Thousands of daffodils and bluebells being planted to 'save spring blooms'

Gardeners planting bulbs at Audley End Image copyright English Heritage
Image caption Bulbs are being planted here at Audley End in Essex, and in other English Heritage gardens across the country

Gardeners are planting thousands of daffodils and bluebell bulbs in efforts to help save native spring blooms.

Some 25,000 native and heritage bulbs are being planted at English Heritage gardens, including Queen Victoria's former home Osborne House.

The flowers are under threat from hybrids and non-native species such as the Spanish bluebell.

English Heritage wants people to join in by planting a native daffodil or bluebell bulb in their own gardens.

These can be collected for free from various English Heritage sites.

Image copyright English Heritage
Image caption Gardeners can get native daffodil or bluebell bulbs from English Heritage gardens

John Watkins, head of gardens and landscapes at English Heritage, said native daffodils and bluebells were a "vital part of our horticultural and cultural heritage".

He said: "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.

"The resulting offspring will be hybrids and likely to outperform and out-compete the native species.

"Historic gardens and landscapes are often the last refuge for ancient cultivars and native species.

"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."

Other sites taking part in the scheme include Belsay Hall in Northumberland, Eltham Palace and Kenwood, both in London, and Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden in Warwickshire.

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