Plant heritage at risk- do your part

English Heritage is calling for the help of members of the public in addressing the loss of historic varieties of daffodils and bluebells, vital to our gardening heritage.

English Heritage writes:

English Heritage is launching a campaign to help save the native and historic varieties of daffodils and bluebells, both of which are at risk from aggressive hybrids and non-traditional varieties.  All this week, English Heritage gardeners will plant a record 25,000 native and heritage bulbs across the historic gardens in its care, including at Osborne – Queen Victoria’s home – on the Isle of Wight, Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland.

The charity is also calling on the public to join its campaign by collecting a free native daffodil or bluebell bulb from a selection of English Heritage sites to bring home and plant in their own garden.

John Watkins, Head of Gardens and Landscapes at English Heritage, said: ‘Native daffodils and bluebells as well as the historic cultivated varieties are a vital part of our horticultural and cultural heritage, inspiring gardeners and poets alike.  Our native species and historic cultivars are increasingly under threat from cross pollination with non-native species and hybrids that flower at the same time.

‘Our major spring bulb planting campaign – across some of the most important historic gardens in England – will help arrest that national decline and ensure that the daffodil celebrated by Wordsworth over 200 years ago can still be enjoyed by visitors today and in the future.’

The English Heritage gardens team and our garden volunteers will be planting 25,000 native and historically cultivated daffodils and bluebells – the largest number in the charity’s history – at the following sites in its care:

  • Audley End House and Gardens in Essex
  • Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland
  • Brodsworth Hall and Gardens in South Yorkshire
  • The Home of Charles Darwin, Down House in Kent
  • Eltham Palace and Gardens in London
  • Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden in Warwickshire
  • Kenwood in London
  • Osborne on the Isle of Wight
  • Walmer Castle and Gardens in Kent
  • Witley Court and Gardens in Worcestershire
  • Wrest Park in Bedfordshire

Visitors to these sites will be able to collect a free bulb, courtesy of De Jager, to bring home and plant in their own garden.

View the press release and find out more about how you can help

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