An English Bulb Meadow

Jim McKenney
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 10:05:12 PDT
The Yahoo Lilium listserv recently had some very interesting postings from Jürgen Koch    about efforts to conserve Lilium bulbiferun in fields in northern Germany. Jürgen wrote:"The crop in this field is not harvested. The farmer is paid for conservation work of ancient and mostly extinct herbs, which grew in the fields of the past."
 This lily is taller than the plants being recommended for a bulb meadow, but the same sort of management activities come into play.  

Over the years I've tried to establish various garden bulbs in the lawn here. Success with one species is generally easy: simply schedule mowing around the requirements of that species. If "that species" is the lawn grass, expect the bulbs to deteriorate over the years. I have seen Crocus tommasinianus and C. kotschyanus naturalized (and evidently spreading by seed) is several local gardens. In my own lawn, Galanthus elwesii, Chionodoxa sardensis, Scilla bifolia (and the hybrid between these two) and Crocus tommasinianus seem able to hold their own in a mowed lawn."Bulbs" such as Ranunculus ficaria can become ineradicable  pests, as can true bulbs such as several readily available Ornithogalum. 
Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, MD, USA, USDA zone 7

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