will either be a gardener who has to weed them out or coax them along. At Aberglasney they are either an aggressive invader or well behaved depending on the spot.
We find Trollius and Ranunculus to be particularly good partners which is no surprise as these are close relatives of the common buttercup. Both these plants form dense mounds of leaves that disguise the unsightly old leaves of the bluebells.
There are many more plants that you can mix with bluebells and it usually depends on how wild you want your garden to be. One thing to remember is that mulching will not reduce the amount of bluebells you have in fact it will probably help them multiply. One easy way to keep bluebells in check is to dead head them after flowering. This won’t get rid of them but rather slow down their spread. It really is up to you what you do with bluebells but you can have a good combination of native and exotics that is both tidy and good for the environment. Really it’s a case of the old saying ‘A weed is just a plant in the wrong place’.